While I had limited access to the Internet these past few weeks, I did run across a couple of things that I tucked away to share with you. The first addresses a very important issue in churches today.
David Murrow wrote this piece on an obvious issue in almost every church today. Mr. Murrow states the problem and offers his reasons why participation in worship services is almost non-existent in 2014. This affects men but I believe it is also something that confronts women and children too.
A primary focus of the article is the difficulty experienced when worship leaders do not select familiar songs or hymns that lend themselves readily to group singing. In addition, individuals experience difficulty in trying to sing something clearly intended for performance by a soloist or small vocal group and quickly feel no motivation for trying to do so. While this is particularly true with contemporary songs, praise bands and song leaders, traditional but unfamiliar or hard to sing hymns produce the same result.
For the most part, music and singing in worship are intended to be participatory, not simply observatory. Exceptions include solos, duets, choirs or other choral group presentations, as well as instrumental offerings. When such participation becomes difficult, worshipers quickly move from sincere desire to participate to frustration in not being able to do so.
When you are in church (this coming Sunday??), sneak a look around and notice the level of participation by your fellow attenders. If the hymn isn’t easily sung, you’ll see many around you who are just sitting there and doing nothing. That’s not the way worship of our Lord is intended to take place.
Since I am once again responsible for the selection of hymns for our worship service (didn’t have that responsibility at my last congregation), and am acutely aware of the music for our services and how it’s so important for the congregation to relate well to the hymns which are chosen. A very well planned out worship service can be entirely undone by poorly chosen hymns. Attendees will remember how they struggled with singing instead of the real message presented by God’s Word.
I offer this as an invitation to my members of Grace: if you have a favorite hymn, please come and let me know. If you like it, we can be certain others enjoy it too. I don’t want to fall into the trap of having only a “Top 40” of favorite hymns that are sung week after week, but there are some that deserve ample opportunity for congregational singing. I want everyone to enjoy their experience of worshiping God to the fullest!