Thursday, May 23, 2013

Singing in Church

I read this article today - again:

I have a LOT of 'thoughts' about this. I am going to share a few.

It's suggested in the article that one of the problems is how worship in the church has moved from a book of hymns to an unlimited number of songs with the added technology of projection and access to music. They point to the fact that song familiarity has lessened because of the number of songs in a congregations' repertoire and a leader's lack of commitment to make the song more familiar - more concerned with new music than familiarity.

This isn't an issue of why MEN have stopped singing. It's more of an issue of an entire congregation, minus several individuals, not singing. In some churches, worship has become more about performance than worship. We sing songs in keys that aren't accessible to most of the congregation. Most members of a congregation are non-singers - male and female. Now from a vocal instructor perspective, males are more likely than females to not sing in a group setting. (I could give you the research that shows the numbers and explanations. It is basically linked to childhood and someone telling them they couldn't sing, so they stopped. However, it's becoming a bigger issue among women, as well.)

How do you get non-singers to worship? 
  • -Choose songs with lyrics worth getting stuck in your head - lyrics that reflect sound theology or are based in Scripture. Who doesn't love a song that brings Scripture to mind when you sing it?
  • -Use new songs in your worship services - a LOT - like, until they become old songs. Give people options for downloading the songs, meditating on the lyrics - things that will help increase their familiarity.
  • -Choose keys that allow your congregation to sing with ease - not keys that allow you to show off your 'talent'.
  • -Practice enough before the worship service that you do not have to think about musical stuff and can simply worship - not perform. If you don't get to the foot of the throne, how in the world are the people you are leading going to get there? 
In my honest opinion, a lot of 'worship services' have very little worship taking place. Sometimes we need to strip away everything in order to really worship. Take the spotlight off of worship leaders, worship teams, musicians, instruments and put the spotlight on God. 

How have we complicated something that should be so simple?

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