We Should Be Singing!
By Steve Sheppard
Recent studies and surveys show that singing is on the upswing! Choir membership in churches is growing. There are more and more ways to listen to music . . . and sing along. Television shows like The Sing-Off, America’s Got Talent, and The Voice remain as popular as ever. Most people love to sing! All you have to do is watch drivers in the cars around you . . . you’ll often spot somebody belting out a tune while they’re driving. Even people who say they don’t sing in public will sing in the shower!
So where did it all begin? You have to look back – way back – to find the answer. In the 38th chapter of Job, God speaks to Job out of the whirlwind and asks, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth . . . when the morning stars sang together?” Yes, even before creation was complete, the stars sang praises to God! Choirs are mentioned 36 times in the Bible. Their purpose: to sing praise to God. In the book of Ezekiel, we find that there were over 2000 singers in the temple. That’s some choir! And they were all paid! They actually lived in the temple and their sole job was to lead worship! In 1 Chronicles, we hear of the Levite called Chenaniah, appointed by David to be in charge of all of the singing in the temple because “he was skillful at it.”
Singing is so important to our make-up. It is physical . . . it is spiritual . . . it is emotional . . . it is intellectual. John Wesley had a great deal to say about singing including sing lustily, sing with courage, sing in time, sing spiritually! The Apostle Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians to, “speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs . . . sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.”
At Grayson UMC our purpose in worship is to draw the congregation into the presence of God. We do that with prayers. We do that with the spoken Word. And we do that with singing! And we try to do that in styles that appeal to everyone. On a recent Sunday we sang A Mighty Fortress is Our God, Victory in Jesus, One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails), Great Are You Lord, Holy Spirit, and There’s Something About That Name. So there is something for everybody! If you like the old hymns . . . great! If you like the newest song from the local Christian radio station . . . great! It’s okay to like something new. David said “Sing a NEW song!” six times in the Psalms.
So I want us to be a “singing church!” Don’t be shy. Make a joyful noise! Give it a try. You might even find you didn’t realize what you were missing. Jump in . . . maybe even join a choir. After all, if you’re not in over your head, how will you ever know how tall you are?
I hope to hear you singing . . . soon!
Minister of Music & Senior Adults
You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org.