Last month, I had the privilege of attending the Sing conference in Nashville, TN. This is a conference for pastors, leaders and musicians on encouraging and reforming congregational worship. Leading the way were the modern-hymn writers and authors, Keith and Kristyn Getty. If you don’t know who they are, check out their website to learn more about their heart for robust congregational singing in the local church.
You may recognize a few of their modern hymns that we sing at Coats, such as In Christ Alone and For the Cause. I encourage you to listen to more of the modern hymns they have written. Their hymns are theologically rich and musically well-written. By writing new songs for the church to sing (Psalm 96:1), they are equipping worshipers to do what God has created, commanded, and compelled us to do – sing!
As a reminder, worship is not confined to singing. Worship is a lifestyle. Worship is responding to what God has done for you in Christ. It’s daily living in a way that magnifies Jesus and points others to Him. And it includes singing in your own personal worship times and when the church is gathered. I acknowledge that some people struggle with singing, especially in corporate worship for different reasons:
- What if I can’t sing? You can. You’ve got the vocal cords to prove it. God created you, gave you breath in your lungs, and provided you with a voice. If your voice isn’t star quality, that’s more than okay. Sing anyway!
- What if I don’t know the song? Learn it. Okay, that was blunt. As referenced above, the Psalms say to “sing to the Lord a new song!” This isn’t because God is bored by old songs. God, the most creative creator, has gifted people (like the Getty’s) with the creativity to write and compose songs that lead His children to better worship Him. Let’s learn them and sing them!
- What if I don’t like the songs or the way they’re played? I’ll continue to be blunt. Read Psalm 150 and Ephesians 5:19. Again, God has gifted His children in a variety of ways to worship and lead others in worship. I have my personal preferences, but those must be forsaken for the glory of Christ when it comes to corporate worship gatherings. I encourage you to come to our worship services with an open heart that is ready and eager to sing!
Sing because it’s what you were created to do. Sing because the authority of our lives, God’s Word, has commanded us to over and over. Sing because God has saved you from your wretched self and made you righteous in Christ, compelling you to respond in worship.
I’ll leave you with lyrics from a modern hymn by the Getty’s that we’ll be singing in worship next Sunday…
You have called us out of darkest night into Your glorious light that we may sing the wonders of the risen Christ.
May our every breath retell the grace that broke into our strife with boundless love and deepest joy with endless life.
May the peoples praise You. Let the nations be glad. All Your blessing comes that we may praise, may praise the Name of Jesus.