The Bible teaches us that Christian singing is both self-conscious and intentional. It is designed to be emotionally rich, intellectually deep, theologically sound, relationally connected, evangelistically self-conscious. It is a contact sport.
It is important to sing each song in the voice it was written. Our hymns are multifaceted in scope. They are sung from different standpoints. They are sung as personal expressions of praise, admonitions to one another and teaching one another. They are sometimes directed to God or they are unifying moments sung to one another. And, there are even songs sung to our own souls.
Here are seven ways God wants to grip our hearts and minds as we sing:
- We sing with our Lord Jesus Christ and He is singing to us, Hebrews 2:10-13
- We sing to teach one another, Col 3:16, Eph 5:17-18
- We sing to admonish one another, Col 3:16
- We sing to God personally, Eph 5:17-18
- We sing for one another, Col 3:16
- We sing to the unconverted among us, Rom 15:9
- We sing to our own souls, Psalm 103:1-5
"Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain…”
So, the next time you come together to sing with your brethren, remember to sing the song in the voice it is written, and sing for whom the song is written. In short, be self-conscious. Be intentional. Be a blessing.
Here are two suggestions directed to leaders who choose and lead the songs.
- Choose songs thoughtfully and strategically. As you are choosing songs, think through the voice of the songs you choose. Provide the different experiences that songs are designed to bring.
- Determine to teach and engage the congregation in the richness of the ways we are meant to sing together by helping the congregation to pay attention to the voice of the song. Help them to sing it thoughtfully and intentionally.