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The Spiritual Side of Singing in the Church

In a previous post I began writing a response to a popular article floating around the internet. In one of the weekly e-newsletters I received today, another article just posted as another chain in the dialogue this topic has created. Though many churches maintain a high caliber of musician and vocalist for the churches, there continues to be a percentage of our congregations that are not participating in this very biblical portion of our services.

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The first post talked about some practical ways to create an environment that invites as many as are willing to join in worship. That is just one side of the coin when it comes to this concern. Quite often, this is the only side that is addressed in these internet articles. Change the key; stop singing “girly” love songs; make church “manly” again. Some of those ideas are great ideas. But addressing the practical issues of singing in our churches is only half the battle.

Worship is a spiritual act, after all. While it involves physical rules like musical scales, keys and chords, it is a spiritual offering from a spiritual individual to the only true God. Therefore we have to examine whether there are any spiritual reasons for the lack of participation in worship.

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The Practical Side of Singing in the Church

This week I was asked to comment on an article that has found its way around the internet again. The article itself is a few years old, but like all hot-button topics on the web, it comes and goes in cycles. Having seen it pop up again recently on Facebook, it was already on my radar. It is one of many that question some of the practices and mindsets regarding contemporary worship in our churches, and seeking to explain why many aren’t joining in congregational singing.

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Normally I stay away from discussions like this. I don’t jump in and make a lot of noise where others are already having too much fun doing it. But I don’t see anyone making the same observations I am. As a pastor and worship leader my perspective is different from the pew.

Not that the writer of the article is out to harm anyone. On the contrary, I have seen and listened to him teach in person. He genuinely wants to help Christians, specifically men, find and assume their Scriptural place as part of the Body of Christ. Still, there is always more to any situation than just one of us can see. So I’d like to offer some “real” reasons people are not joining in when the music starts at church.

To help us out I’d like to break these reasons into two categories. We will look at one in this post, and the other in a follow-up.

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The Amazing Truth of Resurrection Sunday

Resurrection Sunday Power

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Blood Moon Disappointment: What happens when hope for Christ’s return gets misdirected

Millions of Christians woke up this morning and turned on their favorite news outlets. Televisions, computers, smartphones and tablets tuned their signals to see if any news came out of Israel overnight.

The spark that created this firestorm was a heavenly event. In the sky early this morning was a rare occurrence, a full moon eclipse. What makes this lunar eclipse extra special is that it comes on the Jewish holy day of Passover, the celebration of God’s deliverance from centuries of slavery in Egypt.

But the reason that all of this spurred so many to check their news this morning was the startling appearance that such an eclipse makes in the sky. From a bright, white, full moon the Earth’s only natural satellite gradually turns red as the Earth’s shadow passes over it. Some call it a “blood moon”. And there are many who hoped that this happening would spark an event that would signal the closeness of the return of Jesus Christ.

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The Road to Life is NOT an Easy Road

One of the songs that put Christian musician Steven Curtis Chapman on the map in his early career was one that talked about how great the road to Heaven is. “There’s no better place on earth than the road that leads to Heaven. No other place I’d rather be.”

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A lot of times we talk about the Christian life as a great place where our troubles pass away, sickness is healed, and every need is provided for. We draw a picture of how God works all things for our good and wipes away every tear.

While each of these statements comes from Scripture, we have a tendency to place God’s promises where they don’t belong. For example, God will wipe away every tear in the New Jerusalem where we enjoy eternity with Him (Revelation 21:1-4). In our zeal to lead souls to Jesus, we have to be careful not to dye the grass so green that we do not prepare those souls for the realities of following Jesus.

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