Last weekend, around a thousand Christians gathered together in Oklahoma City to worship, fellowship, and study God’s word. The singing was out of this world! But I have been to some assemblies where the singing was less than God-honoring. So what can Christians do to improve the singing in those congregations?
Here are a few things that might help:
1. Read the Bible More
Preparation for worship begins long before you set foot in the building on Sunday morning. If you spend the week filling your heart with the Word of God, songs will come naturally, enthusiastically, and beautifully from your mouth! The most beautiful songs come, not from people with formal training in music, but from those who the Lord the most.
2. Read the First Verse Before You Sing
I find it is best if the song leader can occasionally read the first verse, or the first line or two, aloud before he starts the song; but if that doesn’t happen, you can read silently to yourself before the song begins. This helps remind you what the song is about and helps you focus on the words. If you’re a song leader, please spend more time reminding yourself and the congregation the meaning of the song than you do the key in which the song is to be sung.
3. Concentrate on the Words
Unless you’re the song leader, try not to look at the notes as you sing and just look at the words. Stop worrying about who is off pitch, what someone is wearing, or what you’re going to eat for lunch. Focus all your attention on each word you’re lifting up to your loving, merciful, and gracious Heavenly Father. Consciously guard your mind and keep it from drifting.
It’s About the Words!
Remember, singing praises to God is not about the notes, but about the words. Paul writes, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” (Colossians 3:16). If the word of Christ is dwelling in the hearts of a congregation, their singing will be out of this world. Paul goes on to write in the same verse, “…teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Is your heart filled with thankfulness? Is your heart filled with the Word of Christ? If so, then sing like it!
And if the hearts of the people in your congregation are not filled with the Word and with thankfulness, concentrate on helping them grow in those areas and the singing will take care of itself.
I love you and God loves you,