I've come across a number of fellow believers who don't enjoy the sung worship part of services. For them it is the least enjoyable part of the service - and they especially don't like repeating choruses over and over like we do sometimes.
Now if i'm totally honest I find this very hard to understand, as i'm sure many of you do, as I love the sung worship. For me it was one of the ways that really drew me to God before I was a Christian and helps me to express my worship and adoration to Him. I think when i've heard about or come across people who don't realy enjoy singing as worship i've immediately thought that this is wrong...but is it?
It's a genuine question. Is it ok to not enjoy worshipping him using music and much preferring other ways of worshipping - i.e. through helping others, through prayer, being quiet before God, living our lives for God, listening to the sermon etc?
If it is ok for some people to not enjoy our 'praise and worship' times then do we sing too much in our services? Perhaps we should be shortening our so called times of "worship" (which is really just one way of worshipping) and exploring other ways of worshipping to ensure we are catering for everybody.
There seems to be a lot in the Bible, especially in the Psalms, about singing to God and praising Him with instruments. I've always assumed that this is a sort of command for everyone...but perhaps not?
Again, I used to think that if people didn't enjoy the sung worship it must be because they were either coming to that part of the service with the wrong attitude, or approaching it intellectually rather than allowing their spirit to worship, or something else. But i'm just not sure if that is correct or if we have all just been wired differently and some people either can't sing, don't enjoy worshipping this way or something else?
Not sure what the question is here but i'd love to hear your thoughts and responses...
Well Phil, I know exacty where you're coming from. I've known people who will sit down in the middle of worship with a stone cold look on their face. And i wonder why. I just think that people look at sung worship in the wrong way. There are people out there that approach sung worship as a way for them to enjoy themselves, a way to have fun. IT'S NOT LIKE THAT!!!!!. Worship isn't meant for us to have fun, it's meant for God to be pleased with us, It's meant for us to show Him how greatful we are for what he's done for us. Yeah we do have fun in worship, and it isn't wrong to have fun in worship but going into worship with that intention is wrong. Worship, in any form is about one thing and one thing only, GOD. That's it. It doesn't matter if you're feeding someone hungry or clothing someone whos naked, it's all about God and His Glory. Sooooo i do think it's wrong for people to dislike sung worship, yet alone any form of worship.
But I will say this, worship is done in many ways. read Matt Redman's "Unquenchable worshipper" and in it he said that the song "The Heart Worship" came from a time wen his pastor stopped sung worship at his church for a while, so that people would find other ways to worship, as to reinforce that worship isn't just sung, it's lived.
Well I guess this is the part when 'sacrifice' of praise comes in handy. Tell them it's their sacrifice of praise, a sacrifice that is made up of obedience that is tougher for them than it is for other people, a sacrifice I would respect more knowing their background.
When I started attending church it took me quite a while to warm up to sung worship. I was quite a musician before that, just didn't take immediately to bringing that side of me into the worship of God (not that I was worshiping very much in other areas of my life either at that time). It helped at I was attending a church with a great worship team, top-notch musicians who played like worship musicians, not performers. And over time I grew more comfortable with it.
I was attending a meeting of Tuesday Group (a fantastic inter-denominational fellowship that meets on Tuesdays - any of you coming by Singapore MUST check it out) when the topic of different ways of worship (other than singing) came up. The leader gave two very profound insights on this. He said "we major on what God majors on. 150 worship songs recorded for us in the Bible, I think it's clear." And "singing in worship allows everyone to join in. God values unity amongst his people".
And on our side, we have to make sure we don't spend too much emphasis on sung worship (Hebrews 13:15) that we forget Hebrews 13:16 "Do not forget to do good and share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." Yeah, that's sacrifices too in God's eyes. :)
I think you have to look at each case individually, You also have to look at church history and stiles of worship through the ages. There was a time when the only permitted musical worship was plane song. My parents and even more my grandparents generations only sang to an organ and possibly a choir. To me much of their music does little to raise my spirit to God. They on the other hand would say that "Happy Clappy" music with guitars and (Oh Lord deliver us) Drums was ireverent and of the devil. Even in the light of Psalm 46 "Oh Clap your hands all you people" and Psalm 150 "Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord".
Then there are believers who are deaf and dumb. They may well love the Lord, our Lord, just as much as we do but to be involved in our music based worship is impossible.
In our church we have had a service at 09:15 which is lead with just the organ and perhaps the piano. The songs are mainly old and traditional and some people love it. At 54 I'm still with the youngsters that avoid it like the plague but It enables a large number of Godly people to touch God.
At 11:00 we have another service which a lot of the 9:15ers avoid like the plague. A full line up would be piano/keyboard, two guitars electric base, drums, saxophone and tin whistle.
And we have begun to introduce other forms of expression such as drawing and painting.
I am beginning to think we must not only accept that some people touch God in a different way to us, but be prepared to help others find their own place of contact with him.
I do think that we worship leaders tend to view our portion of worship as real worship and we don't give enough thought to other ways of expressing worship or maybe we do but don't have the blessing of our churches to be very experimental in our expression of worship. I think silence is a very bold form of worship and very scary to many including myself but for the introverted personality it is so sweet to sit in silence. Classical music is another beautiful expression of worship and sadly most of us worship leaders fall far short of being able to pull off anything that would resemble a classical work. I apologize in advance to those of you who can and do use classical music.
Also I think sometimes we tend to look for the newest, hottest worship songs and while some of that is good, I think it leave the congregation out in the cold. Last night I played "Spirit of the Living God" and I can't tell you the number of people including young people who came up to me and thanked me for doing that song!
Music creates an emotional memory unlike anything else so bringing back old familiar song is like giving your congregation a walk down memory lane or a cozy blanket to snuggle in with God.
So I completely understand those who do not feel engaged by what we offer and I think we need to broaden our horizons to include other forms of worship, from silence to sonatas and everything inbetween.
A local church where some friends attend will do exactly three songs this Sunday and the next and the next and the next (you get the idea) and it will ALWAYS take 30 minutes to do these three songs. When they are pushing you to get 'lost in the moment', (which is not necessarily a bad thing by any means ) I feel like they are 'forcing the spirit' and last I checked, our Holy One does not need to be told what to do, etc. I hope I'm saying this right.
The bible ( NIV maybe ) tells us to sing 102 times. According to a musician named Rich Mullins, it's "the most often repeated command in the bible". Singing is a way for everyone to be doing the same thing at the same time for the same GOD. I don't say this cause I like it, I say this cause it's true. I get the be the cool loud guitar player and play the cool solos etc, but that's not what it's about. I'm not one of the singers, and don't want to be, but between chord changes I'm looking out into the crowd and singing the words, even when God is the only one that hears them. Besides, isn't it about how much GOD likes it?
Thanks for the post
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