Psalm 147:1 “Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him!”

My heart becomes softer, fuller and better prepared to receive God's Word after a time of authentic, transcendent worship through song. I know I'm 'preaching to the choir' here but I believe that this is a great argument for not sending a song into retirement too quickly. There’s no question that this is especially difficult for us restless, creative, worship leader types who want to keep things 'fresh'. However, those we minister to may often have quite a different feeling about it.

When we repeat songs in our services throughout the year, for the congregation it becomes less and less about reading and learning the words, and more and more about the content. The meaning of the song can begin to plunge to deeper levels of understanding and, consequently, a more engaging expression of worship. Think about it, repetition helps us to memorize facts and figures and lots of other more trivial things. I actually have my credit card number scary is that? Repetition also helps us absorb and internalize the words of our worship songs. When the words projected on a screen or written on a song sheet are no longer part of the focus we can just close our eyes, block out the world and those around us and simply, completely and utterly worship.

Views: 31

Comment by Cameron Pruitt on January 21, 2009 at 7:22pm
Very true. I thinks it's easy for worship leaders, who hear and play these songs throughout the week and not just on Sundays, to grow tired of songs quicker than our congregations. A servant's heart means we are try not to focus on how we like to worship; we are shepherds of our congregation. While it's always good to bring a fresh perspective with new songs, we need to be careful how much we do this. I only introduce 1 new song every 3-4 weeks, and I make sure we do the new song for 3 of those weeks.
Comment by Scott McCullor on January 22, 2009 at 7:44pm
Old hymns serve this purpose well. Even though I usually still read the words, The Old Rugged Cross and At the Cross still stir me up.

I think songs should be retired when they're truly stale and maybe bring them back out once a year or two for nostalgia's sake. I personally wouldn't mind if Trading My Sorrows got moved to the flashback rotation, but I bet there's a dozen of you out there who feel exactly the opposite.

I think we should also continually examine the message of the songs. I thought that "I Am a Friend of God" was way too focused on my exalted place and very little on His exalted place. I discussed with our leader and he agreed. We may sometimes think that details in the message of the song are trivial but so many people are singing and learning them that there's bound to be someone who takes that error from a song and runs with it.
Comment by Maureen on January 23, 2009 at 5:12am
I think that worshiping under the Holy Spirit we know when a song is relevant or when the Spirit is trying to show us something different, as a leader we have to be aware that not everyone is in the same place so it becomes a balancing act do we please the congregation or the Holy Spirit?
Comment by Keith Hopkins on February 28, 2009 at 5:20pm
I wholeheartedly agree with you brother. When we get "off the page" and lost in worship and praise then "the things on earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace." That's when we've touched that moment of God's presence really inhabiting our praise and those who've come to church but don't know Him will sense God's presence. I love it when that happens!


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