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Congregational Singing Starts with the Pastor

In the most recent issue of the Baptist & Reflector Justin Wainscott has a wonderful column by this title. Justin rightly notes the importance of congregational singing and the fact that this is too often overlooked by pastors. Justin writes:

Let’s face it. If our churches don’t value congregational singing, it’s likely because we don’t value it. While everyone else is supposed to be singing together, we’re busy fumbling through our notes or looking around at who’s there or not there. Or worse, we just stand there with our arms folded, waiting on ‘our’ turn.

This column is a good challenge for pastors to lead the way by example in the importance of congregational singing. Too many of our members think of singing simply as the “set up” for what really matters, preaching. Of course, preaching is important but the scriptures make clear that congregational singing is important as well. Just this morning I read Psalm 96 which opens with,

Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.

Three times in two verses we are explicitly commanded to sing to the Lord, and the context makes it clear that only hearty singing will do. This is of course only one of the many places where this is commanded in Scripture (commonly in the Psalms and also Col 3:16; Eph 5:19). It simply won’t do to say, “I’m just not into singing,” or “I don’t really like to sing.” It has been commanded by our Lord. When people give these responses, I want to reply, “Oh, are you not a Christian?” We may as well say, “I’m just not into obedience,” or “I don’t really like to share the gospel.” And God’s commands are always for our good. We are blessed as we sing the praises of our worthy God.

So, I encourage you to read Justin Wainscott’s column and let’s help our people really engage in congregational singing.

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