Problems with sung worship?

Thanks to Vicky Beeching for inspiration for this post from her questions on twitter this week.

Many people will say that they aren’t a fan of the singing part of church. I have to say I quite like it, being a musician and worship leader that bit of church is right up my street, it’s just the rest of it I don’t like. Quite often it’s men that I hear grumbling about the content of worship in our churches. A university friend of mine told me that he couldn’t engage in sung worship in church, partly because he isn’t much of a singer and he finds it a bit uncomfortable but also he finds that the words are hard for him to engage with. And I can see where he’s coming from.

Often the songs we sing in church aren’t particularly ‘manly’. And men also have a bit of a habit of running away from anything with the word ‘love’ in it. So it would be easy to say that songs that go like ‘Jesus I am so in love with you’ should be thrown away. But doing so would get rid of one of the fundamental parts of being a follower of Christ – God loved us so that we can love.

And if we look at it more subjectively across the broader spectrum of worship songs there does seem to be a much more ‘manly’ focus as well. For example songs like ‘Yesterday, today and forever’ by Vicky Beeching, ‘Happy day’ by Tim Hughes and ‘Strength will rise’ by Brenton Brown are all songs that don’t have that focus on love.

I believe that as we worship a God who is bigger than anything we can possibly know, and has at least as many emotions and characteristics as us – then our worship should reflect that. We should look at the Psalms as an example. The breadth of emotions are huge, they range from fear to joy, from love to abandonment.  However they all cling to the truth that God is there,  bigger than we can know,  in control, stronger than we could imagine, and He loves us so that we can love. And so so so much more!

A challenge to worship leaders is to incorporate the whole of God not just one aspect of him. Maybe not in every worship time in church but we need to make sure we experience and recognise all of God not just one bit.

And a challenge to men…Man up and share the love that God has given, first with Him and second with everyone else!

Thoughts?

3 Replies to “Problems with sung worship?”

  1. Good post.
    I think at the end of the day sometimes we need to remember what the purpose of sung worship is. It’s to praise and glorify God, it is not about us.
    Equally I don’t think we should feel hled back or restricted by lyrics. I am sure God won’t mind if you change the words slightly yourself as you sing them – as long as they still praise and glorify him.

    For example I have a friend who many years back when we used to sing “..Your name is like honey on my lips, Your spirit like water to my soul…” would exchnage the word honey for Marmite. He doesn’t like honey so it would have been like saying ‘Your name is like something I grossly dislike on my lips’. Which let’s be honest isn’t very glorifying or praising to God.

    Just a few thoughts and I’m loving your work Sofa 😉

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