Singing on Purpose (3)

That’s not to say, of course, that worship should be tedious or uninteresting or the barest recounting of facts. The alternative to fun worship is not worship that is drab or boring, but worship that is meaningful and true, worship that gives voice to the full range of biblical truth and Christian experience. It’s not just about emotion, but reflection. It’s not just about feeling, but thinking. It’s not just about having a good time, but serving others.

—Tim Challies, https://www.challies.com/articles/we-dont-sing-for-fun/

Singing on Purpose (2)

According to Colossians 3:16, we sing from the gospel, for one another, to the Lord. Singing is serious business! It is as serious as preaching and prayer and communion. It is not just a perk or pleasure, but a duty and obligation. It’s both a “get to” and a “got to.”

—Tim Challies, https://www.challies.com/articles/we-dont-sing-for-fun/

Low Gravity

There’s a thread of teaching in some songs today that seems to me to lack the gravity of God’s passion for the glory of God above all things. Let me say that again. There’s a thread of teaching in some songs today that seems to me to lack the gravity of God’s passion for His glory above all else.

My sense is that, until a congregation is devastated by the outrage and the horror of our sin as demeaning and belittling to the glory of God, accompanied by a majestic vision of God’s glory and justice and holiness and wrath, until those two realities are taught and felt deep down, the reality of grace and mercy will not be rightly known and cherished by a congregation.

—John Piper, https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/when-worship-lyrics-miss-the-mark

Old and New

Some churches sing only old songs and some sing only new ones. Both are faulty. To fall to the first side is to fail to take advantage of the legacy of great Christian songwriting. To fall to the other side is to fail to add to the legacy of great Christian songwriting. We faithfully steward our music when we sing the best of the old and find the best of the new.

—Tim Challies, “Why Your Church Should Sing New Songs (Not Only Old Songs)”

The People’s Song

The simple fact is, there are many songs that have solid content and catchy tunes, but are poorly suited to congregational singing. There are many songs that are a joy to sing along to in the car, but difficult to sing with a congregation. There are many songs that are written first for radio and only secondarily for corporate singing. . . .

A worship leader serves his congregation best when he chooses songs they can sing and sing well. He is highly attuned to their ability. He prioritizes the singability of songs over their newness or oldness or author or theological density. He gauges his success not by his own worship, but by theirs. His question is not “how did the band feel?” but “how did the congregation sing?”

—Tim Challies, “The Mark of the Most Successful Worship Leaders”