Why do we sing in church?
Is it because it’s fun? Because it’s tradition? Because it feels good?
It may be all of these things for some of us, but this is not why we do it. We sing in church because the New Testament commands us to.
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
– Ephesians 5:18-21
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts”
– Colossians 3:16
From these two brief passages we learn at least five key truths about God’s intentions for our musical worship:
- Every member is commanded to sing out loud, not just a select few.
- We are to be taught and admonished through our congregational singing.
- We are to sing various types of songs.
- Our singing is to be motivated by gratitude to God for who he is and what he’s done.
- Our singing in this way is an expression of being filled with the Holy Spirit.
With these five truths in mind, the worship leader can choose songs with intentionality, aiming to help the congregation obey Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3. Below are 5 guidelines that will help in that process.