I’m a firm believer that the songs used in a worship service should be accessible to the average person. If people cannot sing a particular song because it is too difficult, the range is too wide (high or low), or it is too unfamiliar, it will be a struggle for them to engage their hearts and minds and use the text of the song as a vehicle to praise God. It should be VERY concerning to a worship leader or pastor if the people in attendance are standing as silent spectators instead of active participants during the congregational singing.
In his blog, A Few Grown Men, David Murrow makes these statements:
“It happened again yesterday. I was attending one of those hip, contemporary churches — and almost no one sang. Worshippers stood obediently as the band rocked out, the smoke machine belched and lights flashed. Lyrics were projected on the screen, but almost no one sang them. A few women were trying, but I saw only one male (other than the worship leader) making the attempt.”
“There’s nothing wrong with professionalism and quality in church music. The key is familiarity. People enjoy singing songs they know. How do I know? When that super-hip band performed a hymn, the crowd responded with gusto. People sang. Even the men.”
For all of us with the privilege of leading God’s Church in corporate singing, this is a great reminder. Of course we want to introduce new songs, but, make sure that the majority of songs used on a weekly basis in a corporate worship service are familiar to most of the people.
In the full article, David Murrow goes on to point out several reasons why this is particularly important for men. To read it, CLICK HERE. It is well-worth your time.