An online article by Kenny Lamm lists the following reasons people aren’t singing in worship:
- We don’t know the songs.
- We are singing songs not suitable for congregational singing.
- We are singing in keys too high for the average singer.
- The congregation can’t hear people around them singing.
- Worship services become spectator events, building a performance environment.
- The congregation feels they are not expected to sing.
- We fail to have a common body of hymnody.
- Worship leaders ad lib too much.
- Worship leaders are not connecting with the congregation.
See the article in its entirety at http://blog.ncbaptist.org/renewingworship/2014/06/11/nine-reasons-people-arent-singing-in-worship/.
While all these statements may not describe worship in your church, some very well might. In my denomination #7 is not a problem, unless we’re talking only about “contemporary” worship services.
The opportunity to sing hymns and songs of worship with heartfelt gusto is one of the most important matters on my mind when I enter the sanctuary. When that objective is frustrated, for the reasons above or for any of many other reasons, I become a bit grouchy on the way home!
Conversely, when the hymns and songs, whether familiar or unfamiliar, are joyfully singable, my spirits are lifted! When that happens, I’m actually friendly on the way home!
I’m not a worship leader and never will be. So I can only imagine the challenges such talented and important artists face, week in and week out. That’s why at every opportunity I go out of my way to express appreciation to worship leaders when their work produces the desired result.
In my simple way of thinking, the role of a worship leader is to enhance the worship experience for the people in the pew in order that God is glorified and the faith of the worshipers is assured and strengthened. When that is achieved, people will sing with joyful hearts.
In an amazing way, that’s what happens at Zion Lutheran Church in Walburg, Tex. When a month has five Sundays the fifth Sunday is “Bluegrass Sunday.” Occasionally we have “Gospel Sunday.” Either way, simple, old time, familiar, easy to sing songs and hymns draw people by the droves. These services are easily the most heavily attended non-festival services of the year.
Here’s to celebrating reasons why people are singing in worship! And bringing glory to God in the process! “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150:6)