Why We Sing in Church

We Sing in Church to Worship God

Why do we sing in church?

by Kathy Brunker, Guest Writer.

Ever wondered why we sing in church?  Here are four good reasons.

1.  Singing has always been part of the life of God’s people

We see examples of this in both the Old and New Testaments:

  • Song of Moses in Exodus 15:1-8
  • Hannah's Song in 1 Samuel 2:1-11
  • Many of the Psalms, for example, Psalm 95
  • Mary's Song in Luke 1:46-56
  • The Elder’s and the Living Creature’s Song in Revelation 5:9-10

2.  Singing is God's word ministry

When we sing at church, we sing God’s word to each other.  Christian hymns and songs contain truths about God, His character, His works, the gospel and many other important biblical themes, that is, they are based on the bible.  (A word of caution: not all Christian songs are biblical, so take special care when selecting songs if you want your church to be singing songs based on the bible.)   When we sing to each other,  it’s like we’re reading the bible to each other, or preaching a sermon to each other.

But it’s even better than that!  Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to remember the words of a song than a paragraph from your favourite novel?  In Exodus 31:19,21a,  God says to Moses:

“Now write down for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites and make them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them……..And when many disasters and difficulties come upon them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants.”

God is telling Moses to write down the words of the covenant between Himself and Israel as a song, to teach it to them and to have them teach it to their children after them.  He does this so that Israel will remember the covenant throughout the generations, and that when they break the covenant this song will testify to their sin and the judgement to follow.

3.  When we sing we strengthen the church

1 Corinthians 14:26 says:

“What then shall we say, brothers?  When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.  All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.”

According to this passage, sharing a hymn at church strengthens the church.  It makes sense that when we sing biblical songs to each other over and over again that we’ll be reminded of important biblical truths, and we’ll build each other up.  No wonder the passage says that we must sing (as well as instruct, etc) for the strengthening of the church.

4.  When we sing we respond to God

Colossians 3:15-17 says:

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

This passage tells us that we are to sing with gratitude in our hearts to God.  Again, as we sing to each other about God and His love for us, or about Jesus’ sacrifice for us, this will prompt us to be thankful.  Who could repeatedly hear of someone’s goodness to them, without overflowing with thankfulness?  So singing helps us to have a thankful heart towards God and respond to Him accordingly.

We sing in church:

  •  as God’s people have throughout the ages;
  • for God to implant His Word in us;
  • to teach and strengthen one another;
  • to respond to God in an appropriate and meaningful way.

About the guest poster:   Kathy Brunker is a soprano.

Note from Tel:  Many years have passed since Martin Luther,  the founder of Protestant Reformation restored congregational singing.  However, it is important to understand that not only what Luther believed about why the congregation should sing, but also, why we have a reason to sing.  Along with Martin Luther's magnificent hymns, we need to consider the hymn text in the service of God's word, how the text and tune relate to each other, the hymn-writers and composers,  and the purpose of hymn singing itself.  Those of us who grew up singing hymns have been so blest with the wonderful music and words that have inspired and strengthened us through the years.

Image Source:   Wiki Commons / Ein Feste Burg

Note:  This post was originally published 6th Dec 2011.

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