For the last year or so I have visited many many churches, generally to preach, and sometimes to lead the service too. After 20 years of leadership in the local church it’s been a thoroughly interesting and stimulating time to move beyond the ‘confines’ and ‘genuine joy’ of the local church to be a “travelling preacher” (amongst other things!). To view other church situations and see how others do stuff has been a helpful insight and one I have been extremely grateful for.
However, I am disturbed by what I see and experience in a number of ways. Too many to recount in one short blog. But here are a few questions to hopefully get you thinking and reflecting on just one subject!
1. What would churches look like it we chose NOT to sing anything at a Sunday service? How would your church use the time to ‘worship’ without singing? (I am assuming the traditional Sunday service is in view….but the same applies to those experimenting with other forms of church)
2. How much pressure ‘from within’ is there to ‘sing’? – i.e if you didn’t sing for a month, what would happen?
3. How often do we get the balance of the different gender, cultural, traditional and modernistic preferences of those present right? Does this matter?
4. How many hours are spent planning,co-ordinating, rehearsing and delivering ‘songs’? Is it worth it?
5. Are we in danger of ‘singing to please ourselves’ (see Isaiah 58.3)
6. Has the language within sung worship all got just a little too self centred and gooey? And is the language largely irrelevant to our post Christendom culture?
Please don’t get me wrong. I am NOT suggesting that ‘singing’ in worship is wrong, but I am questioning both the dominance and approach.
Or am I just being an old grump??!