The lady in front of me at church last night, turned around and said I needed to be in the choir. Nope…the choir is not for me. I sat by the choir for many years, playing the piano and, if forced to, I still sit there. Every choir needs an audience and that is me.
However, lately, in large gatherings of worship, I’ve noticed that the worship time of the program really wasn’t a worship time at all. It was a concert and I was the audience. The music was so loud that I couldn’t hear myself sing or even the person next to me. We were encouraged to follow along with words on the screen above the performers, but really they were there more for us to know what they were singing not for us to sing along.
I’ve stood quiet in worship services like this too many times. It was beginning to bother me. Then I was invited to the Grand Ole Opry to hear Keith & Kristyn Getty….no, not just to hear, but to participate in a night of worship with about 5000 people.
It was amazing!
My dad and I are on the front row, in the right hand corner of this photo (I found the photo in a on-line news article). He can’t hear well, and he was concerned we were too close to the stage, so close that all we would hear would be the music and not the voices. Oh, but we heard the voices, 5000 voices raised in worship. It was beautiful!
I had received my copy of the Getty’s book, Sing!, just that morning in the mail to do this review. I started a quick read through, but was stopped by something in the introduction.
(Okay…you know the book is going to be good when you are highlighted the introduction!)
While describing conversations about worship in the church at conferences, they write:
Over time, we noticed the attendees would ask thoughtful questions about song style, song choice, songwriting, production, relationship, training, sound, and so on – but there was one question we were rarely, if ever, hearing as they reflected on their own churches: “How did the congregation sing?” The congregations’ singing did not appear to be a key factor, let alone the primary one, in determining how well the music in a worship service had gone.
I read that and knew, this book was going to be talking about exactly what I had been noticing in my worship experiences. Even the very next paragraph touched home: why people don’t sing in church….”because someone who once stood beside you is not there anymore”. Man, I’ve stopped singing so many times because I could still hear my mother’s voice next me and then realized it was my own.
I had never thought about all the books we have to help us improve our worship through bible study, prayers, and acts of service & evangelism, but not as many books on improving our worship through music and yet music triggers more emotions and memories than just about anything.
Jesus sang – “As He walked toward His arrest, Jesus sang. In the depths and heights of His passion, Jesus sang.” Matthew 26:30
So many little nuggets of insight like this.
Each chapter ends with some discussion question for personal reflections and at the end of the books there are questions/checklists for certain leaders in the church. It’s not a very long book, only 147 pages, however it’s full of wisdom.
I look forward to passing it to our worship leader and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to improve your worship through music.