“Worship is the opportunity for busy people to touch the eternal, for sinners to glimpse the holy, for broken people to be enfolded in his perfect love. Worship is moving beyond our self-centered lives to meet the one who created us for something better.”
I’ve always liked to sing. As a little girl I’d pretend to be The Little Mermaid in the tub and sing, “Ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah!” That’s translated into my adult life in that you can’t really get me to shut up. One of the most emotionally difficult times for me (and no poking fun at this) is when I have bronchitis during a worship service. I open my mouth, but nothing comes out (or if something does come out, it’s a cough or sandpapery wheeze).
On the other hand there are many people who don’t like to sing. When the music is loud in a worship service they may hum a, “Blessed be the name,” but if it’s a quiet contemplative song, they stand silent. Maybe it’s because they don’t like the sound of their own voice or because they don’t know the song. There are a lot of “maybes,” but the question is, does God want us to sing?
The truth is, I can’t answer that question. I also don’t think it’s a simple yes or no answer. The place to start for us to answer that within the context of our relationship with Christ is with our definition of worship.
Quoting Tara Burke from an article in Relevant Magazine, “The words ‘worship’ and ‘music’ have been tied together so permanently that people think worship time ends when the praise team leaves the stage.” I know you may have heard the phrase, “Worship is more than music, it’s a lifestyle.” This is true, but I’d like to unpack that. Worship is engaging yourself with the Creator. It’s adoration, obedience, faithfulness, passion, and creativity. Worship is intentional and selfless.
I have the tendency to get lost in the music (partly because I want to make sure the right chords are played). When I’m not leading worship and participating in a service, my tendency is to sing every word all the time (I sometimes have to stop myself from singing the Kim Walker “ha-ha’s” in Jesus Culture songs). The downfall is that I sometimes sing just to sing. Not to be heard, but just to sing. I have to constantly remind myself of the deeper meaning behind the melodies and words.
For those that don’t like to sing, there’s the danger of being disengaged with the deeper content as well. When you look at the lyrics, you understand what they mean. However, it’s also important to verbally declare your hope is in the Lord and your love for Him.
Take time to reflect on where you stand as a worship service participator. Pray and ask God to give you the capacity to be engaged in worship.