Why Your Church Doesn’t Sing… and What You Can Do To Fix It (Part 1)

You’ve prayed. You’re prepared. The band is fine-tuned. The sound is dialed in. You’re ready to lead your congregation to lift up their voices and sing praise to God.

There’s just one problem. They won’t sing!

Every worship leader has been there, and according to recent trends, most of us find ourselves there almost every week in our churches.  People just don’t sing like they used to.

There are plenty of reasons for this:

    •    The loss of music programs in schools
    •    The loss of singing in public (outside of the 7th inning stretch that is)
    •    The loss of singing at home (before TV and Facebook this is what families did)

In general, people just don’t sing much in public anymore. Unfortunately there’s probably not much you can do about those three.  But there are some things that we CAN and MUST do to help our congregations engage in congregational singing…


Recently in the Worship Leader Gold Network Monthly Leadership and Strategy Call I talked about this topic of congregational singing and taught 7 important lessons from John Wesley for how to encourage your congregation to sing.

Gain access to that Leadership Session and instantly receive $813.20 in FREE Bonus resources when you join Worship Leader Gold TODAY!  Plus, receive additional coaching sessions, dozens of Ministry and Leadership Book summaries, and much, much more in your personalized Worship Leader Gold Hub. Click here to learn more and sign up today.

You see — I believe that the church is facing a crisis in the decline of congregational singing.  And believe it or not this is an OLD problem… 15th and 16th Century “old”.

Remember – before the Reformation in 1517 the congregation did not sing. Singing wasn’t a big part of the weekly mass, and music at the high masses was so complicated that only professional musicians and choirs could take part.

However, with the dawn of The Reformation new songs were written in the language of the people. For the first time in ages, church music was singable again and became a regular part of the weekly worship service.

Over the next 490 years through the influence of Isaac Watts, The Great Awakening, John and Charles Wesley, the introduction of printed hymnals, Fannie Crosby, Ira Sankey, The Jesus Movement and more, congregational singing thrived and became as much a part of church worship as preaching!

So, why today are we seeing the sudden shift back to the pre-Reformation days of little to no singing? And what can you do about it in your church?

Over the next 3 weeks we’ll look at the causes of this decline, what you may be doing in your church that’s keeping people from singing, and how to fix it.

But first let’s talk about why congregational singing is so vital to the life of your church (I know… I’m preaching to the choir, but stick with me!).
Dwight Moody, when asked about the important role of singing, said, “If we can only get people to have the words of the Love of God coming from their mouths it’s well on its way to residing in their hearts.”

Congregational singing — the joining of Christian brothers and sisters in singing God’s praises — is a necessary part of our churches.  It was an important element of the early church.  It reinforces Biblical teaching, binds a congregation together, stays in our hearts and minds long after the service has finished, and moves us in ways that words alone cannot. It’s something that God created us for and something that we will do for all eternity in heaven.

So, where do we begin to solve this puzzle?  Here are 3 things you can do to get started this week:

  • Honestly evaluate the worship at your church and ask, “What is keeping people from singing at our church?”
  • Write down every idea that comes to mind (sound, quality, leadership, song selection, etc.) and prayerfully consider what you could change to help your congregation sing.
  • Ask your pastor to answer this question as well (you’ll probably be surprised at his insights).

Then don’t miss next week’s article as we talk about the first obstacle to congregational singing.  By the way… it’s most likely happening in your church!

More to come next week…

Your partner in ministry,signature

PS  – Test-drive my brand-new coaching network this month and receive complete access to the Seven Ways to Help Your Congregation Sing (Lessons from John Wesley)” leadership talk.


Plus – receive one additional Coaching Session, two Equipping Interviews, over $813.20 in FREE bonus resources immediately, plus much, much more (see below for the exhaustive list of what you’ll receive in this new Coaching Network) when you join Worship Leader Gold today!


Worship Leader Gold is all about helping you develop a healthy and growing personal life (spiritual, family boundaries, physical) and ministry life (worship team systems, best practices, latest learnings). Believe it or not… you can have both!


When you join this monthly mentorship network THIS WEEK, you will instantly gain access to:


At the heart of the network is a monthly update and briefing from me via LIVE Conference Call. This monthly “pastor to pastor” call (which will be recorded on MP3 for your library) will be a personal, practical, packed-with-content training where I will challenge you, enlighten you, equip you and guide you to maximize your next season of ministry.

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2) Monthly Equipping Interview/Conference Call – with me, Nelson Searcy, one of our mentors, a noted author or ministry leader – previous interviews include Steve Stroope, Larry Osborne, Patrick Lencioni, Tim Stevens and more. Listen live when you can, and you’ll receive an MP3 recording each month ($195.00 per month value).


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10) Continually Updated WORSHIP LEADER GOLD RESOURCE DOCUMENTS AND DIRECTORY ($399.00 per month value). If there’s a document that we use at The Journey or that is shared by someone else in the network (and I think its helpful) I’ll share it with you.


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But the network is far more than just the resources you receive. The focus this network provides for your ministry and the ideas and insights in your life are simply priceless.

Are you ready to become a member of this exclusive Worship Leader Gold mentoring network?

** Yes Jason, let me in NOW. I’m ready to join Worship Leader Gold and receive my FREE copy of the “Seven Ways to Help Your Congregation Sing (Lessons from John Wesley)” leadership talk (just $99 per month – that’s ONE THIRD the monthly investment of a regular coaching network). But hurry… this is a limited time offer. Join today! **


TUESDAY MORNING INSIGHTS is Jason Hatley’s free weekly training resource specifically designed to provide you as a worship leader with proven principles, tips and practices to help you lead a healthy and thriving Worship Arts Team.