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