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Oct 19, 2017
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20 Truths from "Sing!"

When we sing we witness to the people in our church who are yet to believe |

Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church

We are a singing people because it is how God has created us. It’s what we do. And when we do, we’re simply joining in with what the rest of the creation is doing. (8)

God has formed our hearts to be moved with depth of feeling and a whole range of emotion as the melody-carried texts sink in. Singing praise reaches your whole person—body moving, mind awake, heart moved, by the truth of Who God is and Whose we are. (8)

The true beauty of such a congregational choir is that our voices and our hearts are knit together in praise. It is exhilarating to be part of a body of believers breathing Truth together, harmonizing (however imperfectly) the message of the gospel together for the world to hear. (9)

Your voice may not be of professional standard, but it is of confessional standard. (9)

Singing together organizes notes and words in beautiful ways to shine God’s dazzling truths into the relativistic grays of our culture. We have been told the greatest story and been given the ability to retell it—to sing as well as to speak it to others in a way that they can understand too. (11)

We are created to sing because it leads us joyfully to the great Singer, Creator of the heavens and the earth. Our singing should sound like Him, look like Him, lead our hearts to Him. When the Psalmist sings ‘I lift my eyes up to the hills, where does my help come from?’ (Psalm 21) his help does not come from the hills but He who made the hills. (12)

It is hard—impossible, in fact—to sing what you are excited about in your spirit and grateful for in your heart in a way that is tepid, tentative and withdrawn. Deeply felt thankfulness produces a sound from our voices that is robust and enthusiastic (16)

Our motivation to sing comes from so much more than ourselves—our likes, our comfort levels, our musical tastes and preferences. Intrinsically it’s driven by the One who died and was raised. (18)

Singing gives voice to a heart that deeply knows the gospel of grace. (23)

Our true joy is squeezed out if the content of our singing becomes too bookended by the short stretch of our life on earth. We need our singing to be filled with the unending story of the hope of heaven and its very real presence through the moments of everyday life. (30)

Like sweetest honey one of the ways we ‘taste’ the Word is to sing it for ourselves with others. Our instructions, our stories, the things we love travel deeper inside our children when we sing it and not just speak it to them. (36)

While our faith must be taught, it is also caught in our homes, through what our kids see and hear from us. And singing is catchy. So sing with your kids. You don’t need to be able to sing well. Our singing always remains more important than the sound it makes. (37)

These ‘at home’ experiences are foundational spaces for the singing we do from Sunday to Sunday. It links our personal homes with our church home, training this generation how to one day sing with their children. It helps prepare our kids and us for our eternal home when all the families of the world will join in praise of the Savior. (39)

When we sing together as the Church we are showing how we are a congregation of living stones. Our singing is an audible expression of the bonds we share, testifying to the life that lies within these stones, the song echoing through the house God is building. We are cut from the same elements of faith, united in one Lord, filled by one Spirit, in one Church, as we offer a sacrifice of praise to Him. We are being chiseled and refined through our singing, just as we are through every aspect of our lives. And music is a gift to us, for we are being forged together through our singing together. (43)

Biblically rich content in songs, sung by people who look like they mean what they are saying, helps teach the gospel as something that is credible and powerful rather than cultural and optional. (46-47)

When we sing we witness to the people in our church who are yet to believe—to the unsaved spouse, to the cynical teen, to the intrigued friend. We witness to the outsider stepping through the door of a church and even, through the sound we make, through the outsider walking past the door of a church. The sight and sound of a congregation singing praise to God together is a radical witness in a culture that rejects God and embraces individualism. Our songs are the public manifesto of what we believe. (49)

Since that Acts church, times of great church renewal and revival have been accompanied by (and, we might say, spurred on by) churches singing. As we’ve already seen, Luther and the Reformers inspired and enabled their congregations to sing together in their own language, in words that they and the people around them could understand. It was revolutionary. (51)

The point is this: being vague and gospel-lite in congregational songs is not the way to be ‘seeker friendly.’ Communicating the gospel in a way that informs the mind and engages the emotions is. The gospel is the church’s central lyrical distinctive. We should not be shy about that. (52-53)

Our singing is not just a gathering for our own family. The doors are open, there is plenty more room at the table, and there is more than enough food for everyone who is hungry. We are always on mission, it is urgent and the window of opportunity is fleeting. Your singing on Sunday will bear witness to the Savior of the world and fuel your witness through the week to the Savior of the world. (54)

The songs we sing together are lifelines that draw each of us back to the heart of the King we serve and to the priorities of the kingdom we are members of. The songs we sing to ourselves are what tether us to our Lord day by day. The songs we sing to others are what proclaim his kingdom manifesto in a way that reaches deep into their heads and their hearts. (56)

Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College, is executive director of the Billy Graham Center, and publishes church leadership resources through Mission Group.

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Posted:October 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm

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20 Truths from "Sing!"