Singing For an Audience of One

Worship is more than singing on Sunday mornings – it is something you do all day, everyday, in everything you do and every attitude in which you do it. Our whole lives are offerings to God, whether it is in a formal church setting or not. That said, musical worship is still really important stuff. The Bible is full of commands to sing praises to God. Here are just a few:

  • Ephesians 5:19 “…addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart…”
  • Psalm 100:1-2 “Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! [2] Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!”
  • Psalm 95:1-2 “Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! [2] Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!”
  • James 5:13 “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.”

These are the Biblical grounds for singing in church. The one thing that is common among them all is that our praise is directed at God. This is obvious, I know, but we should keep it in mind for a few reasons.

Reason 1 – We tend to worry about what others will think of us.

Our worship is hindered when we worry if we look foolish singing or raising our hands. If that’s our thinking, we are not really focused on God. I will say that we should still be considerate of others around us, seeking not to be an unnecessary distraction. But Jesus needs to be where our attention is planted.

Reason 2 – The worship team is usually in sight.

The majority of churches that I have seen have worship leaders up front. These people are obviously not the objects of our worship, but I’ll admit that thinking of Jesus when you may be looking at someone else is a strange thing. A lot of us follow the words on the screen or in the hymnal, but once you have been in church for a long time, you memorize a lot of songs. Eyes wander. I would encourage you to really focus on the meaning of the words you are singing. If you really engage the song, you will be less distracted by the people and visuals around you and are more likely to remember that you are actually singing to Someone.

Reason 3 – Music leaders aren’t performers, they are orchestra leaders

Being a worship leader is a tough gig. On one hand, you want to worship passionately for yourself and lead by example for others, while trying also not to be a distraction or glory hog. It’s not easy to face a crowd of people, yet not be performing for them. Your job is to lead them into worship, like an orchestra leader directs the performance. Everyone in the room who is singing or playing an instrument is ultimately doing it for an audience of One.

Just some things to keep in mind for this Sunday.

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