Monthly Archives: September 2010
A couple of weeks ago I had the great experience of being swept up into the singing at church. “What?” I hear you ask. “You don’t get ‘swept up’ every Sunday?” Well…no. To be perfectly honest I don’t!
Now for some of you this will come as a shock – and for a few of you I will go down a couple of notches on your ‘spiritual gauge’; but ultimately I have become quite settled with the fact that not every Sunday service is a ‘heaven touching earth’ experience. In fact I have come to understand that the times that I do feel God in a tangible way are the exception, and not the rule – more on this in my next post!
On the Sunday that I refer to it wasn’t even that I was getting goose bumps, or seeing tongues of fire on my fellow worshipper’s heads. What lifted me to a heightened sense of God’s presence was hearing my voice join with those around me as we sung about God’s majesty and awesome power. In this single moment I was also aware that our voices, only about 50 in total, had joined with the heavenly hosts in the continual declaration of God’s greatness (Rev. 5).
Sadly, I don’t always recall the corporate aspect of our worship. I, like many western Christians, have been lulled into a desensitised state that all too often alienates me from the very community to which I have been accepted. Constance M. Cherry (2010) in her recent book The Worship Architect furthers this thought when she writes,
“We have been indoctrinated to think that we are individual worshipers who happen to form the constituency of a local congregation. We have mistakenly viewed our weekly worship as an opportunity for each person to pray individually to God, to hear the word individually, and to respond individually” (p. 13).
Guilty as charged.
This is the wonderful thing about singing in church. We do it together – at the same time. The act of singing in church is unlike any other activity of our corporate worship. Even when we pray in our services, one person speaks and the rest listen, whereas with our singing we participate simultaneously. What a magnificent gift God has given us. Bob Rognlien (2005) suggests “There is nothing that quite compares with singing a meaningful worship song to God” (p. 133). Moreover, there is nothing that quite compares to singing a meaningful worship song to God together!
I would love to hear about your experiences. Leave a comment about the times when you have become aware of your voice joining with the congregational voice to declare God’s goodness.
Cherry, C. M. (2010). The worship architect: A blueprint for designing culturally relevant and biblically faithful services. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Rognlien, B. (2005). Experiential worship: Encountering God with heart, soul, mind & strength. Canada: NavPress.