Sing Unto the Lord


"Great singing everyone."
September 22, 2007, 9:37 pm
Filed under: Thinking Music


We have all seen it happen. For many of us it is just second nature so we don’t even bat an eyelid. We have come together and sung a song that clearly expresses the joy we have in our hearts to God. The song reminds us of our sin and depravity and we are moved. It also reminds us of the hope we have in God’s grace and this lifts our hearts. The final verse is belted out in thanksgiving and joy and as the final chord is played the leader holds up the microphone and says…
“great singing everyone.”
No prayer of thanksgiving. No final reminder of the awesome stuff we have been singing about. Not even a moment or two of silence so that we can chew over what we sung and felt. Rather it is a banal, cheery, well done to all.
Good on you for singing. You are good at it. Now sit down.
I don’t know where this has come from – whether it is a reaction to emotionalism or whether the song leader is not trusted to say anything. Perhaps the song leader wasn’t really singing to God but rather just listening to hear if you were.
I think that this comment does more damage than silence. It teaches people that their singing is all about them and putting on a good sing. It ignores God and it ignores the real affections that singing can produce in people’s hearts. It rewards people as if it is a job well done rather than recognizing the spirits work in teaching people God’s word and showing fruit through joy and affection.
Please just take a moment or two before you say anything and don’t be so keen to save the music from being about God and delighting in him.

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7 Comments so far
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while i think that the comment is a bit trite…

i don’t agree with much of what you’ve said. i think it wise to think through what is said… but i think it’s simply a way of encouraging people. couldn’t ‘great singing everyone’ simply be shorthand for ‘wow that was so encouraging to sing with you all to our great and awesome King… praise God’?

Please just take a moment or two before you say anything and don’t be so keen to save the music from being about God and delighting in him.

i don’t think that the statement takes away from this… and also don’t forget that there is a horizontal aspect of our singing that’s thoroughly biblical.

Comment by David

Perhaps if what you mean is ‘it was so encouraging to sing with you all to our great and awesome King…Praise God!’ then that is what you should say.
Great singing everyone just sounds like we are in choir practise.
I agree about the horizontal aspect of singing but part of the singing to one another is to point each other to God.

Comment by Dan

if you are talking about the context i think you are talking about Dan then i am sure that nerves had a lot to do with ‘trite’ comments at the end of songs. Be gracious brother… good song leading is not hard to do but not many people have been taught to do it.

Comment by sam

Thanks for the gentle reminder to be gracious Sam. I agree nerves were a factor on this occasion. However I have seen this occur in various contexts from a variety of song leaders. I think that it is a bit of a trend.

Comment by Dan

yes it is a bit of a trend. However, when i see it happening at my church i have to remind myself that tat is fundamentally my fault. it means i haven’t spent time with them training them how to lead music properly. It generally happens on those horrible weeks when the whole music team seem to evacuate Newcastle on the same weekend (like the last 2 weeks – they’ve all been away on holidays or conferences or…). It’s tops that there are gifted guys like you around who can teach people how to do song leading. Maybe one day next year you can run a workshop on it for our song leaders? Part of your MTS thingy!

Comment by sam

There is a possibility that we may do a conference of our own next year but its a bit hush hush. Just between the two of us.

Comment by Dan

yeah dan – i know what you are talking about! i think it does often make the congregation swiftly take there mind off what they’ve just shared together (as in – “ok, thats enough worshipping our god through song. now sit down and lets do all the stuff that ‘really counts’.”) we should hold importance of our time together in song/praise/worship. I think this form of MC-ing can belittle the time of singing.

Comment by ames




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