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The Power of Corporate Worship: Why Singing Together Strengthens the Church

The Power of Corporate Worship: Why Singing Together Strengthens the Church

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My wife and I have recently been reading through a book entitled "Sing!: How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church" by Keith and Kristyn Getty. It's been a refreshing and rejuvenating experience that I hope to bring to the rest of our church's worship team. There were a few things that I would like to draw out from the book over a couple of articles and encourage all of us to engage with our corporate worship times with a little more earnestness, intentionality, and heart. And I think an appropriate place to start is to answer the question: "Why is it important to sing together as a church body?"

The Divine Command: Singing in Scripture

The first reason for us to sing is that it's a commandment for God's people to sing. Commanded over 50 times in the Bible, the people of God are commanded to commemorate our Heavenly Father's amazing love and grace in the form of a song. The entirety of Psalm 96 is an appeal to sing, starting with the command: 

Sing a new song to the Lord!
    Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Sing to the Lord; praise his name.
    Each day, proclaim the good news that he saves.
Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
   Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. 
Psalm 96:1-3 NLT

We also see that this wasn't just an Old Testament commandment but one that Paul picks up for the early church in Ephesians: 

"Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts." - Ephesians 5:18-19 NLT

We see this command emulated for us by people like Moses, David, Deborah, Hannah, Miriam, Jehoshaphat, Paul and Silas, and even Christ himself in his final moments at the Passover table. 

The Spiritual Nourishment of Singing

The second reason it's crucial to sing as a Church is because singing truth can nourish and imprint truth in our souls. It is unlikely anyone has ever gotten Newton's First Law of Thermodynamics stuck in their head and been unable to get it out. However, we have all gotten a petty jingle or children's song lodged in our brains without any hope of getting it out. Something about our physiology is designed to engage with music, and we often remember what we sing whether or not we actually want to. This phenomenon hasn’t gone unnoticed by corporations and marketing firms, which have exploited it for years. And thankfully, so has the Church. We must saturate ourselves and our congregations with truth. To sing words that challenge, stretch, and encourage us in our walk.

Encouragement Through Song: The Church's Role

Finally, while there are many more reasons to engage in congregational singing, it's crucial to sing as a Church because we encourage and lift our brothers and sisters in truth that they may be unable to engage with. This truth is poignantly illustrated by an experience within our church community after a family in our church had lost a child. About a year later, we were sitting in a prayer meeting, and the father shared that since they had lost their child, he had been unable to sing any of the songs that we were singing at our services because the truth was too painful. Yet despite that pain, he shared that he was still strengthened by the church singing those ancient truths about our good Father on his behalf. When we engage in corporate worship, we speak and remind each other of things we are prone to forget or may not believe in a season of darkness.

Conclusion

As we lead the Body of Christ into deeper levels of corporate worship, let us pay attention to the power and importance of singing together. It's not merely a traditional practice but a divine command that holds the potential to transform lives, strengthen communities, and bring us closer to God. May our voices rise in harmony, carrying the truths of our faith into the hearts of all who hear. May we all be strengthened in leading the Body of Christ into corporate singing. May we not neglect what God has called us to. May we sing the truth that sustains and feeds us as we engage in the dark world. May we strengthen our brothers and sisters when their voices are too weak to cry out, and may we be strengthened in our own desperation.


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