singing in church

January 19, 2010

Today, the white elephant is going to copy someone’s entire post, because it so accurately and scarily sums up my thoughts about this. Thank you very much to a “net-friend” at John Mark Ministries.

Another Net-friend’s contribution:

1. It will be a sad day when we stop singing in church and instead accept performances from other people. Singing is a way of participating instead of observing. It is a way of affirming our faith. The words and tunes gently slip into our memories and our souls. It is probably the most important source of knowledge of the Christian faith, even in an age of almost universal literacy. I believe it is one of the ways that the Holy Spirit transforms us. Singing – of any sort – is extremely healthy. To sing well, one has to be aware of one’s own body. To sing well with other people, one has to be aware of what other people are doing – their pitch, timing, etc. Singing is also a way of breaking through people’s inhibitions. When people observe performances, they are reduced to being consumers instead of participants. Part of being counter-cultural, and resisting the slide into consumerism and individualism, is to sing in church. If people are uncomfortable, then lets find hymns and tunes that they are comfortable with. Let’s work out whether they are more comfortable sitting or standing. Let’s do lots of other things that people are comfortable with. But let’s not give up singing.

2. Most of the charismatic and pentecostal churches engage in a lot of singing. It is part of their attraction. As those churches are growing, it is clear that at least some people want churches where people sing.

today’s sermon: giving

November 9, 2009

This blog is getting very preachy, so why stop now?

This is my very own sermon about “giving”. You know, like those encouraging speeches that are given prior to passing around the collection plate (or credit card form) in the mega-churches. Here is my version of the giving speech.

First Bible verse:

“Give to anyone who asks, and if they take what belongs to you, do not demand it back” – Luke 6:30. This leads into the universal golden rule “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” This suggests that giving should follow a request rather than just occur in a willy nilly fashion, making it somehow easier to decide who or when to give something.

Things we can give to others:

– time

– money

– praise

– care

– energy

– possessions

– hospitality

The list is probably endless, think of anything you have ever been given or given to someone else.

Next Bible verse:

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” – Luke 12: 48

Then put the two things together. Think of something you have been blessed with or given abundantly in your life. Maybe you are someone who has been loved extravagantly, or received a lot of praise for something, or you are just filthy rich. You might have been cared for through a long illness, or someone has just given you all their baby clothes. Anything.

The point is, maybe the thing you have been given, you are also expected to give to others. Hand it on down the chain, that sort of thing.

Whatever you are rich in, maybe it’s praise and accolades, maybe it’s love, money, caring or even time. Find someone who has less than you have – and give them that.