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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fewer People Are Singing in Church

I have noticed that fewer people sing in church and that it has nothing to do with music styles.

Our church has two services which represent two different music styles. One service has hymns. It is supported instrumentally with a piano and pipe organ. Frequently a flute, trumpet and clarinet add to the singing of the hymns. The other service has the music played on the local Christian radio stations. The instruments are lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, drums, violins, keyboard and mandolin. The styles are not the problem. Many people have just stopped singing.

Is this a reflection of our society or our faith? After all, we no longer sing the National Anthem at sporting events. No, we get a rock star to ruin the words! (The only song we regularly sing is "Take Me Out to the Ballgame.") Are we developing a audience mentality in just about everything we do?

Many people no longer mow their own grass, clean their own houses, change the oil in their cars or even wash their own cars anymore. People are hired to do all of this. They simply pass over their credit cards.

Could this be the results of watching television for generations? I have heard that a person burns more calories sleeping than watching television. Television encourages passivity. Even the worst of news is hardly cause enough to get up from the couch.

Isn't it funny that we blame McDonald's for obesity when our grandparents who ate nothing that was fat free were never overweight. The difference is that they worked off all those calories they had taken in. I'll admit that Americans take in way too many calories daily but I will also state that they are making no effort to burn off those extra calories either. They don't get out and do. The stay in and don't!

Does the lack of singing reveal a flaw in our worship? The person who sings a solo is generally better than most of the congregation. Have we communicated that these solos are the standard each person must reach in order to sing?

Maybe church has become an activity that people take casually. In other words, they go to church if nothing better comes up. Therefore, they sing casually too. They don't feel compelled to be at church and don't come. They don't feel compelled to sing so they they don't. They don't have the testimonies that these songs portray. Therefore, singing these songs has no meaning.

Actually, it may be all of these reasons that people don't sing. I just don't think it is healthy.

Psalm 30:4 (NIV)
4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name.

Psalm 47:6 (NIV)
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.

Psalm 59:16 (NIV)
16 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

Psalm 89:1 (NIV)
1 I will sing of the LORD's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.

Psalm 101:1 (NIV)
1  I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.

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