How To Improve Our Singing (I)
There is no question in the mind of anyone that good congregational singing compliments all the other acts of worship to God in the assembly. Effective congregational singing will improve when every member puts forth the effort necessary to make this improvement. There is no short-cut way to accomplish this. In this article we are going to consider two major points that will help to improve congregational singing. One is tuning the heart. The second is tuning the voice.
Tuning The Heart
Congregational singing will improve when members have the right attitude about scriptural singing. God's people need to be taught they must teach and admonish one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. This is a direct command found in Ephesians 5: 19 and Colossians 3:16. This command is as important as any other command given in God's word. If a child of God refuses to teach and admonish his brethren in song he is guilty of disobedience.
Members in a local church need to be constantly aware that scriptural singing involves singing with "The sprit and understanding" (1 Cor. 14:15) "grace in your hearts" (Col. 3:16) "melody in your heart" (Eph. 5:19) faith in our hearts (Heb. 11:6) love in our hearts (1 Cor. 13:1) and joy in our hearts (Jas. 5:13). We believe that it is a violation of Bible authority to take these things away from the command to sing. Revelation 22:18,19 teaches us that adding to God's word brings a curse, and taking away from God's word will also bring a curse on everyone who is guilty. The apostle Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 11:29 that when one has the wrong attitudes in partaking the Lord's Supper, he is drinking damnation to himself. Wouldn't it follow that if my attitude in singing praises to God is out of harmony with God's will that I would be singing damnation to myself? The heart can't afford to be out of tune with God's will.
We might not be able to help our voice to be in tune, but everyone can do something about his heart. Congregational singing will improve when each member puts his/her heart and soul into every word of every song used in worship. Poor congregational singing, in most cases, is a symptom of a deeper problem. When hearts are filled with faith, hope and love the song service will come to life. According to Revelation 2, the church at Ephesus had lost its first love. I believe the Lord noticed this in their singing. In Revelation 3, the church at Laodicea is accused of being luke-warm. I also believe the Lord noticed that attitude in their singing as well as every other service. Members of the local congregation need to be reminded over and over that they must sing with spirituality to please the Lord and to edify one another. This won't solve all the problems but it will help.
—R. J. Stevens
(PART 2 WILL FOLLOW)