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Church Music?

Photo Credit: GraphicStock
Photo Credit: GraphicStock

After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. - Matthew 26:30 NASB

So why do we sing in church?

Does the singing of songs – hymns – worship music – serve any purpose?

Do we do it because we always have?

Is there some purpose for the songs we sing?

I know that not everyone get’s the 'why' behind church music. I am sure that many of those ‘doing’ the church music don’t even get the real reason behind such traditions.

I worked with a man once who was a singer. He heard me whistling the tune of some wonderful old hymn and asked me if I was a ___________ (fill in name of denomination here – I forget which one he named.) I replied with some self-righteous retort like – no just a Christian.

I found out that he sang in a church choir, and found that interesting because I had been singing in church choirs for decades, but this man was not, as far as I could see, a Christian. (Thankfully it’s not my job to actually decide such thing, or I would be in a heap of trouble.) After a bit of conversation – comparing notes about what parts we sing and musical preferences he said “You should come audition. The pay is good for a Sunday morning’s work.”

Then it dawned on me. He was a paid choir member for a church that wanted really great choir music to adorn their beautiful building and lovely meetings.

Hey – don’t get me wrong – I am not against paid staff in a church setting, and folks who serve the Lord in our midst getting paid to do it – not at all.

But when I hear of a paid choir, made up of folks who have no more interest in God than – hmmm – better not say that or I will be apologizing again – well – than these people singing in the choir – some of whom don’t even know God – they are not part of the body of Christ in that congregation. They sing passionately because they are paid to. Their only connection to the church is on a W2 or 1099.

They, these churches, these folks, are missing the point and purpose of music in church.

King David was a singer. He learned that music and lyrics that praised and adored God were keys for a sinful man when trying to gain access to a holy God.

Check out this old familiar Psalm:

A Psalm for Thanksgiving.

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
Serve the LORD with gladness;

Come before Him with joyful singing.

Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him,
bless His name.

For the LORD is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.

Psalms 100 – NASB

Right in the midst of all this great advice, we have a few instructions on how to approach the presence of the Lord

Come before Him with joyful singing.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.

As we approach him, singing to Him – singing praises to Him – He opens the gates, allows us into His courts.

In another place David says of the Lord

Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. - Psalms 22:3 NASB

The KJV uses the phrase “inhabit the praises.

Understand that God is drawn to praise, God is attracted to thanksgiving, He dwells in our joyful shouting. [Tweet This]

Oh believe me, you can’t fake this – it’s not like you can utter sweet and empty lies, or you will hear the voice of Jesus:


So today – stir yourself up, command your soul like David did:

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. - Psalms 103:1 NASB

There is more to the reason - come back tomorrow for another reason for music in church - but for now...

BN Writers Page 150Thanks for stopping in.

See you again soon.


10 thoughts on “Church Music?

  1. Morgan

    Beautiful. Yes, I couldn't imagine Praising without Music , for me it serves a HUGE Purpose 😉

    ~Blessings of Inspiration~ This Day ~ Every Day ~

  2. Felecia

    I can't imagine paid choir members ... is the term "Pharisiacal" too harsh here? Or too judgmental? The "look" of praise and worship over actual, heartfelt, Holy Spirit-inspired praise and worship? Can't wait for tomorrow..

  3. Sue C.

    I never knew and I find hiring choir members very disturbing. If my church did that I would leave. It tells me their priorities are not where they should be. Thank you for making me more aware.

  4. Pattie Porzio

    Love this Ben. Jerusalem My Destiny and He Reigns are two of my favorites. When I hear them or sing them I feel a great joy I do with all HIS songs but these especially(:(:

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Ben Nelson

      You can actually sense His presence when you praise Him. One of my favorite activities.

      thanks for stopping in, and i see you got the comments working! Bless you Pattie.

  5. Pingback: Church Music, the Sequel | Another Red Letter Day

  6. ektoukosmou

    Just because some one is paid to sing in church doesn't mean " they are not part of the body of Christ in that congregation." Getting paid or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is if that singer is helping someone (himself/herself and/or others) worship God.

    1. Ben Nelson

      so true - no dispute here - in fact i mention i have not problem with folks paid in service of the body - but this was not the case in my anecdote - no matter though - the truth is what is in your heart as you offer your offering to the Father.

      thanks for bringing clarity to my overly judgmental rant.


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