We have seen that the heart attitude of the participants in congregational singing is the most important matter. If the heart attitude of the participants is not right before God, it really does not matter what else is right with the singing and playing of the Praise Team and the singing of the congregation. If the primary audience of our singing is not pleased, what is the point of our singing?
Having said this, we should not understand this to mean that heart attitude is the only matter of importance in congregational singing.
The act of worship originates in the heart of the worshiper, but it is the music, the songs and the singing, that are the vehicle by means of which the worshiping congregation offers their praise to God. This process of transmission of our worship to God can be impacted positively and negatively in a number of ways.
What are some of these tangible ways that may impact the transmission of our heart worship to God in song?
Well, there is the song itself – for example, is it singable? Not all songs are equally singable.
There is the content of the song – do the words make sense to the worshiper? Are the words expressing thoughts and ideas that are consistent with the truths of our great salvation, and with who God is and what he has done? Do they express what is in a worshiper’s heart?
There is the speed of the music – is the song being sung so fast that it is hard to even realize what the words are saying? In other words, is the worshiper unable to formulate thoughts in his/her mind because of the speed in which the words whiz by the worshiper? Or are the songs being sung so slowly, that the worshiper is distracted from the words?
Is the rhythm too difficult for most of the worshipers? Is the beat being kept?
What is the role of the instruments of the Praise Team? Is the way the instruments are being used serving to underline and lend support to the message of the song or is it serving as a distraction from the content of the song?
All of these issues are matters of importance. They are important because they affect the process of the transmission of the worship of the congregation to God. With time, I hope to look at some, or all of the factors mentioned, in order to examine more closely what bearing each of them has on the singing congregation.
No doubt there will be differences of opinion about what constitutes an aid or a hindrance to worship. My hope is that at least some of the things I am saying will resonate with the reader, and that he/she will find in them something worth considering or even adopting.