Choosing what we sing in Church: What makes for good and effective singing? (Part 4 of 9)

By David Shead

What makes for good and effective singing?

Allow me to suggest five aspects which make for good and effective singing in church.

  1. Good and effective singing in church relies first of all on a clear awareness of what corporate worship is about and what contribution singing can make.
  2. Good and effective singing is singing that helps to bring God’s people together in honouring him, in receiving his word, in prayerfully relying on him and in strengthening each other to serve him.
  3. Good and effective singing in church is singing by the church for the church and in praise of God.
  4. Good and effective singing is not measured by its musical quality or volume or frequency or style; good and effective singing doesn’t have to mean guitar, bass, drums and three professional vocalists (nor does it have to mean organ and robed choir!). In fact (and this is a topic for another occasion), “good music” and “good corporate singing” sadly too often seem to be almost mutually exclusive. Some of the best corporate singing I have ever been part of has been unaccompanied, or very sparsely (acoustically) accompanied, and some of the worst has been in the context of a high quality, highly produced, professional musical “performance”.
  5.  Good and effective singing means the right song at the right time carried in the hearts and on the voices of the congregation to one another and to God (Ephesians 5:19)

For more in this Series:

What is corporate worship? (Part 1 of 9)

Why Sing? (Part 2 of 9)

What is the ‘shape’ of the corporate worship gathering? (Part 3 of 9)

What makes for good and effective singing? (this one)

Five principles for choosing songs (Part 5 of 9)

Choosing Songs – planning (Part 6 of 9)

Choosing Songs – preparation (Part 7 of 9)

Choosing Songs – order (Part 8 of 9)

Choosing New Songs (Part 9 of 9)

 

Choosing what we sing in Church:Why Sing? (Part 2 of 9)

By David Shead

Why sing?

What is the place of singing in corporate worship?

Of all the things we normally do when we gather together for corporate worship (singing, prayer, Bible readings, teaching, etc.), singing is not more worship or more “worshipful” than the other elements. All are equally acts of corporate worship. This is why it’s theologically misleading to refer to the song leader as the “worship leader”.

However, there is a particular and important contribution that singing makes to our corporate worship (just as there is a particular and important contribution that our corporate prayers make, or our instruction from God’s word makes, etc.). What is singing’s particular contribution? Why sing?

There are a number of important reasons:

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Sermon – Whose Slave are You? (Romans 6:1-7:6)

Romans 1-8 Slide

The gospel of free grace – justification by faith apart from works – is not a licence to sin. Our old life of sin was put to death by Jesus’ cross, and we have been given a new life of righteousness by his resurrection. That means we are no longer slaves of sin, yet slaves of God, and so we are to live out our new life, by grace not law. It is unthinkable that a Christian should continue to sin – is that possible?

Read the Bible Text – Romans 6:1-7:6

– David Shead

Choosing what we sing in Church:What is Corporate Worship? (Part 1 of 9)

By David Shead

What is corporate worship?

“Worship” is the word that sums up the whole of life.

“Worship” describes the entire orientation of your life; your attitude of humble submission and service towards the thing or person that you most value in all of existence, whether that’s yourself (or another part of the creation like money, or leisure, etc.), or the true and living God.

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Sermon – Nothing to Fear (Romans 5:1-21)

Romans 1-8 Slide

Hope is a funny word. It’s such a positive thing, and yet it can seem so fragile.

Psychologists tell us that hope is crucial for healthy functioning. People without hope die, while people with hope thrive. We all want something to look forward to; something to live for; a ‘destination’ in life.

And yet, who can predict the future? Life can often seem like little more than a wrecking yard of dashed hopes. What do we really have to live for? Can anyone have any certainty about what’s to come?

The fantastic message of the Bible’s letter to the Romans is that we can! – and not just a vague sense of wishful thinking, but real, grounded, impregnable confidence! – not just for now, but for all eternity!

Read the Bible Text – Romans 5:1-21

Talk Outline – Romans 5

Talk - Romans 5 (PPT Image)

– Ken Noakes

Is Every Christian Called to be an Evangelist? (Part 7 of 7)

Consider Colossians 4:2-6

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.                                                                                           (Colossians 4:2-6)

This is a call to do evangelism, that is, to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

From time to time there is a little bit of discussion among Christian folk about what Paul means here. Is every Christian called to be an ‘evangelist’?

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Can Paul and James be friends?

What does scripture say?

 ‘Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness’ (Genesis 15:6)

When the apostle Paul cites this verse in Roman 4:3 he uses it to make the claim that a person is justified by faith alone.

James in his epistle also cites this verse in James 2:23 yet he used it to suggest that ‘a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

It appears the Paul and James are at odds.

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Sermon – Faith: Sure and Certain

It is one thing to say that you believe in what Jesus had done to save you – it is another step to act on that belief.

James 2:14 asks the question: ‘What good is it brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith, but has no deeds? Can such a faith save them?’.

This third talk on the topic of ‘faith’ looks at faith in action.

Read the Bible Text – Hebrews 12:1-3 James 2:14-26

Talk Outline – Hebrews 12 and James 2

Talk - Hebrews 12 & James 2.gif

– Ken Noakes