Singing SimplyPosted: January 27, 2015
Since I started this blog back in 2009 a typical blog post would be one in which I share a specific song. However I’ve decided to here and there share some of my musings on a particular topic that has to do with worship ministry or the creative arts. (I might share some songs that relate to that thought as well.) There are things I’m always learning, evolving in my thoughts with, so I’m thinking that sharing some of those things along the way might be good for me, might encourage others, and I certainly welcome a discussion –if you have thoughts, please add comments below! Today I wanted to share a thought about “singing simply.”
I enjoy big production church. You may have seen me leading singing with full band, worship choir, high-end lighting and sound. That stuff is fun. But an equally dear to my heart is singing with a small group. Simple, unplugged, either a capella or with very simple instrumentation. There are lots of churches out there that put on amazing, concert-level stage presentations. But that’s not why we gather. We come together to sing “to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19). Even with big church production I am wanting to make sure I can always hear the voices of the brothers and sisters (I’ll write more about some of my experiences with that on a future date).
With many of our churches adding new contemporary Christian songs, worship bands, bright lights and high amperage, I feel the need to never lose the simple, house-church-level singing. We have a tradition in our group of doing house church services on Super Bowl Sunday that people invite their friends to. I was putting through a song sheet for all our house church leaders to use, and it made me think we need more simple songs that are easy for “unskilled and ordinary” godly people to sing together.
You know what I mean. At a baptism, at a staff meeting, at a family group leaders’ get-together, small group prayer time… what songs do you sing? What if the super-talented song leader is not there? What if there is no worship band? Is there a new song you’ve introduced lately that works on that level, or are they all old ones?
Love to hear any of your thoughts. Writing songs like that, that were deliberately simple had been a real passion of mine, but I confess I hadn’t been as focused on it in recent years. I felt like the Holy Spirit convicted me and I’m committed to writing 4 or 5 new simple songs this year, hold me to it!