I love to sing. I grew up going to church and singing with my parents.
I particularly remember singing along with my mother. She said she sang alto. Actually, she could not read a note of music, but she had the innate ability to harmonize with the melody. And so I learned to do the same thing.
Later on, my parents insisted that I take piano lessons, and eventually I played the saxophone in the band for a season. I sang in the youth choir, and even served in two small churches as minister of music while attending college and seminary. I still try my hand at singing from time to time, whether with the radio or in the shower.
Music is very important to the church, and for good reason. The Old Testament is filled with instructions to sing. One of the Old Testament books, Psalms, is nothing more than a hymnbook. And in the New Testament, Paul told the church to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
In too many of our churches, worship has become a point of controversy rather than a point of unity. That is a shame; music in all of its forms can bring glory to God. There are great old hymns like “How Great Thou Art” and “Holy, Holy, Holy” that help us worship the Lord. And then, there are marvelous contemporary songs like “How Great is Our God” and “Forever” that do the same thing.
I do not believe that God spends time thinking, “I wish those people would sing such and such song.” Rather, I believe he is pleased when we lift our voices in praise and worship, no matter the style of song.
Travis, our music minister, reminds me that there will be no need for preaching in heaven. I will be out of a job. But there will be singing, so there will be work for him — and he is right.
Whether you sing in tune or not, may I encourage you to sing with your heart to the Lord. The psalmist wrote, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” God is pleased as we worship him in song. Let us put aside our differences and unite our hearts in worship. That honors God and blesses his children.