Why do we sing songs at church? Ask people and the answers will vary wildly: to worship God; to praise God; because we love Jesus; because the church makes us sing… Interestingly enough, I can’t ever remember hearing what I feel is the best answer. We sing in church because the Bible tells us to sing.
The Bible tells us over and over to sing songs to the Lord (Ps 96:1; Ps 147:7; Ps 149:1; Jeremiah 20:13; 1 Chronicles 16:23; Isaiah 42:10; and more). It tells us to sing together and to sing to each other (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16). The Bible also tells us that those who are faithful in little things will be given bigger responsibilities (Luke 16:10; Matthew 25:23). I’m looking forward to the bigger worship responsibilities we get AFTER faithfully singing.
Good music is not the kind of worship that God seeks. Even the deepest and most biblically sound lyrics fall short of the glory of God. Real worship is surrendering our lives to His will and devoting our time to serving His Kingdom. Real worship begins with humbly obeying the Word of God. “To obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22). “If you love me, obey my commands” (John 14:15). We are told to sing, so we sing.
While we cannot fully praise Him through singing songs of worship, when our singing flows out of hearts full of love for Him, He graciously accepts our praises and uses our times of corporate worship to build His Kingdom.