Keith & Kristyn Getty – My Worth Is Not In What I Own (Lyric Video)


Modernized Hymns: Hymns, or Contemporary Songs with Old Words?

Why We Need to Sing in Worship Even When We Don’t Know—or Like—the Song

Mark Lowry – Jesus Laughing (Live) with The Martins

Reflections on “What Can Miserable Christians Sing?”

~ Trueman

Of all the things I have written, my little essay, “What Can Miserable Christians Sing?” has provided me with so many delightful surprises over the years.[1] I wrote it in about 45 minutes one afternoon, infuriated by some superficial comment about worship I had heard but which I have long since forgotten. And yet this little piece which took minimal time and energy to author has garnered more positive responses and more touching correspondence than anything else I have ever written. It resonated with people across the Christian spectrum, people from all different church backgrounds who had one thing in common: the understanding that life has a sad, melancholy, painful dimension which is too often ignored and sometimes even denied in our churches.

The article was intended to highlight what I saw as a major deficiency in Christian worship, a deficiency that is evident in both traditional and contemporary approaches: the absence of the language of lament. The Psalms, the Bible’s own hymnbook, contains many notes of lamentation, reflecting the nature of the believer’s life in a fallen world. And yet these cries of pain are on the whole absent from hymns and praise songs. The question that formed the article’s title was thus a genuine one: what is it in the hymnody of your church that can be sung honestly by the woman who has just lost her baby, the husband who has just lost his wife, the child who has just lost a parent, when they come to church on Sunday? The answer, I suggested, was the Psalms, for in them one finds divinely inspired words which allow the believer to express their deepest pains and sorrows to God.

Would I write it differently today? Not in terms of substance. If anything, I would broaden its application since I believe that its message is more important now than it was at the time of composition.



10 Worship Songs We Should Stop Singing

Hmm – Do I even think about what I sing? Some songs have words that I cannot figure out, too. At least, this will get one thinking.

Sing Your Heart Out at Church (Even If You Hate the Music)

When it comes to church worship music, I have particular tastes. I’m a millennial, but I love church pipe organs and classical music. I prefer Victorian hymns and Stuart Townend songs over Hillsong and Bethel. I dislike “modern renditions” of old hymns, where the melody is slightly tweaked or a new chorus is added in between original verses. A simple piano, organ, or acoustic guitar accompaniment to “Be Thou My Vision” will do just fine; an EDM version of it sends me for earplugs.

I like to hear the voices of the congregation singing; I like choirs and four-part harmonies; I like Isaac Watts, Fanny Crosby, and a bellowing Bach toccata for an organ postlude

But none of these things is present in my current church on a Sunday morning. And that’s okay. I’m learning to sing my heart out anyway.

Different Preferences, Same God

The worship at my current church has been hard for me. It’s louder, newer, more electric than I like; it’s much more charismatic than I’m used to. At least half the congregation raises their hands throughout the 30-minute singing time on Sundays, and often people are dancing and clapping and moving their bodies in emotionally expressive ways.

All of this was far from my comfort zone when I started attending the church five years ago, and to some extent it’s still far from my comfort zone.

In the early days I complained a lot about the worship. I could hardly bring myself to clap or raise my hands, as everyone else seemed so eager to do. It stressed me out. Sometimes I wanted to just retreat to a quiet corner of the sanctuary and pray alone.

Yet I committed to the church and committed to having a better attitude about the worship.

I began to see how beautiful it is to set aside one’s “ideal” for the sake of building unity with others, and soon I began to warm up to the worship style. While it’s still a challenge at times, I now look forward to being refreshed by the Sunday morning worship experience, rather than always being exhausted by it. I even sometimes raise my hands in worship, which (as a born-and-raised Baptist) is a big step.

We shouldn’t let our worship preferencesget in the way of our worship participation.

What I realized is this: We may have different worship-style comfort zones, but we’re worshiping the same God. That’s why, whether we’re Presbyterian or Pentecostal, we shouldn’t let our worship preferences get in the way of our worship participation.

God is too glorious to not worship enthusiastically, even if the style of worship stretches us beyond our comfort zone.

Don’t Just Tolerate. Participate.