Have Christians Stopped Singing?

  • When I was a kid growing up in church, we sang hymns. Songs about God. From a book. Never more than three in a row. There was little emotion attached to this experience. Nobody dimmed the lights.

    And we all sang. Loudly. Or at least we mouthed the words.

    Today, worship is not something you do – it’s something you feel. We no longer sing about God, we sing to him. There might be seven songs in a row without a break. We are expected to feel something. The lights are low.

    And we’re not singing any more.

    As I visit churches around the country, I’ve frequently observed that the majority of attendees do not sing. They stand motionless, looking at the words on the jumbo screen. It’s particularly noticeable in so called seeker-friendly congregations. I’d guess that only a quarter of the men sing.

    According to LifeWay Worship Director Mike Harland, the modern stage-driven worship atmosphere gives people an excuse to be spectators instead of participators.

    Lillian Kwon writes in the Christian Post, “While the congregation is left in the dark under dim lights, stage lights place the focus on the gifted worship leader — who has in-ear monitors and who sings songs in a key that best fits him or her. The worship leader can’t hear the congregation or see the congregation and ‘they don’t even know that the congregation is not even singing,’ Harland said.”

    Harland offers a number of ideas in the article. I’ve written extensively on worship in this blog and in my books as well. I also include a section in my new DVD.

    So have you noticed that people in general – and men in particular – aren’t singing any more? What can we do about it? Comments are open.

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    January 3rd, 2011 | David Murrow | 49 Comments | Tags: ,

About The Author

David Murrow

David Murrow is the director of Church for Men, an organization that helps congregations reach more men and boys. In his day job, David works as a television producer and writer. He's the author of four books. He lives in Alaska with his wife, three children, three grandchildren and a dachshund named Pepper.

  • http://www.WildmenMinistry.com Jan Broucinek

    We don’t have much trouble getting men to sing at our meetings. Last night we had 34 guys at our Largo FL meeting and I would venture that 75% or more were singing – loud.

    The issue isn’t the lights, or the large screen. The issues as I see them (and as you’ve pointed out elsewhere) are:
    The key the songs are in, can a man hit those notes?
    Are they man-friendly or are they a love song to another man – Jesus?
    Is the music loud enough that a man can’t hear himself too well. Most men don’t like the sound of their singing voices.
    And does the song speak to a masculine heart? Is there challenge, adventure, risk, battle, brotherhood, and so on?

  • davidmurrow

    Jan, it is not surprising that 75% of the attendees at a men’s meeting would sing. After all, these men have made the extra effort to come out on a Tuesday night. I would challenge you to take a headcount this weekend in your church services, and get back to me. And don’t just count the people who sit toward the front!

  • http://displaced-men.com Jim

    Excellent article. You are so right re: many men choose not to participate in the worship service and their reasons run the gambit from I cannot stand the music to I cannot sing. Maybe these are legitimate reasons but the men are left out of an opportune time to come into the presence of God.

    It is likely that the worship leaders see the lack of participation but are unaware of the reasons.

    The worship leaders function is to point the audience to God and not to call attention to their selves. I for one do not care to learn a new song every Sunday, nor do I want to hear some variation of a well known hymn all this does is take me out of the worship loop and it does not help me worship God.

    In reality the worship leaders have seemingly forgot Whom it is we are worshiping. It is not what the worship leaders wants to do on Sunday its about what God wants. He wants our attention, He demands our attention,

  • http://Website Joel

    Your article is right on the money. I regularly observe our congregation (in a very seeker-friendly church) during “worship” (singing). If it’s a sappy love song such as “Jesus I Am So In Love With You”, at most a third of the men are singing, maybe two thirds of the women. If it’s a robust song like “Blessed Be Your Name”, a song that proclaims faithfulness towards the Lord through bad times and good, most of the men are singing and nearly all the women. The choice of song definitely makes a difference.
    In the past, you’ve touched on the subject of the Church reducing the definition of worship to merely singing. I would love to hear you expand on that subject. What could truly Biblical worship entail other than a stage concert?

  • http://blog.stevelowe.org Steve

    1) Turn it up.

    The church I regularly attend runs about 100-105dB, and most people are singing their guts out. We went to another church last weekend that was running about 85-90dB. I didn’t sing, nor did most of the guys around me.

    2) “Jesus is my boyfriend” songs don’t encourage guys

    As has been mentioned, the sappy romantic songs don’t register well with a lot of guys, Include some hi-energy, fast-tempo songs.

    (I’m a geek, have a dB meter app on my iPhone, in case you’re wondering how I know SPLs)

  • http://Website Keatsy

    I run a small outreach church in NSW Australia. We have a majority male congregation and we don’t sing at all. Christian songs mostly have relevance to christians but they are misunderstood by those who are new to church. Our aim is to encourage people to look in a God direction as we journey together with them through life.
    Worship is done personally through our lifestyle, our commitment to Him and our action to others. It is also difficult to find current volumes of decent christian worship songs that are male focussed/ strength/challenge based that you could use on a weekly basis without continuous repetition
    (eg: Blessed be the Lord my rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle) .
    God bless you David, love what the Lord is doing through you.

  • http://Website Mike

    Men dont worship anymore because it is simply not real to them any more. The songs that we sing mostly have come out of another churches vision and we are simply copying it. The worship songs and the style that they are sung in should come from the heart of each church.
    Also, having a female song leader means that the men are being led in a style that is not natural to them and chances are, in a key that they cannot sing in anyway.
    I also agree that men do not want to sing about asking God for a hug. They want to be like the Biblical David and worship God and thank him for the victory in battle.
    Maybe it also comes down to the fact that in days gone bye, the songs that were sung in church were a statement of faith and the people singing them actually needed God to answer their prayers in worship. But now days few in the church of the western world feel they really need God to answer their prayers. Just a thought.

  • davidmurrow

    Update on this: yesterday I visited a one-year old “church plant.” I sat up front and turned around to see who was singing. Sure enough, only about 25 percent of the crowd of about 150 worshippers were joining in.

    One of the problems in this church was the choice of music. Most of the songs were, quite frankly un-singable. The crowd didn’t seem to know the songs and the lead singer chose to drag out certain phrases, making it difficult to follow. On one song I noticed several people simply gave up singing after the first verse. When they finally sang a familiar hymn, Amazing Grace, the majority sang.

    So is worship meant to be a spectator sport, or is it about participation? Comments are open.

  • James Layton

    I’m a new church planter, and have been wrestling the singing thing for quite a few years now.
    I’ve been in church life for about 25 years (i’m 40) and have always felt awkward singing, especially fast songs. It’s not something I would like to do in front of my friends because simply it isn’t ‘manly’.

    I don’t feel like a bloke when I sing & especially clap in church. I find it emasculating. I realise most of my issues with singing stem from this, which is basically insecurity. However, we are dealing with an insecure generation, and if we want to reach them, we must look at this.

    Singing is an emotional response for men, so to be asked to do it as soon as you walk in the building is comparable to asking your wife for sex as soon as she gets home from work. (Try it sometime, then duck!) Like women, we need to be warmed up first…

    In our church we have split the gathering in two parts. The first half is very user friendly, dialogue based, and great for non- believers. Singing at the start has been replaced with discussion groups (men love to talk) Coffee in the middle, which is an exit point if people want to go home, and then we do all the singing/worship stuff at the end of the second half.

    Working well so far.

    So I don’t think the issue with singing is as much about not knowing the songs or being able to sing them, as it is about simply not looking like, or feeling like a man when you do it.

    James

  • http://www.churchformen.com David Murrow

    This is a great idea. There’s a pastor in Wales, Highfields Church in Cardiff, who has added an intermission to his worship services. He dares people to “get up and go” once the sermon is over. Almost nobody does. They enjoy a break with juice, coffee and tea, then sit down for a Question and Answer period. The men love it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/karen.reyburn Karen Reyburn

    This is very true. I believe it stems from the church departing from singing the very words of God, and making up their own idea of how God would like to be praised. He gave us an entire book – the book of Psalms. Why not sing that, simple and unadorned? Clearly our brilliant ideas of how we think God would like to be worshipped are resulting in nobody really praising Him at all: they stand and watch as a band entertains them. The entertainment culture of which we are a part has crept into the church, and we have to remember that God takes worship of Himself very, very seriously. Surely we should do the same: stop looking to our feelings to decide how to worship, and look to the Word of God.

  • Tim

    I go to a church that worships without instruments, and no amplification during the songs. If people stop singing, we know about it very quickly, and do something about it, sometimes even mid-song. We have someone up the front who leads the singing by singing loudly and conducting, whom we call “the precentor”. If people aren’t singing, the precentor may stop after the first verse, and pitch the tune a bit lower. The rule we tend to have is “The melody should not go above Eb for congregational singing” (this isn’t fixed, but it’s one I’ve heard people say).

    Likewise, we have a book with maybe 400 songs in it, and the precentors won’t precent one unless they think that they know it themselves, and that the congregation does too, or, in the case of very easy ones, if there are a number of loud people who know it :).

    Interestingly, I met a man at a folk music concert who said that in Wales, singing is part of the definition of manliness, thus their singing culture. I have the insecurity thing going too, but because everyone else sings, I have no qualms.

    I agree about unsingable tunes. We have about 10 of those in our book, but we never sing them.

    As for songs about loving God, they can be good, if done Bible-style. Psalm 18, for example:

    I love you, LORD, my strength!
    My rock, my fort, my power!
    My God, my hiding place,
    my safety and my tower!

    There are places that sell books of the Psalms arranged especially for singing. Those can be a good place to look for worship songs that are less emasculating :).

  • Kristen

    Mike said,

    “Also, having a female song leader means that the men are being led in a style that is not natural to them and chances are, in a key that they cannot sing in anyway.”

    Mike, welcome to our world. Women are quite used to having men lead everything, in a style that’s not natural to us. We put on our big-girl panties and deal with it. Having a female worship leader doesn’t need to be a problem for men if they’ll do what this blog talks about so much, accept challenges and deal with them. :)

    Why are Christians not singing? Because the worship leaders have made the worship be about them being professional-style, on-stage musicians, rather than humble servants doing what the saints need to help lead them into worship– no matter how simple and unglamorous that servanthood is. People need easier, more singable songs. The dark auditoriums and the stage lights need to go. We need to be communities worshiping together, not laypeople being led.

  • Cathy

    I don’t sing because it’s impossible to sing.

    1. The bass guitar is so loud, I cannot hear the tune. Literally. Turn it DOWN, guys!
    2. There is no music (musical scores.) The melody is new. How am I supposed to learn a tune I can’t hear and can’t read, let alone harmonize to it? Give me a hymnal. Even a person who can’t read music can see that the notes go up and down, and that there are a lot of notes here that must go fast, and not very many notes there so it must be slower.
    3. The words are repetitive and insipid. Give me some lyrics that can come to mind later in the week and feed me and remind me of God’s teaching, not, “I love You, I love You, I love You, I love You, I love You, I love You, I love You, I loooove You.” Seriously? It’s all about me now?
    4. Either the worship leader is singing the verses in the wrong order, or throwing in extra choruses, or extra lines, or whatever, or that guy running the words projected on the screen is totally incompetent. Whichever way it is, sometimes as much as half the words on the screen have already gone by before they’re projected.

    Our family gets up three hours early to attend a service with traditional music.

  • http://www.churchformen.com David Murrow

    So would you say if a person goes to church but does not sing, is he sinning?

  • Don Nelson

    Okay – how about a masculine perspective? I’m a man and have experience singing. In general if I know the songs being sung, I enjoy it and sign along. But I’m the exception. Singing (and much of church in general) is no longer masculine. It’s been feminized by a corrupting world-view of the culture. But God commands men to sing. He commands all believers to sing to Him. So what’s wrong?

    Briefly, the issue is the lack of truth. Men don’t know what manliness is because they don’t seek it in the Word. If men were serving a Lord in a battle (as they should be) things would be different. But instead, they’re being dragged to church by wives who aren’t equipped to hold them responsible. Other men need to do that. So, how to fix? Pray. Grow a pair. Stand up and say something. Rock the boat. WAKE UP – If men don’t fight this war, we can’t win. Period.

  • Alan

    Thanks for this and your other article about why men don’t sing. These are vital, important words the modern church needs to hear. Music is a vital part of worship and it needs to be personal. Science tells us that human beings react to music all the way down to the brain stem level. that is deeper than we react to any words we read or hear spoken. Our Father knows this (he built us, after all) and instructed us to sing hymns in our hearts to him because he knows it will affect our deepest inner being.

    And yes, the dimmed lights drive me crazy. I’m TRYING to read my bible over here, would that be okay with everyone!?!?!

    We are having strong discussions about this now where I am. Participation is essential to worship in my mind. I came to commune with G-d and with my fellow Christians, not to see a show. I take issue with the “professional product” idea of presenting a worship experience. The whole idea of presentation is missing the boat in the first place. The other thing that drives me nuts about this mindset is the church stops using the church for the worship. It quickly boils down to the Worship Leader and the Preacher do everything and everyone else should sit back and be properly awed. There is no involving or training of the congregation’s men or of the youth.

    The further problem with this mindset is that it fosters an atmosphere of non-involvement. This quickly leads to a lack of teachers and volunteers in the adult ministries, teen ministries, children’s ministries, nursery, etc., etc. We have been bogged in this atmosphere for the last few years, but blessed be the Name, our elders seem to be making a serious effort to change this atmosphere and return to an atmosphere of involvement and discipleship.

    Discipleship is what it’s all about. Jesus didn’t build buildings and then invite people to come and see the show. He made disciples and the church grew from those disciples as they made more disciples. This is how the church truly grows – by doing the work Jesus instructed us to do (Matthew 28:19-20)! – not by putting on a lovely polished worship product. That is empty and G-d intends us to use the Holy Spirit to fill people. That is done by building relationships through discipleship, involving people and making them feel they are an integral part of the church – living stones! A mute audience can never have that feeling.

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  • Sgt Hawker

    As a Christian Male, married with two wonderful children, I used to
    be one of the many stoic males and stood and would only sing when a song
    I knew was on the teleprompter. But as I have children I realized they
    will worship the way I do, They look up to their Dad’s for family
    faith (sorry not intended to offend Moms) There are very few roles that
    a Dad really has to be spot on and Praising and Worshiping God and
    Jesus are the most important of all roles.

    I can not say I have
    read the entire Bible which I am working on currently but I do know
    singing is a part of showing our devotion and love to our one and only
    Living God and his Glorious son Jesus. It does not matter if you can or
    can not sing God already knows and sorry if this comes out as rude but
    who cares what other Christians/worshipers think.

    I love God my
    kids know this and I sing to show my kids that not only do I tell them
    how, why, when, and what they should and should not do but I lead by
    example. The only thing I don’t do is stand but this is due to an
    injury and not choice.

    Don Nelson, made a few points I agree with:
    But God commands men to sing. He commands all believers to sing to Him. So what’s wrong?
    But instead, they’re being dragged to church by wives who aren’t
    equipped to hold them responsible. Other men need to do that. So, how
    to fix? Pray. Grow a pair. Stand up and say something. Rock the boat.
    WAKE UP-

    I
    don’t believe masculine and feminine have to do with it as much as MEN
    have lost their place as the leader of their families, with single
    mothers, single fathers, divorce being the most prevalent thing done
    instead of working out their problems.

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  • Steve Pillow

    Great comments. My wife and I were talking about how many of the song are “Me, me” songs.

  • Steve Pillow

    We walked out of 2 church services today because of the deafening levels.

  • Amy Johnston

    I agree… I’ve often wondered, if worship is about the Lord, why then don’t the worship leaders stand behind a curtain and turn down the volume so the congregation can hear themselves?! It feel so much like a concert where my presence is totally unnecessary the way ours, and so many churches run worship.

  • Amy Johnston

    Totally love the idea of keeping the key to a place where most people can sing. It is certainly a disappointment to me when the worship leader puts all the songs in his/her key when the majority of the congregation can’t sing that high/low.

    One contrast to the unsingable tunes is all the contemporary songs that seem to only use about 4 notes and such simple, repetitive tunes. I realize perhaps that’s because we don’t use a hymnal and most people can’t read music, but if I’m bored with those songs (especially since we seem to sing the same ones over and over each week), is it possible God is, too? ;-)

  • Amy Johnston

    But when the music is that loud, you can’t even hear YOURSELF sing! My husband tells me he likes the music loud but he’s also not afraid to sing if there is no accompaniment at all (former glee club member). Can you explain why you are more willing to sing when it’s loud? I don’t understand that. (please don’t read this as snarky or a challenge… I sincerely want to understand)

  • Alex van Nes

    Give us back our hymnals with all the treasures from the past. They are good enough for me!

  • Andy Edwins

    I think this is a really complicated issue. One aspect is unity amongst “stage leadership” – is the worship leader in submission to the lead pastor and does the lead pastor support the worship leader. Does the lead pastor teach and model worship? An important element of the teaching should be that the so-called “worship time” is not for me, it’s for God.
    Whether I like the style/volume/songs/worship leader/whatever is quite simply of less than secondary importance. I have come to church to worship God and that is what I’ll do.

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  • Jonathan Blycker

    @servent2u, excellent points in your reply. Amen and amen.

  • Robert E Brockman

    Having grown up in a faith that included only using the instrument created by God (the human voice) I have seen too many song leaders that can’t read music or are tone deficient. They try to lead the song service, but strangle the sopranos and drown the bass’s.
    A member of my own family is now attending at a megachurch that has various levels of misical accompaniment. When I last sat by them in an acapella setting, they were mute. Sadly, our ideas of worship have been ‘made contemporary’ and we have forgotten about true religion.
    I, personally am constantly trying to get my heart focused on God and not myself. I develop my walk with God in all aspects of worship, including praising Him in vocal song.
    Side note: Because I believe in unaccompanied singing, I can worship in settings where God rolls out his creation before me. I am not limited to 4 walls and a roof.

  • Anne Hughes Crozier

    I like most of what you’ve said in the article, but I think you may be making an assumption that might not always be correct. You quote the Lifeway guy saying, in effect, that when people are not singing they are “spectators instead of worshipers.” It’s not possible for us to know whether or not a person is worshiping. As for the rest of the article, and the one about “Men singing in church” I think you make very good observations and conclusions.

  • rachel

    Keatsy, I like this idea, that you don’t sing in church.

    I think part of the problem with any discussion about music in church is that people hold it in too much importance. Personally, it irritates me that the song leader is called a worship leader. Worship is so much more than ONLY music. The sermon is worship. Prayer is worship. Tending the babies in the nursery is worship. Tithing is worship. Anything we do to bring glory to God is worship (at least that’s what I got out of my Bible reading). Yes, we are commanded to sing, but we are instructed to do lots of things. I know my post here is off topic from the original blog, but I guess sometimes I think, “so what?” Why is the music this big controversial thing? Despite the baggage I have in my life related to church, I still attend church. I attend because God says it is good for me to fellowship with other believers and it is good for me to focus on Him on the sabbath. Sometimes I connect with God in the singing, sometimes by a line or two in the sermon, sometimes by someone taking the time to shake my hand and ask how I’m doing. I hope I can be a similar blessing to others. If there was no singing at church, I’d still sing when I’m driving around in my car, or in the shower, or wherever. I think we all (the church leaders and the church members who are believers, obviously not the lost seekers) need to pray and work toward our churches being a place where people meet God. Music is only part of that. And if people aren’t singing, I think that’s ok, but I hope that they are still connected to God either by listening or by something else that they experience while they are there.

  • Gerald Peel

    I think we often ignore human psychology when it comes to worship. In every other venue, we watch and listen, perhaps clapping during or after a performance, but that is the extent of our participation. When we see well-rehearsed praise teams singing in harmony on the “stage,” we automatically move to the mode of consumer and do not participate. Additionally, the idea of actively participating by grabbing a hymnal and at least following along is now less available.

    Unfortunately, singing is VERY personal. I play the trombone which is an instrument I occasionally attempt to use as a tool with which to make music. If someone was to criticize my playing (which might be very justified) I do not feel so bad. After all, the trombone is merely an implement that I use to make music. BUT if I was criticized for my singing ability (which is likely MUCH more justified) that is harder to take. After all, my voice is actually ME! It is how I present myself to the world.

    Because singing is so personal, people are much more likely to be somewhat inhibited when it comes to revealing their singing voice to someone that might be seated (standing) next to them. And then if you take away the tools they need to be successful (familiarity and perhaps a hymnal) they will not be likely to sing. Sure, they’ll stand for 40 minutes with everyone else, and perhaps chew gum or some other benign activity. But I would not classify it as participation.

    Additionally, when we remove musical resources (notes and a staff on the page) we are actually training people to sing without music! This is not brilliant. I think that those of us who lead music in worship must do everything in our power to offer the blessing of success to every worshiper. And that means giving them the tools to be successful and active participators in worship.

    I am convinced that much of the contemporary worship I have experienced induces some of the most passive worshiping I’ve ever seen.

  • Catrina Bradley

    A sincere answer: If the music is so loud that I can’t hear myself sing, then neither can the people around me. I feel truly free make a very joyful noise unto the Lord. :) (I also like to join the reverent harmony of voices lifted in worship with no accompaniment.)

  • Jess Hammond

    Thanks for your thoughts Dave, I appreciate this article as well as your article on why Men don’t sing anymore. Very insightful! I do agree with alot of what others have said and have experienced much of this as a’Lead Worshipper’ with a band and in ears and all the rest lol!! At our church we try to create space in between the bid loud bits or dynamically within the song where we all just sing and can hear each other singing – And these ARE the most inspiring times for us as a congregation.
    However I would like to add another thing to the mix and it was said someones comment or your other article…
    We all have become consumers – meaning that we expect to come and ‘receive’ something from our worship services. We rate our experience on whether our needs were met by the service, whether the preaching or music was how WE liked it or whether (as you mentioned) we felt we experienced God in the service.
    To be honest the most impacting times for me have been when those in the gathering came with a sense of ‘what am I bringing to God today?’ not ‘What’s in this for me?’. I think as we ask ourselves that question and as we encourage our faith communities to have that attitude – Thats when people will come really wanting to sing. That’s my two cents worth anyways :). Blessings on you and your ministry.

  • Amber Smith

    !!! I do not think I could attend a church with overhead projector.
    My mother loved music, always tried to attend churches with nice music, so I know that can be a big draw for people. But at the point where it becomes a stage production, I back out. Materialism doesn’t belong in church; we worshiped just fine without fancy technology. *shakes head*

  • Brian Moser

    People who want to praise, worship and honor God will sing without any excuse, those who don’t will make excuses. I sing no matter what, even when I don’t know the song and so do most of the men and others who I see. The very few people I don’t seen singing are either pre-teeen or teenagers. I just worship with people who are intent on giving God the praise, honor and glory He deserves without making any excuses.

  • Causal

    “The modern stage-driven worship atmosphere gives people an excuse to be spectators instead of participators.” Yet the modern sermon paradigm expects the people of God to sit silently for up to an hour (or more!) as the professional in the pulpit delivers his message, giving people an excuse to be spectators in their church instead of participators. Why should we expect more of them in our music times?

  • Amy @ Modernish Homemaker

    I’d prefer to sing. If I could get up early enough I’d go to the service that has acoustic worship. They sing a hymn sometimes along with more contemporary songs. I can actually hear myself and get into a worshipful mode with words that really mean something instead of repetitive words that hypnotize you into thinking you’re having a religious experience.

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  • Judy Degville Ambrosius

    Interesting point being made about emotions. But is that what worship is…..a display of emotion? I worship as I acknowledge the truth of Who God is and what He has done – not just in me but in the world. I see worship as an activity of my mind……not my emotions, though my emotions can be also involved. Therefore, I can worship at any time as I recognize God’s character and His work…….not just in the atmosphere of a low-lit auditorium with pounding music and someone in front trying to manipulate my emotions!

  • faithnxs

    Dont you find it interesting that in one breath you condemn a general group of people for suggesting they know what God expects and in the very next breath do the very same thing? This is the issue I take with most of the bias I read. From personal experience, one has no possible way of knowing whether a person is worshipping God by singing or spectating; no way of knowing if a hymn brings someone closer to God than a Tomlin song by their outward appearance. This is very judgmental and subjective. Besides how is it that all the commentary here about how someone else should worship doing anything to build up God’s people. To me the subject matter could focus more on the good in things rather than just pointing out how wrong others are doing it. Quit casting such broad net of condemnation over a group of people whose heart you dont know by these generalizations.

  • faithnxs

    I think it is fair to suggest that your comments paint with abroad brush. Do you have any thoughts on the basic notion that men are generally not very good at communication, expressing themselves to others, etc? Would it be reasonable to say the average person “cant carry a tune in a bucket?” Then add to that the lower volume of music that bears that out for them in church? I really dont understand why emotion is such a bad thing and why the lack of it in church would be something to celebrate. My God! My Lord has been destroyed in the most vile and despicable way! For me this has been done! For me and in my place! If one has no emotion over this their faith is dead. Rise up and sing a joyful noise to the Lord! Just make sure it isn’t overly emotional or expressive or done in any new way because the 5000 year old way is best? I think not. As for me and my house we will worship the Lord. We take personal responsibilty for relationship with God and we live out worship. What is so wrong with praising God in loud way? With the musical stylings of our time? If my 14 year old is jumping with the rhythm, singing with all her might am I to be discoursged by this? As her father, I am responsible for shepherding her and leveling her and feeding her spirit with the Word at home and it’s the pastor’s at church. The last thing I want to do is discourage her when the world outside our home can be so alluring in the other direction. Let’s praise and live out our worship of God shall we? I’m hopeful when we find new ways to worship. It should be honest or the consequences are dire. I get that. Doesnt mean I blame the music for men not singing. Ee as men know the truth and the truth is we are not being the leaders we should be in the church, at home or in the world. Last thing I want or need is someone blaming something besides me for my inability to act on my faith. God bless the man who is unafraid to proclaim the Good News from the mountaintops! I am a 51 year man with a past and am not afraid and no style of music is going to change my mind!!!

  • Brendan Tanamachi

    From reading all these comments, it sounds like there is a lot of bitterness towards your worship leaders. Please remember that they are human too. Instead of being frustrated, please pray for them, they need it just like you.

  • http://www.philrmusic.com/ Phil R

    I think the key is FIRE: Facilitate – Invite – Respond – Encourage. Facilitate the congregation and make sure the tunes are vocally accessible; Invite (with humility not command) the congregation to join in; Respond to where the Holy Spirit is leading the congregation – be flexible an don’t just expect to play a “set list”; finally Encourage the congregation to lift their voices but, moreover, their hearts to God in worship. When we use FIRE then worship leaders can ignite the hearts of others to join in worship.

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  • pbilk

    I never seen or been in any church like this.

    I sometimes read articles about these kind of churches, but I never see them myself.

  • Genevieve

    I still love the Olde Tyme Hymns: Presented in the lyrics, written to beautiful and approachable tunes, one finds theology, biblical passages, holy relationship, and joy. I am especially appalled by the “Jesus is My Boyfriend” set of tunes one hears so often nowadays.

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