The Ministry of Music Eph. 5:19-20 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
A young man, who has been backslidden 9 years, called me from another city – he said that when he decided to quit what he was doing the Lord spoke to him in an inaudible voice that he remembered from the past – he was so overwhelmed with gratitude that he wanted to shout – the old hymns came to mind and he began singing to himself – the next morning he went to church hoping to sing those familiar hymns with 100 other people – the church he went to was pretty dead and that disappointed him – what he said made me think about singing hymns in our church. Is our singing really a ministry of music? Will it minister to the heart and spirit of a backslidden saint recovering himself from the snare of the devil? Will it stir the hearts of saints and draw us closer to God? If not why not?
The ministry of music is diminished when you are:
Not paying attention to the words – the words of these hymns are the testimony of the greatness and goodness of our Lord – the words are what stir you up – you and I have sung the familiar hymns so much that we can sing them without thinking about them – when we do, the words don’t minister to us or to a person standing next to us.
Listening to the wrong kind of music – there is so much music today that passes off as Christian music and it is nothing of the kind – it is Christian only in name, but certainly not in genre or in content – and then there is the outright worldly music of rock and country – when you listen to any of this kind of music, it affects your ability to enjoy the hymns and spiritual songs – you lose your “appetite” for godly music and so it seems dull to you when you try to sing it – you must get that other music out of you and replace it with godly music and then the hymns will sing in your heart.
Without melody in your heart – your heart is without cheer – you are down and the joy of the Lord is gone – it will be impossible for the hymns to minister through you to someone else – that would be like the preacher getting up with a dead pan expression on his face hoping to encourage people in the word of God – that’s hard to do – he’d be more suited as an undertaker.
Self-conscious – it’s hard for you to sing out when you are concerned about what the people around you might think – quit worrying about it – you are singing to the Lord – it is hard to be God-conscious when you are so busy being self-conscious.
Unsure how to sing – you learn by doing – the best way to learn how to sing is to sing with a bunch of people that know how to sing – at a pastors’ conference I was standing behind some musicians during the congregational singing – one of them turned to me and asked, “Where did you learn to sing?” I said, “I learned in church.” He answered, “That’s a great place to learn.”
Ungrateful – the young man that called me said that his heart was filled with gratitude when the Lord reminded him that he could trust Jesus to get through his temptations – when your heart is filled with gratitude for all that the Lord has done for you it is hard to contain that gratitude when you are singing – it comes out and it comes out beautifully – however, if you are one of the Lord’s spoiled brats [like a child who takes his parents’ goodness for granted] you’re singing is going to reflect that, too.
In the foyer – congregational singing is as much the ministry of music as specials – and when you are not in the sanctuary singing with the saints you are missing an opportunity for the Lord to minister to your spirit and for your singing to minister to the hearts of others – get out of the foyer and into your seats before the first hymn is sung.
Conclusion: take care of these things in your life that are diminishing the effectual singing of our church and remember these things the next time we sing together and sing from your heart to the Lord.