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This happened on the way home from work and I’m so pleased I thought I’d share.

This isn’t new – many wise pastors, music ministers and the like have said these things before – but I here present it to you in alliterated form!

There are three main things that happen (or should happen) when we sing in church:

Three 'R's of Worship

As you can see, worship is like a triangle. With arrows. And a smiley face.

The important thing is what is going on in the various relationships within the church – between God, ourselves individually, and the whole congregation.

So, when we sing, there are three things going on:

Reveal – God reveals Himself through the songs we sing. This is why it’s so important to have songs true to the Bible and packed with good theology; so that we are teaching our churches, and being taught, who God truly is.

Respond – We respond to God in singing. This is why it’s good to have responsive songs that might not be one-theological-fact-a-line but dwell on what a few things about God mean and allow us to sing with our lips what is going on in our hearts.

Remind – We remind each other of important truths. We aren’t just singing to God individually, but corporately. We are teaching and admonishing each other (as it says in Colossians 3:16), preaching the Gospel to one another, and encouraging each other to keep going in faith.

There it is!

Hi guys!

This will probably sound like I’m a grumpy old woman but I’m really not wanting to rant. Honest!

The lads and ladies at Worship Central are releasing a live album soon (YAY!) and have got the title song out on YouTube: http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRdlSRYPThg Now, I enjoy what the Worship Central crew do and think they’re a great bunch, but I’m seeing a trend in how worship songs in certain circles are being written. The lyrics for ‘Let It Be Known’ are:

Come on let’s turn it up/We’re gonna sing it out/For all the world to hear/Oh oh oh-oh/There’s love for everyone/A new day has begun/Something to shout about

Let it be known/That our God saves/Our God reigns/We lift You up, up/Let it be known/That love has come/Love has won/We lift You up, up, up, ooh

Nothing can stop us now/No-one can keep us down/We’ve found our voice again/Oh oh oh-oh/No need to feel ashamed/There’s power in His name/Come on, let freedom reign

Let it be known (etc)

We lift Your name up/Higher and higher/We lift Your name up./We shout Your name out/Louder and louder/We shout it out now

I’m not rubbishing the song – musically, it’s a lot of fun to play and sing, and the words are not un-true – but my concern is the lack of theological depth in many songs being written at the moment. ‘Let It Be Known’ isn’t theologically wrong as such, but doesn’t do things like explain why we should “sing it out”, or what it means by “love has come”. I’m not saying we shouldn’t use these kinds of songs, but songs like this do need to be mixed in with songs that describe truth in more depth, because ‘shallow’ songs might encourage or help us to respond, but they don’t say much about the truth we’re responding to.

Theology isn’t something we shouldn’t be scared of as musicians and song-writers. Bob Kauflin has a good post on why it’s important here: http://www.worshipmatters.com/2008/11/18/why-theology-matters-to-christian-musicians/ Theology is simply what you believe about God, and it is extremely important that we get the balance of songs right in our set lists, because what we sing teaches and reminds us of what we believe. So our songs should teach about God’s character, His holiness, mercy, love, justice, grace, power, etc; what He has done for us in redeeming us at the cross; and how it all applies to our lives – both in a response there and then, but also what it means for sin, confidence in salvation, what I do on a Monday morning, etc. We should proclaim truth as much as respond to it 🙂

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