A few weeks ago, an article circulated on social media called "Why They Don't Sing on Sunday Anymore." The author noticed the lack of people joining in on congregational singing at his church on Sunday. He made the statement that "congregational singing has become congregational staring." He had several arguments for why this could be the case - music choice, professionalism and even it becoming a spectator sport.
Now there have been several arguments on both sides. It's true that worship is not just about singing. Worship is the feeling or expression of reverence, love and adoration. I don't have to sing to worship, and I can be singing and not worship if my heart is not in it. But is congregational singing really declining in our churches today? And if so, why?
It's interesting that at many recent concerts groups will lead the congregation in a hymn. I think there is a hunger for the hymn singing in churches. The Gospel Music Hymn Sing that many artists are participating in has almost sold out. I go to a church where there is a good mix of praise and worship and hymns. I like them both, and worship occurs with both.
Worship also occurs during gospel concerts we attend, and we aren't the ones on stage singing. We still worship without singing. So even if there is a decline in congregational singing on Sundays, there could still be worship taking place within.
I'll never forget a service at my home church where they stripped down the service from a full choir and orchestra to just the piano. Then, at one point, they had us stop singing and just read the words of the song silently, focusing and concentrating on what we had been singing. It was one of the most powerful moments of worship in my life.
Now, does it make me sad to think that people just aren't singing as much as a congregation in churches? Yes, but worship comes in many forms.
What are your thoughts?