Tuesday, December 18   Sign in or Register
Evangelical Focus

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud

Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.

Do the media in your country usually portray evangelical Christians accurately?



Will Graham

Why has church become a concert?

Church worship must be corporate, not individualistic. Everyone’s voice should be heard in the Kingdom of God, not just a select bunch of singers.

FRESH BREEZE AUTHOR Will Graham 27 SEPTEMBER 2015 09:00 h GMT+1

There’s no people like God’s people! God’s saints are a happy bunch and they’ve every right to be so. Wouldn’t you be joyful for the forgiveness of sins, life eternal and a whole new family of friends called the church?

This gleeful spirit means that songs and singing will never be far from the lips of the redeemed. How can saints fail to thank and praise Jesus after all that He’s done for them? Paul knew a singing Christian was the most natural thing on planet Earth. In Ephesians 5:19, the apostle writes about the reality of “speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

Paul himself was a fervent singer. Who can ever forget the mighty earthquake that followed his anointed hour of praise in the jail at Philippi (Acts 16:25-26)? Jesus-filled hearts are praise-filled hearts. It’s that simple.

Nevertheless, it seems to me that music and singing are becoming ‘dangerously’ more prominent in contemporary church circles. I say ‘dangerously’ because in many places music and singing have got so big that now they almost usurp the prominence given to the preaching of the Word of God.

I, for example, have preached in churches where I’ve had to wait over an hour and a half before expounding the Scriptures due to endless music and incessant announcements. Needless to say, when I get up to the pulpit, not only are the people exhausted but so is the poor red-headed Northern Irish preacher who has a message to give.

Being kept on your feet for so long is physically draining. In such a situation, it takes a really special breath from the Holy Spirit for there to be real interaction with the Word. The people are not to blame. It’s not their fault they’re tired. I mean, who wouldn’t be? It’s the church structure that needs radical renewing.

Not only that, but the very music style I witness on my preaching travels is turning more and more ‘concert like’. What do I mean by that? By that I mean music where it’s no longer a congregation singing unto God in one heart and a united spirit. Rather, it’s intense music that drowns out the noise of the people’s voices with the high-volume beat of the drums, (base) guitars, microphones and speakers.

Surely church was meant to be the place where you got rid of pounding headaches; not received them! And what’s more, today’s music style tends to put all the focus on the guys on the platform so that we feel impressed by their skills and talent. This is not the way things were meant to be. Church worship must be corporate, not individualistic. Everyone’s voice should be heard in the Kingdom of God, not just a select bunch of singers.

One final thing I’ve been keeping in my heart about this theme of current-day music is that it’s not the job of the worship leader to try to stir up the people’s emotions and whip them into a mood of praise. That’s the Holy Spirit’s doing. After all, the church is an event wherein the chosen people who have heard God’s call come together to exalt His name.

Congregational life is just a prolongation of our everyday praise life. If we truly walk in the Sprit we don’t need a feel-good Mr Motivator on the stage every Lord’s Day. And neither should worship leaders be given free license to hit out at the people with flippant comments that only serve to instil guilt complexes in the people- “Oh, sing it like you mean it” or “If that’s for the Lord you’ve got to sing a lot better” or “Let me hear you”, etc.

Who are we to allow such comments to go undiscerned in our midst? Are we somehow to direct our praises to the worship leader? Do we need his (or her) approval? I think not. He (or she) is there as a representative of the people; not as a spiritual bully who draws attention to us and not to the God we desire to praise.

I, for one, am glad for music and instruments in the assembly of Christ. And no, I’m not opposed to praise leaders (as I myself have been one for quite a few years). But congregational music needs to put in its correct place. Of course I’m not saying that if there’s a wonderful moving of the Spirit that we shouldn’t keep singing or praising God according to His leading; but as a general rule, I just get the sense that all this music is just time-filing and ultimately, time-wasting. It's counter-productive and is detrimental to the Word.

It is a lot healthier to have a shorter praise time and as little announcements as possible in order to make way for the real reason the Lord Jesus founded His church: the proclamation of the Gospel. And if the music in the temple of the Lord doesn’t serve this purpose; then it would be better to axe it altogether and stick to listening to praise music at home. The Gospel’s just too important to be trifled with. It’s that serious!




    If you want to comment, or


yochanan heimeyer
18:58 h
Every believer is the 'temple' of His glorious Spirit and as hearers of the Shepherd's voice, we follow His directions. Singing hymns and spiritual songs are apostolic direction and practice and give spiritual direction. 1 Cor.14:15b "...sing with understanding also." As the priesthood(corporate) of believers gather, they are to 'offer up' spiritual sacrifices..." and " forth the praises of Him..." It is a sweet smelling savor from us to Him, for He is worthy.

YOUR ARE AT: - - - Why has church become a concert?
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms” Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms”

Protests and prayers continue in Bulgaria for the sixth week.

What are the benefits of the whole family being on mission? What are the benefits of the whole family being on mission?

“We’re not taking energy from my ministry when we care for our family in missional kind of ways”, says President of Josiah Venture Dave Patty.

“We need prayers for Bulgaria” “We need prayers for Bulgaria”

An interview with Pastor Vlady Raichinov, Vice President of the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance.

‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube

EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.