One of the more challenging things for newer folks to our community are the songs we sing in worship.
So I want to give a word of encouragement here, and a few suggestions. One of the central things we are aiming at as a community is to learn to sing all of the Psalms. Despite the various opinions on worship music, the one thing that every Bible-believing Christian really has to admit is that God wants us to sing the Psalms. If only God had given us a song book!
We don’t believe that the Psalms are the only thing we are allowed to sing in worship, but we do believe they should be prominent and dominant. And when you sing the Psalms, they form your tastes and preferences, and you find yourself singing things you’ve never sung before. The Psalms teach us to sing to God about our enemies, they ask God to fight for us, they cry out to God in great lamentation, and they praise God with far more depth and poetry than many modern praise songs.
So the exhortation is to give yourself to learning the Psalms. And here are a few ideas to help: we send out the song list every Monday for the following Sunday with recordings. Use those recordings to practice in your car, in family worship, or with your roommates. Second, there’s an app called Sing Your Part (it also has a free website) and most of the Cantus hymns and psalms are there and you can click on the song and listen to it and pull up the words and sing along. There isn’t a bouncing ball on the text, but it’s really helpful. Third, most Wednesdays there’s a gathering of ladies in the morning for Tea and Psalms and a gathering of men right after work for Beer and Psalms where we spend about 40 minutes practicing the hymns and psalms for the coming Sunday. And last, there’s a monthly Psalm sing where we sing some old favorites and learning some new ones.
We do know this is one of the harder parts of our worship, but for those of us who have been working at this for a while, I want to assure you that it is one of the most rewarding parts. Once you get one of the Psalms down and it gets stuck in your head all day, you realize that the Word of God is now dwelling in you, and it’s very rich.