Shout in Church – As a kid growing up in a traditional church, we sang from a hymnal each and every Sunday morning. I remember standing and singing one – maybe two hymns. We usually sang verses one, two, three and five. I never knew exactly why we skipped verse four. Who knows? But we did.
As a kid growing up in a traditional church, we sang from a hymnal each and every Sunday morning. I remember standing and singing one – maybe two hymns. We usually sang verses one, two, three and five. I never knew exactly why we skipped verse four. Who knows? But we did.
Then a time came about in the early 70’s when there was a distinct move of the Holy Spirit and churches across the country began to feel a shifting that came with a new sound for those who were listening for it. New songs were stirring in the hearts and minds of musicians and the result was that congregations were awakening to music that inspired them in a way like never before.
People were up and on their feet, clapping and lifting their hands, shouting to the Lord with new voice of triumph and even dancing. It was an amazing time for sure!
But not all was well in the land of “all things new.” Many sincere believers did not like this new sound and new freedom, and many others were confused. Is it okay to shout and clap and even — dare we mention it — dance in church?
The Bible has plenty to say about praise and worship and for the most part this is all covered in the Book of Psalms. There are actually seven Hebrew words that define our single English word for “praise,” which clearly shows there can indeed be multiple dimensions of worshiping God. For example the Hebrew word “halal” gives us our hallelujah. It means “to boast, celebrate, to be clamorously foolish.” “Yadah” is the Hebrew
word for worshiping with lifted hands. And the list goes on.
But there’s an interesting verse found in John 4:23 that says in part, “…true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” Nothing about how loud the music should or shouldn’t be, whether or not we can have lights (can they be colored lights or only white?) Can we worship only with a piano and organ or can we have thunderous drums and congas, loud guitars and really noisy horns? Please keep in mind all this worship is to Almighty God who created magnificent vibrant sunsets, cascading waterfalls and animals of such diversity there’s not enough room in this newspaper to rightly describe them all.
Over and over the Bible constantly encourages us to ”sing a new song unto the Lord” but many will only be content to sing songs that are no doubt awesome and moving but are, let’s be honest – really, really old. “A Mighty Fortress” by Martin Luther is one of my personal favorites but it’s almost 500 years old. By all means sing it, but how about adding a new song like “I Am Free” because – hallelujah – you are free!!!
I personally love our church services! We have colored lights up on our platform, drums inside a big drum box, congas, guitars and synthesizers. I truly believe if Jesus were walking around in Hemet today, He would be wearing a watch, driving a car, have his
face on Facebook and I’m pretty sure He would love’ our church services too!
As one pastor puts it: “Worship is the most powerful, joy producing, hope sustaining, life altering thing a person can do!” So, this Sunday, why don’t you put on brave and like they say — “Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching and live like it’s heaven on earth.”
Pastors Bob and Susan Beckett pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet. For more information visit them at DPCityChurch.com