“…be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart…Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Ephesians 5:19 & Colossians 3:16)
I think it’s safe to say that music plays a more integral role in “churches” today than perhaps in any other time in church history. (When I use the term “music” I am referring to “singing” as well.) Everybody knows if you want to have a successful “church” you’ve got to have good music and a cool band. Right? I remember that I was once told (when I was a “worship pastor”) , “Now, we need to play these kinds of songs if we want to reach our target audience.” The thing is, when I read the above verses, especially within the context of the epistles in which they find themselves, I can’t help but think that we’ve missed something- a big SOMETHING! So, let’s wade through these verses (It’ll probably take a few articles to do it.), and see if we can get a better handle on the subject.
The first observation I’d like to make, though brief and fairly obvious, is that the music mentioned in these verses is a function/result of spirit-filled lives joined and growing together in Christ. The Church is the “target audience.” This type of singing is not an attempt to attract “outsiders” and enhance attendance, but is instead a vital part of true spiritual growth. And participation in this “activity” is not confined to “worship leaders” on a platform, but inclusive of all who come together as members of the body of Christ. There are to be no mere observers. Everyone is to be a sincere participant. Each individual in whom the word of Jesus dwells is to participate in a Life-giving chorus.
If you are a lover of Jesus, a member of his body, you were created for more than simply going to a building every week, hearing some really cool music and “getting your praise on.” No! Your song is invaluable to your brothers and sisters. Be continuously filled with the Spirit and sing!