Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 29, 1971

Singing A Church Dead

Conversations On The Way Home From Church:

"Wasn't the singing terrible this morning?" "Yes, brother Whatsit just hasn't got it when it comes to leading the singing." "Well, why do they use him then?" "He is kin to one of the elders." "Oh."

"Our singing is just awful." "I know, it looks like they would do something about it." We have several young men who could do a good job if given some teaching and encouragement." "Yes, I know, but they don't seem willing to spend any money for any kind of singing school."

"Boy! the singing in worship was really bad again today, wasn't it?" "Yes, it sure was — I don't see how we can convert people away from instrumental music with singing like that." "I don't either, why don't we ask for a singing school." "Well, we had one a few years ago and it didn't seem to do much good."

"Our singing just makes me sick. I would like to worship in song, but my mind is so distracted by the poor singing." "Yes, I know. Mine too. But the Brethren seem to think that so long as we are worshipping God rather than man it isn't too important how we sound."

"Ugh! Why doesn't someone do something about our singing?" "What can be done? we just don't have anyone who can do a good job leading." "Well, I wish they would hire someone then." "Yes, maybe we ought to let the preacher go, and get us a good song leader instead."

Such services from which these Christians depart have afforded but little opportunity for participants to teach and admonish one another in song, or to make melody in their hearts, or to sing with grace in their hearts to the Lord. Perhaps a good Christian will concentrate a little harder when the harmony is sour, in trying to make a sweet melody in the heart to the Lord. But even when the spiritual heart is trying to make melody the fleshly ear rings in discord. It is difficult for the heart to ring out sweet music to the Lord when the ear vibrates discordantly.

Recently, two young men, from the congregation where I worship, attended the Sabinal Singing School, a two week event held each summer in Sabinal, Texas for song leaders. Before the school these teenagers were possessed with a good many of the song-leading faults which are so discouraging to congregations. The school worked wonders! Their improvement is amazing. The congregation's singing is on the upgrade.

Several years ago, a congregation where I preached employed a professor of music to spend three weeks with song leaden in classes in our building. Beforehand we had none who could perform well in directing the singing. After the session we had six! We had six men who went out from those classes into the assemblies leading the church well in the worship of song.

In a singing school conducted by a church near Lufkin, I observed the enthusiasm of the brethren and the efficiency of the leaders who attended and cooperated. Their enthusiasm swelled over into neighbor congregations.

What a shame churches are singing brethren into lethargy, discontent, and spiritual death, when a little help by specialists could reverse the process.

If brethren would send the right men to the right places, or get the right teacher for a right kind of class program at home, the results will be that of singing a church into enthusiasm and worship and work.

In this week's issue we carry an excellent article on the singing service by one whose accomplishments in the field of singing and training give his pen a melodious note of authority. Don't fail to read every word of brother John Furr's article.

I like the expression "warm the cockles of the heart," as I read it from the pen of a popular patriarch of our day. The cockles of our hearts need to be warmed, and you can be assured that a great song service will do the job. So we encourage brethren to do a little planning, spend a little money, and be a little aggressive in the matter of improvement of the singing. "Lift up your voice and praise Him in song, sing and be happy today."

W. E. W.