We err when the worship team is simply too loud that we can’t hear the congregation sing. It’s become more of a performance than worship. (Although I understand that, the bigger the church, the harder it will be to truly hear others voices.) Friend, are you looking for a church? Might I suggest you go somewhere that has congregational singing. You can hear others singing with joy — whether they are on key or not. Either way, it is a wonderful sound and pleasing to our Father in Heaven.
“We have a ginormous worship team,” Jared C. Wilson tweeted recently. “It’s called ‘the congregation.’”
This tweet, though tongue-in-cheek, is quite precise in its criticism. It speaks to a glaring issue within the evangelical church. When most churches want the worship team to be large, flashy, and concert-like, we need to regain the beautiful, harmonious noise of congregational singing.
Congregational singing — which includes the one who sings like it’s an American Idol audition and the one who can’t find the right key — is the most heavenly sound you’ll hear on earth. Because of this, it’s important to find a church that has congregational singing. It ought to be a priority when looking for a church home.
My family attends a church that has about 90-100 congregants on any given Sunday. We are small, relatively speaking. But we are also noisy! With a mix of different worship teams, their goal is focused on one thing: leading the singing. The worship team doesn’t drown the building out with ear-busting drums and hurricane-like vocals, but merely leads the congregation in the song.
We have lost the gravitas that is congregational singing. To many, they don’t want their voices heard in the first place. This is partly due to insecurity—which we can all experience—and partly due to putting on a show. We are more concerned about our appearance than losing ourselves in singing “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19) to God.