We worship in our spirits, by the power of the Holy Spirit, but also with deep intellectual investment, with an eye fixed on the glory of the gospel as well as a heart tuned to its sentiments. Such worship is deeply didactic, it retrains the flagging disciple, it prohibits empty sentiment, it draws our attention and our affection towards the God in whose presence and power we are meeting.
It was the voices of the brothers at my side
They were singing out my song
When the song in me had died – Andrew Peterson
Congregational singing is a major means of grace and growth for the soul of the Christian, it is a distinctive discipline of God’s people to pour out their hearts and lift their voices together in common worship of the One who has loved and redeemed them. Singing together is the activity of Christians who wish to serve one another, who are willing to struggle together all the way to glory, who intuitively understand the power of song to lift our souls, strengthen our hands, and enlarge our hearts. There is little risk for the modern church to undervalue sung worship in terms of quantity, but there is a real danger that we might devalue its quality and function, that we might give it a place in the set but not a part in the drama of our pilgrimage home.
True congregational singing will always have a subjective effect on the believer, but only via objective truth; it will move the heart, it will raise emotion, but not as an end in itself.