Day 19: Congregational excellencePosted: May 12, 2013 Filed under: 40 Day Walk With God, Bishop's Blog | Tags: 40 day walk, annual conference, bill mcalilly, bishop, memphis, Methodist, minister, music, Prayer, tennessee, UMC, worship 1 Comment
The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
We are given the assurance that, “where two or three are gathered” (Matt. 18:20), in the name of Jesus Christ, the Spirit of the Lord is there. One of the ways we can feel that most deeply is singing together.
Being a “Minister of Worship and Music,” I am, obviously, biased when it comes to the presence and prominence of music in the church. However, what you may not know is why I feel so strongly about it.
It is oftentimes difficult to explain the movement of the Holy Spirit to a non-believer, but it is easier to grasp this experience when in the presence of a singing community. Put simply, singing kindles the flames of the Spirit.
Music has the ability to speak to people in ways much deeper than mere words, and it helps us connect with the church through all ages—the past, present, and future. Singing old and new songs is more than a way of giving identity to our own generations; it unifies us with the Body of Christ in all ages and times.
What are you doing in your churches to encourage healthy congregational singing?
It may surprise you, but one of the most important things I have learned in this endeavor is to build and nurture trusting relationships. Within your churches, I would encourage you to ask, “How is it with your soul?”
But I would also add, “How is it with your song?”
Prayer: God, help me to “tune my heart to sing your grace,” and make me ever attentive to the needs of your people to proclaim their faith through singing. AMEN.
The Rev. Jackson Henry
Chairperson, Order of Deacons-TN Conference
– – – – –
REFLECTIONS FOR THE DAY | Use a program on your computer, a traditional journal, or feel free to use the comment section of this blog post to record your reflections as a conversation with others…
READ – What spoke to me as I read today’s meditation?
REPENT – Where is God showing me that I have failed to be obedient to the call to discipleship today?
RECEIVE – What words of redemption and grace is God offering to me?
REMEMBER – Who and what is God calling me to remember in prayer related to today’s reading?
RESPOND – How is God calling me to respond today?
> DOWNLOADS – 40 Day Walk prayer guide (.PDF), 40 Days of Doodles kids journal (.PDF)
> CLICK HERE for sermon starters/suggestions
I have been a choir member since age 6. When I was too sick to attend church, choir practice and singing is what I missed most. My husband joined the choir when I returned to singing again. He commented that he carried the hymns in his mind (heart) all week. I just smiled, because I had known this all along. Choir members always receive more than they give to their churches. We sing for Jesus all week long.