In every church I’ve been, somebody doesn’t participate in the singing during the worship service. Here are some reasons some folks may not have sung in your church yesterday:
- They’re frustrated with someone or something in the church. Some folks let their frustrations so control them that they refuse to focus on anything else, even during worship. Their idolatry blocks their worship.
- They don’t sing in general. Some folks just don’t sing much—or, they know they don’t sing well. It’s just better, they assume, to be quiet and let others sing. Their silence really is not an objection to anything.
- They have sin issues in their own life. Even the “best” hypocrites will eventually struggle with singing when ongoing sin’s a problem in their life. The words of a song might, in fact, convict them.
- They didn’t know the songs. Obviously, no person can know every possible song for worship—but it’s tough for many of us to sing fervently when we don’t know the song at all. That’s especially hard if the worship leader doesn’t first take time to teach the song.
- No one ever taught them a strong theology of worship, including the importance of worshiping through song. When we don’t have a good theology of worship, we too often assume worship is about us . . . and our music and style preferences. Self-centered worship is not biblical worship.
- They’re facing struggles in their home or work. We who lead worship services often have no idea what our church members are facing behind closed doors. They bring baggage with them, and that baggage hinders their worship.
- They were trying to make some kind of protest statement. Maybe they don’t like the pastor . . . or the worship leader . . . or the music style . . . or the general direction of the church . . . or just about anything else. They assumed their protest will lead to the change they want (which is seldom the case).
- The song choices were difficult for any congregation to sing. I’ve been in worship services where the song selection seemed to be more to showcase the leader than to invite the congregation to sing. In my judgment, that issue’s on the shoulder of the one who chooses the songs more than it is on the participants.
- The entire worship service seemed to be designed for spectators, not for worshiping participants. The focus on the “show on the stage” made it feel like the role of the congregation was to watch and listen—not get in the way of the music by singing too much. I don’t know a church that deliberately operates this way, but I do know some that leave you with that impression.
- They may not be believers. I realize even non-believers can sing, but they’ll not be inclined to do so with fervor and passion. It’s hard to sing strongly about Someone you do not know.
What would you add to this list?