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Why Worship Lyrics Matter

Posted by Caris Power on

Do you give much thought to the words we sing together on Sunday mornings?

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16 ESV

After the sermon, our singing time takes up the most time in our gatherings. We are admonished through Paul’s words in Colossians that the word of Christ should also be taught to the church through the singing of songs. Singing is not simply an emotional connector between our hearts and God. As anyone who has ever had a song lyric stuck in their head knows, music is a powerful means of imparting information and driving it down deep into the crevices of our minds and souls.

After the sermon, the music is the second most powerful teacher of theology in our worship gatherings. So what are we being taught?

There are hundreds of thousands of worship songs out there to choose from. Each of them, hopefully, comes from the heart of a worshipper hoping to express praise and devotion to the Lord. However, not all of them accurately represent who Christ is, what he has done for us, how he relates to us or what he expects of us. Part of my responsibility as a leader in the worship ministry at Greater Portland is to help the church find songs to sing that will teach us good theology. That’s not always easy for me.

I confess that a well-musically-written song that is emotionally moving can distract me from being critical and judicious about the lyrics. The song is so good musically that I just want to give it a pass, especially if there are just one or two lines that may be theologically askew. That’s why I’m grateful to people like Pastor Jay, who just recently reviewed the lyrics of a handful of songs I asked him to look at, offering his much more experienced theological assessment of the words.

The worship of the church should help transform us, not take us from one emotional or spiritual high to another. We the church, and those outside of it, are desperate for the power and hope of the gospel. It needs to remain in our preaching and it also must be communicated in the songs we sing together. If we forgo it for musical expression, then we rob ourselves of knowing Christ and Him crucified.

My hope is that the song that gets stuck in your head from our times together on Sundays will be one that permeates the beautiful aroma of truth into your life. May the message of the gospel be on “repeat” mode in your heart and soul; for the message is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” Rom 1:16

Grateful to be in the “gospel” choir with you,



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