This is the 21st in a series of Friday posts on congregational song.
Remember, we hymn lovers and hymn leaders are part of a Body with many members. We are not an isolated entity pursuing our own ends. We must always think and work as one small member of the Body, with Christ as the head.
Remember, God isn’t fundamentally interested in songs, styles, pleasing sounds, emotional thrills, applause, or any of the other human commodities that so preoccupy us musicians. God is interested in people. As His servant, love people. Minister to people. Draw people to Him.
Remember, when a hymn is sung, the hymn is not the focus—not for the pastor, the worship leader, or the congregation—and certainly not for God. God’s Word is the focus. The response of His people is the focus. The hymn is simply a vessel that must stay out of the way. It should never intrude or distract.
If God is speaking, the hymn should present His Word with the clarity and power it deserves. If God’s people are responding to Him, the hymn should voice their response with all the energy and honesty that God’s living presence demands. A hymn should never drain off attention for itself.
And finally, remember that much of your ministry will be helping people remember. Help us remember what we must never forget. Most of us in the Church already know the vital truths that lead to a fulfilling life in Christ. But in the press of daily obligations and competing priorities, we desperately need to be reminded—regularly, clearly, compassionately, firmly reminded. Through hymns, help us remember that God is our Father. Draw us back to faith, worship, confession, love, and self-sacrifice. Teach us again that perfect peace is always ours in Jesus Christ.