Why do we sing?

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At Manor Park Church we love to sing praises to God but have you ever wondered why we sing? Perhaps you are new to church or maybe you have been attending for years and have never really understood why a large part of Sunday morning services are devoted to singing. Here are a few scriptural reasons that help explain why (and hopefully they will encourage us in our singing!) -

God commands us to sing

Perhaps one of the most obvious reasons we sing is because God tells us to. There are more than four hundred references to singing in the bible, including fifty direct exhortations to sing. When we sing, we obey. 

Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Sing to the LORD, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
— Psalm 96:1-2

Singing helps us remember God’s word

At Manor Park Church we aim to sing scripturally-rich, gospel-filled, congregational songs, that build up and minister to the church and enable us to worship our Lord and Saviour in spirit and truth. What we sing is important. In Colossians 3, we are told to “Let the Word of Christ dwell in (us) richly...as (we) sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs”. In other words, singing is one of the ways that we can let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly. Singing helps us to meditate on and remember God’s word, what a gift!

We follow His example

Zephaniah 3:17 tells us that God rejoices over His people with singing. Jesus sang with His disciples after the last supper. God wants us to sing because He sings.  

Singing helps us respond

Singing is an outward expression of our worship as we respond to who God is and all that He has done for us. God’s mercy and grace towards us should inspire songs of thanksgiving and praise. God’s people are a singing people, and we see this throughout the scriptures. The people of Israel sang a song to the Lord after they crossed the Red Sea and escaped the Egyptians. Their enemy had been defeated, they had been saved and so they responded in song. This mirrors our story of salvation through Christ, and so we too should respond in song.   

We glorify God

It has been said that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. We have been created to glorify God (Isaiah 43:7) and singing is an easy way for us to do this. He is worthy of all our praise!

Shout with joy to God, all the earth!
Sing the glory of his name;
make his praise glorious!
— Psalm 66:1-2

Singing together is a foretaste of what is to come!

When we sing together in church, we express our unity together in Christ. That means every voice matters! In singing “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” there will inevitably be variety in the style of songs we sing, sometimes a particular style may not be to our personal taste, but in these situations we can demonstrate our unity together and encourage one another all the more by letting “the peace of Christ rule in our hearts” as we sing together as one body for God’s glory.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
— Colossians 3:15-16

In Revelation 5, we are given this inspiring picture of “every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing”. The multitudes are united in their singing, not because of the style of music, but because their focus is on “him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb”. We don’t know what style of music we will be singing in heaven, but we do know we will be united with people from every nation, tribe, people, and language because we will be truly focussed on our Lord and Saviour. Let’s look forward to this with anticipation and prepare our hearts and voices as we sing in unity today!

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power, for ever and ever!
— Revelation 5:13

If you are looking for some inspiration, we have compiled a Spotify playlist that includes a selection of the songs we like to sing at Manor Park Church as well as a few newer ones that we hope to sing in the coming months. Please note, you will need to have a Spotify account to hear the full songs. Spotify offer a free plan but this involves hearing occasional adverts that we are not able to control. If you don’t have a Spotify account, you can to set one up here.

This post was written with reference to two excellent books; “True Worshippers” by Bob Kauflin, and “Sing” by Keith and Kristyn Getty. Check out these useful resources for further reading on this topic.

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Joel Keller