Have you read the news lately? It looks like the world is getting darker and darker, doesn’t it? It almost seems like every time I look at social media, I see another friend who used to run hard after God now turning away from the faith. Though there are great things happening all over the earth, we cannot deny that we are living in turbulent and perilous times. As a worship leader for a Christian ministry, sometimes I ask myself, “Why am I doing this? The world appears to be dying all around me and I’m here singing songs and leading people to do the same. I know I’m here to bless God and He loves it, but what about the lost and dying all around me?”
Not only does the ministry of song bless God, it is vital to keep the people of God steady during evil days. Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 contain the Apostle Paul’s pastoral advice for “evil” days:
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph. 5:15-20) – See also Col. 3:16
Notice that this is a relatively short list that Paul gives for how to keep oneself filled with the Spirit during evil days. It’s surprising that he spent a large portion of precious writing space on the value of singing songs! Paul’s advice to us is this: when the world gets dark, SING! It’s so simple that it’s almost offensive. Also, I noticed he doesn’t just say, “If you have a great voice or singing is your ‘gift’, then sing.” He tells us all to sing regardless of gifting, talent or inclination. And it’s not as though just speaking words has the same effect, because he says even “making melody” if done with all our hearts has power. Song has power to keep us that spoken words alone simply do not!
In difficult and evil days, we don’t have a right to not sing. What we do in the worship ministry in the church is vital for keeping the people of God steady during turbulent times. Our music is so much more than positive and encouraging entertainment. Every time we get up to lead worship, we are pastoring and caring for the body of Christ and keeping our own souls. Only then will we have the power to be a light in a dark world.
Thanks to Julie Janasiewicz for contributing to the shift115.com blog! Julie is a worship leader and staff member at Underground House of Prayer in Sioux Falls. Learn more about Julie here.