At City Bible Church, singing is a very important part of our meetings. It is more than mere singing, it is worship, a time to praise God and meet with him. Christ is central to everything we do, and we try to keep our worship time centered on him as well.
We also believe that it is healthy to have variety in the songs that we sing. Our songs include different styles, instrumentation, and speeds of music. Some song lyrics come straight out of the Bible, while others take a more poetic or interpretive approach. Here are some of the different kinds of songs that we include each Sunday:
Songs To Acknowledge Who God Is
In Revelation 4, the creatures in heaven are heard singing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” The simple fact of who God is is enough to make them worship him, and it is for us as well.
We sing songs to acknowledge who God is and express our appreciation and awe at his character. Not only are these songs a natural response to our getting to know God’s nature, they also serve as a good reminder to us of who He is.
Songs To Acknowledge What God Has Done
Moses, Miriam, and all of the Israelites in Exodus 15 sang about how God saved them by drowning the Egyptian army. In Luke 1, Mary sings a song outlining what God did for both her and the nation of Israel. In the same way, we sing songs about what God has done.
These songs not only offer a well-deserved thanks to God for his working on our behalf, but they also remind us of everything He has done for us. Singing about how God has been faithful in the past builds our faith for the future.
Songs That Are A Conversation With God
The Psalms are song lyrics. The melodies have been lost over time, but the words live on in the Bible. Many of the Psalms are simply conversations with God. Some are appreciative of what He has done, some express anguish of heart, and some even ask for revenge on the writer’s enemies.
Just as in the Psalms, a lot of our songs are conversations with God. They are not just focused on His greatness or what He has done, but we step in and play a part in the song as well. We sing about our thoughts and feelings and how they relate to God and His actions. It doesn’t mean that the songs are about us. They are still about God, just more personalized.
Songs To Set The Mood
You may have noticed that we usually start out by singing more upbeat songs. This isn’t just to wake people up and get them out of their seats, it is to set the atmosphere. We think the ability to meet with the everlasting God is cause for celebration, and our music reflects that. Every time of worship should be a joyful celebration of who God is and what He has done for us.
In the Bible, King David gave us the example of dancing before the Lord and Psalm 149 says, “let them praise his name with dancing.” We want you to be able to follow David’s example, so some of our songs sound like dance music. It takes an upbeat song to be able to dance, so we try to include several such songs each week. After all, Amazing Grace is a powerful song, but it would be really hard to dance to!
What About Hymns?
Speaking of Amazing Grace, why don’t we sing more hymns?
Did you know that the Bible was originally written in three different languages? This was because God wanted to speak to each generation of people in a way that they would understand. God and His message never change, but His methods of communicating it do.
We don’t sing very many hymns because language has changed so much since they were written that many people no longer understand the lyrics. It’s the same reason we don’t use the old King James Version of the Bible. Phrases like “haste the day when my faith shall be sight” and “out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise” have no meaning for most people these days.
We want you to mean what you sing, and you can only do so if you understand the lyrics. Hymns are an important part of church tradition and history and they can carry a lot of meaning for people who grew up singing them. However, we strive to be relevant to the next generation and those that we are trying to reach, so we don’t sing a lot of hymns.
That’s an overview of some of the different kinds of songs that we sing on Sunday mornings and the reasons why. The most important thing to remember, though, is that whatever we sing, it’s all about bringing glory to God. Because He deserves it.