New Year’s song resolutions — Hugh Wetmore

Welcome this opportunity to set a new, clear, 20/20 vision for your sung worship ministry this New Year. Give it deep, prayerful consideration, together with your colleagues. Take your congregational singing one notch higher than it was last year. Set your bar one notch higher, and stretch your muscles to clear the new height. Translate the well-known song into the singing context of your church: “I’m pressing on the upward way, new heights I’m gaining every day, … for faith has caught the joyful sound, the song of saints on higher ground.”

Last year was a good year, and you did exploits in the name of our Lord. With His energy in your soul, do even better in 2020. I suggest some areas in which every pastor and service-leader can improve the singing component of the service ….

1. Ensure every song you sing is rich in God’s Word. It is useful to search for scriptural support for each line or concept in the songs you sing. You won’t find them every time, but there should be enough to substantiate God’s requirement for biblical singing.

This means you will avoid choosing songs with lyrics that have no biblical meaning.

2. Ensure that your Sunday song-list includes a variety of styles and genres … as the apostle expressed it in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16: Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Make sure that everyone’s favourite style is included in your services.

This means that you will avoid slipping into a monotonous one style/genre rut.

3. Ensure that your Sunday song-lists include both vertical songs addressed to God, and horizontal songs addressed to one another. Thanking God and teaching each other.

This means that you will broaden the range of song themes, and song purposes.

4. Ensure that the songs and music you choose are easily singable by the congregation. Recently I was in a congregation which got lost singing well-known songs to pre-recorded music. What a friend we have in Jesus and How great Thou art were beautifully sung by a famous Christian artist who had his own personal rhythm — and this confused the congregation, which was singing at the usual pace of the music.

This means you will avoid unsingable music that is difficult for ordinary people to sing.

Incorporate one or more of these in your New Year’s song resolutions, and depend on the Holy Spirit to succeed!

One Comment

  1. Thank you Hugh, this is sound and practical advice.