Most churches devote around 20–30 minutes each weekend to a time of congregational singing. During this time, the worship pastor is given the sacred trust of communicating to those in his church the glory of God through song and spoken word. This is a wonderful and weighty responsibility we have been given.
We are called not to entertain, but to plead with people to remember and behold Jesus, while imploring others to repent and be saved by him. We have this great opportunity to struggle for others who willingly put themselves under our teaching each weekend in hopes that their hearts would be encouraged and that they would “reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ” (Colossians 2:2). How are you using your time?
Informed and Propelled Doxology
In Acts 8, Philip hears an Ethiopian eunuch reading Isaiah 53:7–8 aloud and asks him, “‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ And he said, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?”’ (Acts 8:30–31). Philip is invited to sit with him, explain the Scriptures to him, and ultimately baptize him. He used the time that he had to bring clarity to the Scriptures. We see that the eunuch in verse 39 “went on his way rejoicing.” His biblical theology informed and propelled his doxology.
The worship of those you are leading will be richer if you teach them the riches of the One they’re celebrating. And teaching takes time. Dissect, study, and tether the lyrics of each of your songs to God’s word. Type the Scripture passages on your chord charts and church screens while including them in your prayers and teaching moments. Your hard work will result in God’s people having a greater awareness of his glory.
Toward the Deeper Waters
Am I saying that those with little theological framework can’t still bring a pleasing offering to God? No. But just because it’s okay for a child to play contently in a kiddy pool doesn’t mean it’s okay for an adult to play there also. An adult should be discontent with the confines of a kiddy pool when there is deep water available. It’s like some who gaze into the night sky and see only small lights dotting the darkness, while others see innumerable spheres of gas illuminated by the Lord (Jeremiah 31:35) and held together by gravity in a galaxy surrounded by more galaxies. And like some who look with deficiency upon a rainbow and see only bands of color refracting light, while others see bands of color representing a covenant of mercy (Genesis 9:13).
Many never make the connection that a covenant-keeping Creator has positioned these things in the sky for his glory. In the same way, many sing songs and hear words that are meaningless to them because they haven’t been informed about what they’re singing or hearing. The role of the worship pastor is to lead and equip the church into deeper waters that they might grow into greater levels of maturity.
And the deep water is available. Psalm 119 tells us that those who wade in the deep waters are there because they’re walking in his ways — in the law of the Lord. We can enjoy the depths of all that God has for us if we fix our eyes on the Lord’s commandments, meditating on his commands and hiding his word in our hearts.
Persist in This
Still, some leaders neglect to teach the Bible each weekend. Perhaps they hope not to offend their hearers or maybe they have forgotten that they’re to be devoted “to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13). This neglect is astounding when we remember that the word of God . . .
reveals the glory of the Lord (Isaiah 40:5)
is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105)
is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12)
keeps us from sinning (Psalm 119:11)
is at work in believers (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17)
makes one wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15)
is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timohty 3:16)
makes the man of God complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:17)
stands forever (Isaiah 40:8)
A deficient view of the word of God will result in a deficient view of God. Do not neglect this wonderful and weighty responsibility to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to your people. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers (1 Timothy 4:16).