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Stewart presents 9 reasons people arenít singing

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Louisville—If your congregation is not singing during worship, there are things that can be done to get them singing, Jason Stewart, music and worship consultant for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, said in his session titled, “9 Reasons People Aren’t Singing in Worship.”

His workshop, borrowed and adapted from Kenny Lamm of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, said that these reasons were:

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  1. They don’t know the songs.
  2. We are singing songs not suitable for congregational singing.
  3. We are singing in keys to high for the average singer.
  4. The congregation can’t hear people around them singing.
  5. We have created worship services which are spectator events, building a performance environment.
  6. The congregation feels they are not expected to sing.
  7. We fail to have a common body hymnody.
  8. Worship leaders “ad lib” too much.
  9. Worship leaders are not connected with the congregation.

“Just  because it’s on the radio, doesn’t mean your church congregation needs to be singing it,” he shared, drawing hearty amens from the crowd. “If the song lyrics can’t be preached from the pulpit, they shouldn’t be sung,” he said, repeating a quote he heard on Facebook.

Using humor from comedian Tim Hawkins to drive home his points mixed with real life experiences he’s had during his time in ministry, Stewart communicated his heart for churches to be singing congregationally.

“500 years ago, Martin Luther was upset about a lack of congregational singing, people not being able to sing,” Stewart continued.  “I’m telling you there are some congregations that are not singing. That goes directly against what God’s word says, how Martin Luther felt.

“If we’re not careful, we’re right back there again,” he said. “I’m nailing the 95 theses to the wall again and saying, ‘Folks, let’s sing!’”

Throughout the day, he led two other sessions titled “Transitioning Your Worship Without Dividing Your Church” and “LifeWay Worship,” showing worship leaders how to plan their services with LifeWay Worship software. (WR)


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