Why Your Church Doesn’t Sing… and What You Can Do To Fix It (Part 3)

vpvxucowi3ado33aqozn_400x400Today’s guest post comes from Jason Hatley, Pastor of Worship Arts at The Journey Church in Boca Raton, Florida. Jason is the Founder of WorshipLeaderInsights.com and author of two books as well as over a dozen worship leader personal and ministry growth resources.

Want to know a sure-fire way to keep your church from singing this Sunday?

I didn’t think so ūüôā¬† But the truth is, if you’re making one of these THREE BIG MISTAKES you in fact¬†are¬†keeping your congregation from singing.

Recently I kicked off this new series about what has become one of the major issues facing worship leaders and churches today: the decline of congregational singing.

And whether or not you believe your church is experiencing this right now, the recent trends point to the fact that¬†more and more congregations are singing ‚Äúless and less‚ÄĚ.

Today we’re going to tackle¬†the second reason for this decline in congregational singing, as well as what you can do about it in your church.


Have you ever been to a church service where the band is fully engaged in worship, but a significant percentage of the audience is sitting back, watching, checking their phones and wondering when the set is going to end?

The band may be well-rehearsed, musically excellent and have genuine hearts for the Lord, but if the songs they’re leading are too complicated the congregation is going to check out.

Remember… the average person in your church is not a trained musician.¬†What comes easy to you does not come easy to them. So, do your best to exclude songs that require large interval jumps or complex rhythmic, melodic and harmonic lines.

And watch your language, too (no… I don’t mean it that way).¬†¬†Be aware of the phrasing and type of language used in a song. If the song is completely me-focused, it’s likely not a good corporate song choice. If the lyrics are overly specific about certain life experiences, you may alienate a significant portion of your congregation who can’t relate.

If the lyrics are difficult or feel more like a solo than a congregational song you’re likely to create spectators rather than worshipers.

The truth is many of the songs being written and released for churches today are wonderfully written and theologically sound, but they’re simply too hard for the average person in your church to sing.

Does this mean they shouldn’t be written… that God doesn’t use them… or that we should not purchase any music that isn’t “congregation friendly”?

Of course not!

But it does mean that as worship leaders we must choose wisely the songs we lead on Sunday. Just because a song is on a “worship” album doesn’t mean that it’s right for your congregation.

When we select songs that the congregation can sing we are doing our part to help the church fulfill this command and sing worship to the Lord.

Click here to read the full article.

Your partner in ministry,

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PS – This series of articles on Congregational Singing was inspired by a leadership talk that I gave to my Worship Leader Gold network recently called,¬†Seven Ways to Help Your Congregation Sing (Lessons from John Wesley)”.

Now – you can have complete access to this exclusive leadership session, AND receive two additional Coaching Sessions, two Equipping Interviews, over $813.20 in FREE bonus resources immediately, plus much, much more (see below for the exhaustive list of what you’ll receive in this new network) when you¬†join Worship Leader Gold today!

Jason Hatley is the Pastor of Worship Arts @ The Journey Church and the Founder of WorshipLeaderInsights.com. You can receive his free weekly “Tuesday Morning Insights” by clicking here.


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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 85 church growth resources and 17+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyMisc, Worship Planning

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