the weblog of Alan Knox

Sing Song = Worship?

Posted by on Mar 24, 2009 in blog links, worship | 7 comments

A good friend of mine used the phrase “sing song” for the singing time of our meeting. Why do so many call this time of singing “worship”? Here are two interesting blog posts that ask the same question in different ways:

David Nelson talks about “Disney World Worship” in the third part of his series “A Curmudgeon Weighs in on Evangelical Worship, Part 3“.

ASBO Jesus’ cartoon #684 gets right to the point.

What do you call worship? What does God call worship?


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  1. 3-24-2009

    Jacob leaning on his staff?

  2. 3-24-2009

    My dad called the singing in the church meeting a sing-along, and thought it was similar to Mitch Miller’s sing-along television show, even the style of music. That was in the 60’s. In his later years he called some of it a performance.

    The church I grew up in did not call this “worship”, so I have always found it very odd to call it that, especially in light of what the Bible has to say, as in Romans 12-15.

    I think this is just another example of the church following its tradition and somehow trying to back it up with some Scripture. I am always amazed at the number of churches we have visited or attended that describe themselves as a “New Testament church.”

    I cannot find evidence of what makes them a New Testament church. If asked, I always get a disgusted response (as in “how stupid can you be to ask such a question”?) that involves “We preach and teach the New Testament here.”

    What I observe is that what they do is based on tradition, not the New Testament, even if passages from the New Testament are mentioned from time to time.

    Let’s call what we find in Romans 12-15 worship. I like my dad’s terms for the music we hear in many churches. Another thought – surely we all know people who can’t stand the typical menu of church music. Some of them show up intentionally after the music has finished. What kind of message are we giving them when we call what is often pretty anemic music “worshipping God”? How are they supposed to worship God if they hate the music?

  3. 3-24-2009


    I think I’m missing something… can you explain?


    (See my comment on my previous post re: your blog.)

    “Let’s call what we find in Romans 12-15 worship.” Amen!


  4. 3-24-2009

    I was taught that worship wasn’t something you just did on a specific day of the week, but was an ongoing process; a 24/7 activity. Romans 12-15 appears to bear this out. Could singing be a part of this process? I believe it most definitely could. I have heard both heartfelt singing and heartless singing all coming from the same person during the same meeting. I know personally some songs can move me to tears while others are just words strung together.

    What does God call worship? That is a question I am still searching for a complete answer to. But I really can’t imagine he wants me to sing him a song that holds no sincere meaning for me.

    I have been struggling with a similar question. Recently a friend of mine, a pastor suggested that the singing of hymns is required anytime the church meets. Could this assertion have any basis in Scripture?

  5. 3-25-2009


    I agree. I had a great discussion about worship tonight with some friends at Chick-fil-A watching a guitar hero tournament. It may seem like a strange time and place, but why not?


  6. 3-25-2009

    I’ll add Revelation 4. It really is a great picture of heavenly worship.

  7. 3-25-2009


    But there’s no singing in Rev 4…