Back in the 1800’s John Wesley—the founder of the Methodist Church—wrote some rules to sing by. I think they were written for the many Methodist lay preachers who were travelling the countryside by horse sharing the gospel, but I think they are a lovely reminder for all of us as to how we approach our worship of God through singing together:
See that you join the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a slight degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up and you will find a blessing.
Lustily and with good courage.
Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep, but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, than when you sung the songs of Satan.
Do not bawl, so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony; but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound.
Whatever time is sung, be sure to keep with it. Do not run before nor stay behind it, but attend closely to the leading voices, and move therewith as exactly as you can. And take care you sing not too slow. This drawling way naturally steals on all who are lazy and it is high time to drive it out
from among us, and sing all our tunes just as quickly as we did at first.
Above all sing spiritually
Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than
yourself, or any other creature. In order to this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your Heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve of here, and reward when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.
Many of us have favourite hymns or songs that bring back lovely memories or deeply spiritual times with the Lord. If you have a favourite hymn or song, let Julie know and she’ll pass them on to the worship leaders.
From NBC August 2023 Newsletter