Thinking Out Loud

May 29, 2015

Your Favorite Praise Song May Not Be For Congregational Use

The blue Pacific on a summer’s day
Rushing in to meet the yellow sand
The view’s terrific I see Monterrey
Lookin’ mighty fine from where I stand
The water dances in the sun’s reflection
A thousand silver birds fly in my direction
Now isn’t it beauty, isn’t it sweet perfection?

If someone were to ask me my favorite worship song, I suppose I could easily think of songs like “Shout to the Lord,” “Majesty,” “How Great Is Our God,” “Revelation Song,” and a number of hymns including “Our Great Savior,” which you may or may not know.

But not every praise song is meant to be sung congregationally, and we do ourselves a disservice when we try to take every great worship chorus and force congregations to sing songs that perhaps don’t match up with their personal expression of adoration to God. Sometimes we’re just meant to listen to someone else’s thoughts.

The song embedded below is an example of that. The late Tom Howard wrote “One More Reason” with a first verse that expresses the beauty of God in creation that he is familiar with growing up in California, with its references to the Pacific Ocean and Monterrey; the spirit of which was captured by the person who made the tribute video. To sing this in our church, the first thing I would want to do is make that verse more generic, but I’ve never got around to writing different lyrics because I rather enjoy the song just the way he wrote it.

The sky is singing, the earth proclaims
Always one more reason to praise Your name.

1 Comment »

  1. Great point. Forcing a non-congregational song into a worship set is painful to behold… though I’ve been guilty of it. Yes, it might be thought-provoking, might have fine-tuned turns of phrase, might be a rousing or moving piece… but unless there’s room for everyone to meditate on a performance instead of participate in the moment, it might not be the right song for a group.

    Still there are such songs that I would never choose for a set (after learning from those painful experiences), but their words always catch me right in the heart and spur my mind toward God. And that’s wonderful and serves a purpose.

    Comment by sonworshiper — May 29, 2015 @ 11:01 pm


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