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April 27, 2023 / by Andrew Thompson

To those outside the Church, it may seem like a strange and unfamiliar sight—hundreds of people gathered together, lifting up their voices and singing together. Out loud.

Sometimes one or two brave souls might even lift up a hand or two! It is my prayer that this occurrence not become so commonplace that we miss the power and importance of this wonderful aspect to our weekly worship services.

You have probably heard someone describe a typical worship service as, “First we worship, then the pastor preaches the sermon.” Romans 12, however, explains that all of life ought to be an act of worship.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:1-2

The preaching is as much a chance for worship as the singing! As is the time spent in prayer, reading the Word, talking with friends, lunch afterwards, laying your head on the pillow and every moment in between.

So why the emphasis on singing? In as much as one might mistake the singing for the worship, and the sermon for the preaching; it is the singing that can so often have a deeper and more impactful penetration to our soul. The songs we sing preach to us just as much as that amazing sermon from Pastor Scott. These lyrics, sung together as one body, have a way of injecting theology into our hearts that often stick with us for a lifetime.

It is my honor and great joy to serve the Body of Christ in this way. My fellow song leaders and I take such great care to choose songs that preach the Gospel and teach the Word correctly. Musical styles, preferences, volume and other technicalities are all things we think about (and certainly these preferences change over the years!) but one thing should remain constant; that our hearts and minds are filled with Gospel-centered, Christ-honoring, Rooted in Scripture songs that make less of us, and much of Christ.

Andrew Thompson regularly serves as a musician and worship leader. He and his wife Ashleigh were married at East White Oak in 2004. They have four children, Alyssa, Austin, Abram and Ava. Andrew works at Chewy and enjoys bluegrass, outdoor activities, woodworking and taking things apart to see what’s inside.