For thirteen years I have had a baby or toddler sitting in my lap during worship, sometimes two or three or four. I have been distracted, discouraged, and left wondering why I even came at all. I was what I would define a weak worshiper, someone who isn't fully engaged in thoughts about our Lord and oftentimes more worried about what people think of them.
The point of this article is not to alleviate my own failings or discuss how to teach your kids to act during worship - there are plenty of books, articles, blogs, and probably a movie or two dedicated to that. My purpose for writing is directed to those sitting next to the weak worshiper. I want you to know how you sing MATTERS.
During those times of great distraction I would often hear a strong male voice singing passionately, "I surrender all!" That voice encouraged me. Sometimes I would hear a sweet older woman crooning, "on a hill far away." I knew those words were not just a song to her, but a testament to a life lived in Christ. Too many times we simply say the words of a song, hope we hit the right notes, and pray we don't stick out.
Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:17 are banner scriptures in the church. Most of us know them by heart in order to correct those who think we should have instrumental music. However we often fail to obey the command actually given to make melody in our hearts, to edify each other, to spiritually encourage others.
As a weak worshiper I need to hear others sing with great passion they love the Lord. And while I never want to coincide the amount of emotion put forth as a measure of their love for God, I would have to question though do we all sing with passion for God and for the edification and teaching of the saints? How you sing MATTERS to the struggling Christian. It matters to the child watching you and learning how to worship. It matters to God.