The Public Song Service

The two-fold purpose of the evangelistic song service.

By E. W. STRIPLIN , Singing Evangelist, Selma, California

The evangelistic song service has a two-fold purpose. The first is to get the audi­ence to invest something in the meeting. Peo­ple who have invested in an enterprise of any kind are very desirous of seeing it prosper, and will do all within their power to make it prosper. Not only will they be interested in seeing the meeting prosper, but as the minister comes onto the platform, they have already become a part of the meeting and are ready to listen to what is said. Their prejudice will be broken down to the point where they will more easily accept the truths presented, some of which may cut across their path. For this reason, every legitimate method available should be used to get the whole audience to join in the singing.

The second purpose of the song service is that it should be conducted in such a manner as to carry 'a message home to the heart of each person present. It naturally follows that everyone should notice the words and the mean­ing of the songs, as well as the music. In "Gospel Workers" we find this statement: "When human beings sing with the spirit and the understanding, heavenly musicians take up the strain, and join in the song of thanksgiv­ing."—Page 357. And in the book "Educa­tion:" "As a part of religious service, singing is as much an act of worship as is prayer."—Page 168.

All the attention should not be focused upon The director. If he does not have the ability to get a congregation to sing without the use of questionable antics, which only attract atten­tion to himself, he should by study and the help of God develop this ability. Our song 'services should be conducted in such a way as -to attract, rather than repel, hearers to the inessage.

The use of chorus songs is one way of con­veying a message in a few words that are easily remembered. One woman was attending a series of meetings where the little chorus song, "You Must Open the Door," was used a number of times. Soon she was singing it as she washed her dishes and swept the floor. She just couldn't get the words of that song off her mind:

"You must open the door, 

You must open the door ;

When Jesus comes in,

He will save you from sin;

But you must open the door."

One day she was singing this song and thinking of the words: "When Jesus comes in, He will save you from sin." She dropped to her knees and said, "Jesus, if you will do this for me, I will open the door to you now." God used that little song to bring her to a decision.

Many times it is possible to select and ar­range three or four songs in the proper order so as to preach a whole sermon. May God help us in the selecting and conducting of gospel songs, so that music may fill the place in our soul-winning work that God intends for it to fill.

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By E. W. STRIPLIN , Singing Evangelist, Selma, California

November 1941

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