Song Leading in Evangelism

Few things in evangelism are more im­portant than music.

R.A.A. is an associate editor of the Ministry.

Few things in evangelism are more im­portant than music. And yet there is no feature of a service that is treated with more disregard, or perhaps more disrespect. Just because the song service precedes the sermon, it must not be inferred that it is of less importance. With what care the farmer plows the soil in prepara­tion for the seed. That is essential if he expects a harvest. And with what delicate care should the soil of the heart be prepared for the seed of the word of God!

The song service is one of the most effective means for the accomplishment of this prepara­tion. But to do this there must be complete understanding and sympathy between the song leader and the preacher. The whole service should be carefully planned in counsel. Noth­ing should be left to mere chance or the whim of the moment.

On the other hand, a successful evangelistic service requires a spirit of freedom. To give the impression of things being overarranged is fatal. But that does not mean that there should be no prearrangement or plan. The ease with which one part of the service should blend into the other can be enhanced by wise planning.

The song service is not merely to occupy the time while people are finding their seats. Much less is it to drown out a hum of conversation ! It is a vital part of worship, and when properly conducted, is. a definite means of grace to those who attend. Foolish jesting, levity, and the effort to be clever are always out of place. But friendliness, sincerity, and the ability to interest are imperative. A good leader must have animation, but not artificiality ; rhythm, but not calisthenics. "Bodily exercise profiteth little." I Tim. 4:8.

A song leader is a minister of the gospel. His work is to bring the good news to the people through song, and in doing so, prepare their hearts for the spoken message. The singer and the preacher are partners in the service.

For the preacher and perhaps a group of associates, to walk onto the platform and kneel for silent prayer while the song service is in progress is unpardonable, particularly if they turn their backs to the congregation. It em­barrasses the song leader and disgusts the con­gregation. A little previous planning could make this entrance an act of worship instead of an act of distraction.

Silent prayer is not at all an essential in an evangelistic service, because in reality the wor­ship has already begun with the song service.

At least it should have; otherwise that part of the service is only a waste of time. But if it is intended for the ministers to bow in silent prayer, then is it not better if they appear on the rostrum just as an appropriate prayer song or chorus is being concluded? Then if things are timed properly to allow the song leader to kneel as one of the ministers, it will have a still better effect.

Could it be called worship, or even good sense, if those who are to occupy the seats on the platform elect to come in just when they feel they are ready, and do so at the very time the congregation is lifting its voice in peals of praise? For the song leader suddenly to dis­cover that the audience should be hushed and then by grotesque gesticulation endeavor to calm the assembly, is ludicrous to say the least. Should we not study how to render to the Lord acceptable worship ?

Counsel given this people by the Lord's mes­senger back in 1885 has some meaning for us today : "Is it not your duty to put some skill and study and planning into the matter of con­ducting religious meetings—how they shall be conducted so as to do the greatest amount of good, and leave the very best impression upon all who attend ?"—Mrs. E. G. White in Review and Herald, April 14, 1885.

The apostle Paul said, "I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also." Should we not do the same?

Painting Pictures With Words

A Greek Epigram Reads, "By words alone are lives of mortals swayed." The wise man says, "The preacher sought out acceptable words." Every idea the preacher conveys, he must convey through words. How important then for us as ministers to study the best way to express truth.

Words are the colors with which we paint our pictures, and every sermon should aim at making truth live. No photograph in black and white is true. The outline with the shading is not complete, unless the coloring is there. We may be able to state a truth in simple, terse language, but to find the colorful word, the crisp sentence, and give the concept a clear setting, will put truth on its feet. To take people's ears and turn them into eyes, that is our task. In doing that, we must seek out acceptable words. To be able by a few clear-cut sentences to paint a picture as with a bold stroke, is to grip and hold the people.

A study of words will always repay the preacher.

R. A. A.

Advertisement - Digital Discipleship (300x250)

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

R.A.A. is an associate editor of the Ministry.

November 1943

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Profitable, Spirit Born Men

Heeding Paul's counsel to Philemon.

The Shepherd's Responsibility to the Flock

As we near the end of time and approach the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, the dangers which face the church will increase. Are you protecting your sheep?

Question Service for Church

The question service has long been recog­nized by our evangelists as a valuable aid in bringing people into the truth.

Cultivate the Art of Oral Reading

From the standpoint of the minister, I think we can discuss the art of reading from two angles.

Effectively Presenting the 2300 Days

Our monthly bible instructor column.

Greater Bible Work—No. XVII

When a Bible instructor is transferred to another field of labor, the transfer of her church membership should be promptly attended to.

Religious Liberty Work Evangelistic

Religious liberty is fundamental to the religious life.

The Law of No Upper Limit

Address before S. D. A. Science and Mathematics Teachers' Council, Washington, D. C.

Harmony and Design in Dress

Our principles, perils, and developments column.

Shall We Neglect Missions Now?

Mission Problems and Methods

The Church Should Stand for Something

Biblical Exposition and Homiletic Helps

Preparation of Manuscript

Suggestions on correct speech and cultured conduct.

Planning and Working for the Baptism

Here is a comprehensive program for pastoral evangelism.

Advancing the Interests of Christian Education

A look at the John Nevins Andrews School and the work it is doing to advance Christian education.

Missionary Work in Navaho Land

Monthly medical missionary column.

Principles of Mental Hygiene

In Part I Doctor Shryock presented a definition of mental hygiene, the causes and early symptoms of mental ill-health. He discussed the Prevention of mental ill-health, showing the part the home and the school act. In this concluding portion of the article he continues with the adolescent period.

Fulfilling the Great Commission

As men are led to rea­son from cause to effect and learn that disease and death come as the result of sin, they will be led to obey God.

Potent Factors in Radio Broadcasting

What significant changes have taken place in the field of radio communication during a mere quarter of a century!

The Message of a Song Service

When a minister speaks to a congregation, he measures his sermon by the attention accorded his words and by the negative or posi­tive reaction which he receives, as recorded in the faces of the hearers. I have also found this to be a comparatively safe guide to follow in the service of song in our evangelistic meetings.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated


Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - NAD Stewardship (160x600)