Can singing hymns be good for us?
Have you ever wondered why Christians gather all over the globe weekly to sing together?
Why does corporate singing feature in almost all of our regular meetings?
Corporate singing is as old as the church itself. Paul encourages the Colossians to “admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” If you rewind back to the Old Testament in 2 Chronicles: 20, Jehoshaphat sent a group of singers out ahead of the battle to give them the upper hand against the enemy. And it worked…
Recently there has been much published about the benefits of singing together for our emotional, social and mental health. Encouraged by Gareth Malone singing in a choir has become the 21st Century way of looking after ourselves, alongside running in mud and going to the gym. According to The Big Choral Census, there are 2 million people singing in choirs every week, that’s 300,000 more than those playing amateur football each week.
There is also a science behind it. Researchers have discovered that singing together is good for our lung health, boosts our immune system and reduces our risk of heart disease. There’s also a wealth psychosocial benefit such as improved self-esteem and confidence.
The most interesting finding from the research for me, as a worship leader, is that when we sing together our heartbeats synchronise, bringing a collective sense of calm. There is something very special about singing praise and worship in a group with our church family. You might say that the physiological mirrors the spiritual, bringing a sense of unity and togetherness that is vital in belonging to a local church.
For me, singing is simply a gift from God, something that he has sewn into the very fabric of his people since time began. The All Sons and Daughters song “Great are you Lord” paints the awesome picture of singing praise.
“It’s your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise…
All the earth will shout your praise
Our hearts will cry, these bones will sing…Great are you Lord”.
So next time you lead your congregation in song think about how it’s benefitting them from the inside out…