Singsong in Church – How did it get elevated to worship and Worship in church – How did it get reduced to singsong?


“Boyfriend songs” was the naughty and irreverent term I first heard used freely and often, when I was working in a Christian charity. It refers to that loose category of songs sung in church, where one sings – presumably – of the Lord Jesus as though He was one’s boyfriend. You know – words like “you were always there for me”, “when I’m down and lonely” “you are my best and most dependable friend”, “only you understand me”, “you’re my all in all”, “how did I ever live without you”… you get the drift.

All those lines aren’t offensive or anything like that; but by themselves and with no context of Jesus as God and His redemptive act on the cross all those lines are saccharine material – sweet nothings. It is disturbingly easy to find whole songs comprising lines like those and one can easily hear similar songs in a teenage girl pyjamas party I imagine. I really think they have little use in church especially for congregational singing purposes.

Actually it would be even better if we retraced our steps completely and re-examine the role of music in church. It has become such as central thing in church, that music has become synonymous with worship. It isn’t. To give music the status of worship, is to undermine – not underline – worship. To call someone who leads the singing on Sunday mornings as the “worship leader” is to undermine worship. To call music support work the “Worship Ministry” is to undermine worship.

To confuse music support work as worship ministry was the initial first step that lead to boyfriend songs forced on congregational singing.

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