Getting men to sing, pt. 1

Getting back into writing after a few crazy weeks…

The last part of April consisted of working on our Good Friday and Easter services (which went really well…I’m hoping to post a couple videos from Good Friday here in the near future), and then the first week of May, Michelle and I welcomed the newest addition to our family!  Hansen Kenneth (“Hank”) was born on May 2nd.  Everything went perfectly and we are happily adjusting to being a family of four and the inevitable sleep deprivation that goes with a new baby.

This past weekend our church held a men’s event we call Fight Club.  It’s like a retreat, except that we host everything on campus so we don’t actually “retreat” anywhere.  One of the highlights of the event for me was leading worship for around 75 men, which got me thinking about the unique topic of trying to get men to sing.  While the basic principles behind the why and the what of worship don’t ever change, I’ve realized that the how (besides, of course, worshiping in Spirit and Truth) is and needs to be a bit more elastic depending on the “crowd”.

I’ve encountered various lists before that attempted to give basic principles on how to encourage men to sing in church, and since I’m fresh off of a weekend of putting it into practice, it seemed good to present my own list here.  So, here you go – Ryan’s list of things to consider when leading worship for men:

singing man1. Men CAN sing

This may seem funny as the first item on the list, but I think too often we sell men short and write them off when it comes to singing in worship.  I can say from firsthand experience that some of the most powerful times of corporate worship I’ve experienced have been in the company of men singing boldly, powerfully, and passionately for Jesus.  Not only should we not write off guys when it comes to singing in worship, we should expect them to be the ones dominating the soundscape of praise in our churches.

2. Men like substance

This one shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.  Generally speaking, us men think more than we feel…we describe more than we express…we state or declare more than we emote.  While it is necessary for the scope of worship to cover the spectrum of the human response to God, it is simply more natural for a man to resonate with a text containing rich, descriptive theology or a declarative anthem than with a song that is more emotional in nature.  This doesn’t mean that guys can’t or shouldn’t be emotional; in fact, there are certainly times when it is only appropriate to respond to God with deep, pouring-out-our-souls-to-God emotion.  It just doesn’t come as natural to us – and that’s ok, because that’s part of how God made us.

3. Men like being led by men

This one may sound a bit sexist, but really it’s just an observation.  Here’s what is true: men follow men.  If you want to get guys in your church to sing, you better have guys leading, or at minimum, helping lead the singing.

To be continued…

2 thoughts on “Getting men to sing, pt. 1

  1. Promise Keepers was such a success for many years and part of that was the joy the men had in singing together. So much music came out of that era & movement. I agree with you on your thoughts although I found that I was successful getting men to sing. I think it partly had to do with “featuring” them and making them feel like they were a vital part of the worship which they were.

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