The Lord's Messenger

Singing is something that I love to do. Before I went to Bible college, one of the main influences on my singing style was Mac Lynch, from The WILDS Christian Association. He has a beautiful, mellow, rich voice, and I would listen to him sing on a CD and try to copy his voice. Because my voice isn’t as rich and full as his, I taught myself to sing using my throat in the wrong way, to give my voice the same sound as his.

It wasn’t until I went to Bible college that I took my first voice lessons. What an eye (or ear!) opener that was. I was privileged to have a wonderful teacher, who caused a series of light bulbs to turn on in my head through the course of taking lessons (and playing piano for other students’ voice lessons), each light bulb switching on when a concept of how to sing properly would “click.”

I remember in particular one lesson, where I was to crescendo and decrescendo on held notes, gradually growing louder and gradually growing softer at different times. My teacher, Mrs. Baker, told me that my crescendos and decrescendos were not pronounced enough. I disagreed. Inside my head, I knew where each rise and fall was supposed to be, and I was doing them; I knew it. Out came a cassette tape. I sang the song again, while the tape recorded every note. I listened to it, there in Mrs. Baker’s office, and sure enough, the crescendos were non-existent! Mentally, they were there, but physically they were not.

A similar phenomenon goes on in the mind of a singer as he stands in front of the church, whether he is singing a solo, or is part of a larger group. Mentally, he is smiling; but physically, he is often expressionless. I have seen this many times; often, I want to close my eyes, and not be distracted by the expressionlessness of the singer, but enjoy the beauty of the music.

Have you ever watched a preacher preach who was expressionless? He talks and talks, and maybe even tells a story, but his face registers no emotion. He may be gripped by the power of the message he is proclaiming, but you, the listener, cannot tell. He may be preaching the truth, but his demeanour does not match the import of what he is saying.

On the other hand, have you ever watched a preacher preach who was full of expression? His face is animated; he shouts when a point must be emphasized; his voice is full of passion as the importance of the truth he is preaching overwhelms his heart. What happens to you at that point? Are you not then gripped by power of the message of God’s Word? Are you not impressed with the importance of the truth? Both preachers may preach the same message; both preachers may even have an equal passion for God’s Word; but I dare say the second preacher will have the greater impact on your heart. This is because the messenger is a vital part of the message.

In Haggai 1:13, we read of a special description of the prophet Haggai. “Then spake Haggai the LORD’S messenger in the LORD’S message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD.” Haggai was the Lord’s messenger. Both a message from God and a messenger from God are crucial in the communication of the truth. Might I presume to say that the manner in which God’s man proclaims God’s message is also significant? The proclamation is indispensable; but the way it is proclaimed will have an impact on its reception! The congregation needs to know that the preacher believes what he is saying!

As the preacher is an integral part of the truth he communicates in preaching, so the singer is an integral part of the truth he communicates in singing. I ask those of you who minister in special music: Are you gripped by the power of the message you are proclaiming? Does the importance of the truth you are singing overwhelm your heart? If so, can those who are listening tell?

Don’t be like the deadpan-faced preacher. Remember, if your heart is excited about the message of the song, let your face know! Your facial expression is important. Ask God to help you communicate His passion, His love, His joy, and His truth through your music. God has a message; let Him make you His messenger. Your ministry of music will have a greater impact on those who hear it.


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