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Do you ever wonder why your congregation isn’t singing louder, or singing at all? Your songs may be the culprit.

Find a congregational praise song with a great melody and lyrics, and you’re set, right? Not quite. Many new worship songs only sound good when sung by professional singers, not average congregations. I believe this is one of the biggest problems with today’s music—and why your congregation might not be singing like you think they should.

Right now, pick up a songbook with the latest cutting-edge worship songs. Just look at the typical melody—it’s a syncopated frenzy and probably way out of your congregation’s vocal range. How can the average person sing that? They can’t, at least not with any confidence. And isn’t one of our goals as worship leaders to encourage our congregations to sing, and to sing with all they’ve got?

The next time you sing one of these hot songs in your church, listen closely to the congregation (or record the service). You’ll probably be shocked to hear your congregation struggling to keep up.

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Discussion: Why Isn’t Your Congregation Singing?  was originally published on