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(A VISION FOR CHRISTIAN SONG, by Ken Bible; p.23)

Expand Your Expectations

Wherever you are in your current use of hymns, look beyond. Hymns can do more in our

spiritual lives than we are allowing them to do. Expand your expectations. Consider new

possibilities.

Are you primarily using short, repetitive hymns? Hymns can effectively express more complex

ideas. Give them a chance to do so. Gradually expand to include hymns with more substantial

texts.

Are you using lots of “heavy” hymns, with many words? Don’t forget to occasionally mix in

shorter hymns. When the context is right, give yourself and your people the chance to reflect on

fewer words and fewer thoughts. You’ll find such hymns in a wide variety of styles to suit your

situation.

Look at the themes of the hymns you use in worship. Do most of them tell God how great He is?

That is so important. All true worship is God-focused, and looking to Him should always be

central. But remember, worship encompasses every response to God in faith. Prayer, holy

living, loving others, Christian responsibility, perseverance in trial, resisting temptation--all are

worship. All are responses of faith, and all are vital to our ongoing relationship with God.

These responses involve many different moods--sometimes joyful praise, sometimes reflective

worship, sometimes thoughtful challenge or deep consecration, sometimes brokenness,

repentance, and humble prayer. We need all these in our worship, and hymns can help provide

them.

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