(A VISION FOR CHRISTIAN SONG, by Ken Bible; p.71)
We or I?
In our desire to worship God with one heart and one voice, some suggest that “we” language is
more appropriate in worship than “I” language. As a hymnwriter, I believe that stance is well-
intentioned but misguided.
Yes, a “we” perspective in worship is a worthy and constructive goal. Both scripture and
experience point us toward that synergy where worshipers join in heart and voice. The whole
becomes greater than the sum of the parts.
But individual worship is still the essential component. Though “we” language is highly
appropriate and expressive in some hymns, in others it can hold the truth at arm’s length. It can
lessen the impact of the hymn on the individual worshiper. When it does, corporate worship is
weaker, not stronger. A.W. Tozer said it this way:
“Someone may fear that we are magnifying private religion out of all proportion, that the
us' of the New Testament is being displaced by a selfish `I.' Has it ever occurred to you
that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each
other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard
to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers met together,
each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could
possibly be were they to become `unity' conscious and turn their eyes away from God to
strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified.