At our church we continuously deal with the issues of getting things to sound right in our worship gatherings on Sunday mornings (not too quiet, not too loud, etc.) I think that’s important. Congregants should be able to hear what’s being said and sung clearly without imposed distractions. However, I wonder if we sometimes worry too much about audio problems. I am constantly reminded that the old saying is true, that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. I am also reminded that, at least according to instructions for the worship of Yahweh given in the Bible the proper decibel level for congregational worship is, well “LOUD.”
Consider this excerpt from The Voice translation of the Psalms and the following text from the Bible:
If Psalm 150 is any indication, then the worship of the one True God ought to be full of life and energy. Consider what it must have looked and sounded like in those days: voices lifted, shouting for joy, trumpets blaring, stringed instruments playing, people dancing, pipes humming, tambourines keeping rhythm, cymbals crashing. There are times when worship ought to break out in joy. Is it possible that our worship is too quiet, too reserved, too structured?
“Praise the Eternal! Praise the True God inside His temple. Praise Him beneath massive skies, under moonlit stars and rising sun. Praise Him for His powerful acts, redeeming His people. Praise Him for His greatness that surpasses our time and understanding. Praise Him with the blast of trumpets high into the heavens,and praise Him with harps and lyres and the rhythm of the tambourines skillfully played by those who love and fear the Eternal. Praise Him with singing and dancing; praise Him with flutes and strings of all kinds! Praise Him with crashing cymbals, loud clashing cymbals! No one should be left out; Let every man and every beast—every creature that has the breath of the Lord—praise the Eternal! Praise the Eternal!”
~Psalm 150 (VOICE)
Though distractions can be imposed on worshippers by less than ideal circumstances in public worship, still the praise of God that fills our hearts by the Spirit should ever serve to reign in our attention and focus our soul’s attention on fulfilling the Christian mandate to praise our Father together. It’s not just the “loud crashing cymbals” that should praise loudly, it’s everyone involved. Perhaps we should all be louder and unashamed (and less knit-picky in the presence of our Savior.