Power of Gospel Music
By EMILY MCKENDRY, Bible Instructor, Manitoba-Saskatchewan Conference
So closely associated with the work of creation and redemption is the melody of music, that we can hardly think of the one to the exclusion of the other. (See Job 38:4, 7; Rev. 15:3.) True gospel singing is preaching in a musical setting. It is a powerful instrument used by God in regenerating human hearts. In evangelistic work gospel songs cannot be treated as of little consequence. Speaking of the wonderful power of song, Mrs. White says:
"It has power to subdue rude and uncultivated natures; power to quicken thought and to awaken sympathy, to promote harmony of action, and to banish the gloom and foreboding that destroy courage and weaken effort. It is one of the most effective means of impres: sing the heart with spiritual truth. . . . As a part of religious service, singing is as much an act of worship as isprayer."--Education, pp. 167, 168.
At the opening of the song service the song leader stands before men and women from all walks of life. They have come with diversified thoughts, and many with distracted minds. The leader with a happy countenance, a cheery word, and a song of hope and courage can usually get the attention of the people as a whole. He seeks to prepare the minds for the sermon that follows.
Familiar and simple gospel songs are enjoyed by the average person. Great truths are usually simply stated. They are so worded that anyone with average intelligence can understand them. A great blessing is received through the direct power of simple gospel songs.
Claudia Muzia once walked along a country road in the South and listened to two colored children sing "Count Your Blessings." She had sung before thousands and heard the world artists sing, but she had never been so impressed by any song as she was by this simple gospel song. She said, "I have been counting my blessings ever since." And so the song leader by the use of simple and familiar songs can create a worshipful atmosphere that will prepare hearts for the sermon.
Short chorus songs—just a few words with an easy time—are very effectual in public efforts. These little songs you will find buried away in the heart long after the evangelist has left his field. The gospel soloist who renders her songs through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit with a desire to win souls, will obtain fruitful results.
An evangelist can preach until he is hoarse, he can plead until he is weary, but his voice often falls on unresponsive ears. Then through the veil of sin which has enshrouded hearers filters a note of song. Like a wedge it opens heart doors and makes room for the gospel message. An appropriate closing song will seal the message in the hearts of the people as nothing else can. The gospel song has the power to unlock hearts' doors to the Holy Spirit. It will help a man or woman when speech seems insufficient. Gospel songs may be made a medium of great blessing. They can supply something in the public worship of God that is otherwise lacking; for through them, praise and adoration may rise to the throne on high as a sweet-smelling incense.