Servants, Not Songsters

Tom Nettles recently published a fantastic biography of Charles Spurgeon. Nettles did much of his research in Spurgeon’s monthly publication, The Sword and the Trowel, where Spurgeon provided insights into his ministry and church life at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. As it turns out, Spurgeon cared deeply about the music at his church and how that music was led.

Spurgeonbook

Nettles describes Spurgeon’s opinions:

“Anything that detracted from the fullest participation in the music by the entire congregation Spurgeon opposed. To the leader he warned, ‘The people come together not to see you as a songster, but to praise the Lord in the beauty of Holiness.’ He was not to sing for himself only, ‘but to be a leader of others, many of whom know nothing of music.’ Tunes should be easily learned by all so that none will be compelled to be silent when the ‘Lord is to be extolled in the assembly. None should be defrauded of their part in the worship because of the exclusive taste of the leader.’ … Those whose concern is more for art than for corporate worship should meet at home for that purpose, but ‘the Sabbath and the church of God must not be desecrated to so poor an end.'” (emphasis mine)

Amen. If you want to learn more about the book, I got to interview Nettles about it here.

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