I remember years ago people didn’t understand why we sang simple songs on Sunday morning in worship. It was commonly called ‘singing choruses’ back then. I remember specifically a coworker asking me if our church was the kind that sang the same chorus over and over. It took me a little while to be able to explain clearly why I was drawn to this type of worship. But finally I was able to explain why singing simple songs had a place.
It is all about intimacy.
Singing more complex songs like hymns and some gospel songs are very valuable but for a different reason. Complex songs are avenues of teaching and reminding us of the great truths of God.
Simple songs have a totally different purpose. They are not to teach or remind us about God but to connect us to God in a face to face encounter.
Simplicity brings intimacy.
There is a big difference between singing to God and singing about God. Both are needed but we do need to do both. Hopefully singing about God brings us to Him. And when we get to Him we should change our language.
For instance, I can tell you all day about my wife. I can tell you about her attributes, her personality, her history, and her goals. But when I am in her presence this is not necessary. In her presence I should just enjoy her attributes and personality. My language and expectations change.
It is the same way in worship. Complex songs are good, but we shouldn’t stay there, we should move into a style of worship that enjoys God’s personality and actually experience His love for us. This demands a simpler, slower, more meditative type of worship.
If we believe God is present in our worship as He promises to be, then we must frame all language of worship as to Him and not merely about Him. Otherwise our worship effectively ignores and potentially offends Him by talking about Him as though He is not present in the circle.
So simple songs are about singing to and not just about God because we are wanting an encounter with Him.