Each Sunday parishioners gather in their local churches to worship God by singing hymns, saying prayers, experiencing sermons and engaging in other parts of the liturgy. Every dimension of the worship service is important.
Hymns are especially important because they provide a vocabulary for praise and communicate theology and doctrine in poetic and memorable ways. The Bible reminds us to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord” (Ps 100:1) and to “speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” (Eph 5:19).
What is your favorite hymn? Christian Reader magazine recently surveyed its readers requesting their favorite hymns and praise songs. The magazine cited the top 10 choices in their September/October issue:
1. “Amazing Grace” by John Newton.
2. “How Great Thou Art” by Carl Boberg and S. K. Hine.
3. “Because He Lives” by William Gaither.
4. “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” by Thomas Obadiah Chisholm.
5. “The Old Rugged Cross” by George Bennard.
6. “What A Friend We Have in Jesus” by Joseph Scriven.
7. “To God Be the Glory” by Fanny Crosby.
8. “Majesty” by Jack Hayford.
9. “Shout to the Lord” by Darlene Zschech.
10. “Holy, Holy, Holy” by Reginald Heber.
Good hymns tend to lift our spirits and feed our souls. Remember to “worship the Lord with gladness and come before the Lord with joyful songs ” (Ps 100:2).
Barry Howard is pastor of First Baptist Church in Corbin, Ky.
Pastor at the Wieuca Road Baptist Church in Atlanta. He also serves as a leadership coach and columnist for the Center for Healthy Churches.