Worship Notes

"Psalm 33:3 - Part 4
A Loud Noise"

This article will close my 4-part study of Psalm 33:3.  I hope that these last few articles have made you think about some things that you might not have thought of before.

In the last part of this verse, David tells us to "play skillfully with a loud noise".  Why?  What is so important about being loud?  Is there anything wrong with playing softly?

There are a couple of things that make the volume of music an important element.  First of all, we must realize that praise is a form of spiritual warfare.  Ephesians Chapter 6 tells us that we are at war with the forces of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places.  Praise is one of the weapons that God has given us to wage war against Satan.  Praise stills the avenger.  It confuses the enemy.  There is power in praise and Satan knows it.  That's why he would rather that we keep silent and stay at ease.  After all, he doesn't want to be hit with such a weapon as praise!

While it is true that there are times of reverence to the moving of the Spirit of God, I also believe there are times when we have to get mad enough at the devil to wage war against him.  War is not quiet.  It is not serene.  It is not pretty.  But victory in battle is sweet!  In Psalm 47:1 the Psalmist says to "shout unto God with the voice of triumph".  I believe it is during the times of greatest distress that our shout is most important.  It lets the devil know that we know who we are in Christ, and that the devil is defeated despite whatever circumstance we are in!  It is a step of faith that God will honor.

Another reason that loud praise is important may not sound as spiritual as the reason I just gave you.  But it is important nevertheless.  Volume motivates people...especially if the music is good.  Why does it seem that you can go to a rock concert where 40,000 people are excitedly dancing, shouting, waving their hands, leaping, crying and screaming about some doped-up, boozin', womanizing high school drop out who has smoked away most of his brain cells, but we can't get people to be that enthusiastic about the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth?  Part of it has to do with presentation.

When I lead worship, I make sure that the tone of my voice is such that people will get excited about the God they serve.  We play upbeat, modern music that people can relate to.  We incorporate a lot of movement (lifting of hands, dancing, clapping, etc.) in our praise services.  And we turn the volume up.  The volume motivates the congregation.  It also relieves shy singers in the congregation of their timidity because the volume is loud enough that they can lift their voice without being embarrassed of someone potentially hearing them sing.

It is important that the music be mixed well and played well if you are going to "crank the volume" a bit.  Remember, David said "play skillfully with a loud noise".  Nobody wants to hear a bad musician play or sing loudly.  But if the music is done in a spirit of excellence, the volume will only add to the effectiveness of the worship, so long as it is not painful.

Music Ministers, talk to your Pastor about the volume level.  Make sure that the two of you are in agreement over this issue.  Remember, results speak for themselves.  If you can show him that a good, strong volume level will increase congregational response, why wouldn't he embrace it?  

The greatest compliment that I ever get is actually one that has been bestowed to me on quite a few occasions.  There have been quite a few people (usually women referring to their husbands) who have said to me something along these lines:  "My husband and I have been saved for years and have attended several different churches.  My husband never participated in praise and worship before we came to this church."  What a compliment!  Because my ultimate goal as a worship leader is to get everyone involved...young and old...male and female.  An energetic volume level has helped me accomplish that goal.