I hope I’m not the only person who’s sung hymns in public, simply reading on a park bench, eating frozen yogurt, or waiting for your friends to get to the Chick-Fil-A bible study (pull an Early Christian if you want and go to a Chick-Fil-A in a liberal place like California, or New Jersey, or somewhere like that).
Of course, people sing contemporary worship songs all the time randomly in public. Like Petra (oh wait, I forgot, they kind of fell out of the spotlight before I was even born), or Jeremy Camp, or Lincoln Brewster or even Chris Tomlin (who needs to release an acoustic album, amen?). It’s absolutely a sure sign of holiness.
I’ll definitely admit that courage is an important ingredient in praise. But if you’re going to sing about Jesus, then this is what people think when you sing hymns:
- Catholic: “What a wonderful person!”
- LCMS: “Oh, that’s Thy Strong Word, second measure, page 576 in the LSB, page 142 in the LWH.”
- Any choir member: “Resist the urge to join in. Resist the urge to harmonize.”
- “Big Church”: *gasp* “Is he singing a . . . hymn?”
I know this from personal experience. When I was really young, I got my LCMS on and started to listen to the choir harmonizing their way through the service. Quite amusing, actually. And when those new-age hipster church people hear “Holy, Holy, Holy” coming from my mouth, they give me weird glances. In my mind, I think, “What’s wrong with you? Have you never seen a hymn-singing teenager?”
But remember the phrase from Zephaniah 3:14, “Sing for joy, oh daughter of Zion!” It doesn’t matter where you stand on “the hymnal issue”, what your worship leader looks like, or the way you hug. It’s all about the Jesus Dude.
That being said, I have a few more tips to singing hymns in public:
- It will feel awkward.
- Sing it out loud!
- Grab a buddy to do it with you. Jesus sent the disciples in pairs, remember?
- Make a business out of hymnal grams. It’s like the Christian passive agressive notes, but very musical and more tongue-in-cheek.
- If the worship leader does it, then join with them.
- If a church elder does it, then you have a very interesting church elder there.
- If, by chance, the youth pastor does it, then laugh and write on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram about it.
Peace be with you.
*The Jesus Freak Girl*