Why I Don’t Often Have Solos in Church

One of the things that seems to not be fading away with some of the people I’ve talked to in my church is a desire to “be blessed” by people singing solos in church. The funny thing is every time I ask them when they would like to sing a solo I get the same response of, “Oh not me! I just want to listen to someone else!” Even when I invite them to join the Christmas choir they’re either too busy or want a much more passive role in the worship service. So today I’m going to talk about why I’m not a big fan of solos in church.

First, I don’t enjoy or encourage solos in church because they have a tendency to distract attention from God instead of giving him the glory. This has happened to me on the rare occasion that I lead worship through music on piano. Many people tell me they just “love” hearing me play piano. While I appreciate the sentiment and encouragement, I worry that the piano playing may be getting in the way of the sole attention and focus being on God!

Tied in to this, solos tend to generally end up being about the person and their gifts than the whole body. I know this is a temptation for anyone in a visible leadership position, and I’ve found it to be especially true of those involved in music.

Second, I don’t encourage solos in church because I can’t find a good biblical basis for it. I see many instances of corporate singing within the whole body (Exodus 15:1, 1 Chronicles 16:23, Psalm 21;13, Psalm 30:4, Matthew 26:30, Acts 16:25, Ephesians 5:19, Hebrews 2:12, Revelation 15:3) but I can’t find anything about using solos during our corporate gatherings.

Wait a minute, you may say, what about a sermon? That is in a completely different category! We have many examples in Scripture of someone getting up in front of people to teach and/or preach, yet I still can’t find an example of a person getting up to sing for people to passively listen.

Third, while I think solos could be used and could be beneficial and encouraging to the body, I don’t encourage them because I have never seen them done well. It generally begins with the person telling about why they chose this song and what it means to them, whether or not it fits with the theme of the service that day, or if the song is biblically sound, or even relevant to the congregation today.

Thus far at church, I’ve been content to do our annual Christmas choir, perhaps a special song during our Christmas Eve service and one during our Easter service. At this point I don’t see a need to extend beyond that, and am going to try to continue encouraging the congregation to join us in singing praises to God. I know I need the reminder on a daily basis that God alone deserves all my praise, honor and glory.

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