While runnig some errands this evening, I ran into a dear friend, who told me a bit about the church he attends. He told me that he recently purchased some ear plugs for the worship at church because the music was so loud. He said that volume of the music is so high that it was hurting his ears. I have heard similar complaints from older folks. I know of one church that heard enough complaints that it began to supply free ear plugs at the door.
Now, I know that the Scripture speaks of loud worship. “Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with resounding cymbals” (Psalm 150:5). But, the Bible also speaks of quiet worship. “My soul, wait in silent for God only, for my hope is from Him” (Psalm 62:5). “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
Presumably, the volume of worship should range from each of these extremes. At times, it should be loud and expressive. “O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation” (Psalm 95:1). Singing and shouting with joy! That’s loud! At other times, it should be quiet and introspective. “Come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker” (Psalm 95:6). Bowing low and kneeling. That’s quiet. (Note that these last two references were from the same Psalm.)
Bottom line? I think that something is dreadfully wrong with churches that put out ear-piercing music week in and week out. Worship isn’t meant to be a show for those up front. Worship is about the entire congregation joining together. Let’s at least have the volume such that we can hear our neighbor sing.