Encourage Your Songleader

Mark 14:26- “And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.”

The last thing Jesus and His disciples did in the Upper Room was to sing. Some believe they may have sung the traditional Passover hymn based on Psalms 115-118. Imagine our Lord singing when the cross was only a few hours away. I wonder . . . who led the song? Did our Lord do it or one of His apostles? What must it have been like to sing with Jesus?

If I were not a preacher, I would be a songleader. One day, my wife and I visited Hoyt McPherson in Dunmor, Ky. He was a dairy farmer and elder in the church. We had not seen him in sometime. As we got out of the car in his driveway, he smiled and said, “the singing preacher.”
My father, James McDaniel, was a songleader. His father, Clarence McDaniel, was a songleader. Many remark in different places about my wife, Martha’s, beautiful voice. Her father, Raymon Wallace, was a well-known and much used songleader. My daughter, Kayla, is also developing a beautiful voice, and now my son, Ryan, is becoming a capable songleader, much to his parent’s delight. We recently bought him a songleader’s edition of our hymnal to encourage him.

Growing up, some of my fondest memories were of attending singings with my grandparents throughout Gibson County, Tennessee on Sunday afternoons. For awhile, Dad was in charge of scheduling those monthly singings.

In addition, there was those Sunday afternoons in the home of my grandparents in Trenton, Tennessee where we would all sing together. Those were lasting memories to be treasured. A few years ago, a family member produced a tape of a singing that we recorded on one of those days. It was a fond reminiscence.

A songleader is a worship leader. They should appreciate the opportunity to lead the people of God in worship and seek to utilize wisdom in selecting the songs and pray for God’s help in making the worship of others as meaningful as possible. And if the word of God is dwelling in us richly as Colossians 3:16 suggests, then we will participate in the worship and sing with grace in our hearts unto the Lord as the songleader directs us.

Tom Holland wrote, “Singing has the power to convict us or to challenge us; the power to encourage and to exhort; the power for self-examination and the power to sustain our souls.” How meaningful the last hymn our Lord sung on this earth must have been!
Can you think of some ways in which you can encourage songleaders?

— Mike McDaniel