my soul  my soul  must sing
Used with permission. Man jumping high up for joy with arms outstretched over his head with a bright blue sky behind him

I love musicals, but I have to admit that it always seems funny to be watching a story unfold and then suddenly have all the characters break out into song. Like, when has that ever happened in real life? Work at CCCC has never yet come to a halt as the offices empty and we spontaneously sing and tap dance down the hallway! No sirree!! And yet, there are times when I do find myself breaking into song – especially at work of all places! I’ve been so flooded with joy that I feel absolutely compelled to praise God and thank him for what we at CCCC are experiencing. Do my team members hear me singing? Hardly! I wouldn’t want to inflict any pain on them! I’m just singing on the inside. But when I’m alone, yes, I have broken out into real song at the thought of the great things God has done and is doing.

The Bible is a musical

I’m not alone in the compulsion to sing to God. In fact, so many biblical characters have broken into song that I think the Bible itself is a musical. There is Moses’ song in Exodus 15 followed by his sister Miriam’s song.  Deborah’s song in Judges 5. Hannah’s song in 1 Samuel 2 and David’s song in 2 Samuel 22. Mary and Zechariah sing in Luke 1, Paul and Silas in Acts 16, the angelic elders in Revelation 5, the 144,000 in Revelation 14, and all those who overcame the beast in Revelation 15. Why, even the birds sing (Psalm 104:12) and the mountains and hills burst into song while the trees break into applause (Isaiah 55:12), metaphorically at least!

What causes such joy at CCCC you ask? (I know, I know. Given what we do, you probably all are incredulous that anyone could find joy in our office.) Well, here are a few work examples:

  • hearing how God is answering the prayers we offer each week for our members
  • seeing staff members enjoying their work, as I did on Saturday when we recorded a DVD
  • having someone tell me how much a CCCC team member helped them with their ministry
  • hearing laughter in the office
  • seeing people respond to our hard work by coming to our conference, seminars and courses
  • finishing a project that involves almost everybody in cooperative work (and that would be virtually every project we do!)
  • listening to members tell me of the wonderful things God is doing in their ministries
  • as I’m writing this, in real time right now, I just received an email from a foundation that will be promoting the DVD I just mentioned a few bullets ago. How cool is that? “My soul, my soul, must sing, Beautiful One!” It’s 12:25 AM and I am singing praise to the Lord!

Who can forget the opening scene of The Sound of Music, where the music starts so quietly and gradually builds up until Maria, who is enraptured with the beauty of nature, breaks into a song of joy? I love her natural enthusiasm and the freedom she has to express it. King David certainly had no problems displaying his enthusiasm, dancing with all his might (2 Sam 6:14)! While singing solo is not really an option for me, I do try to show my passion, enthusiasm and joy at work as much as I can. Usually I express my joy first in prayer with God, and then I find someone to talk with about whatever I find joyful. I think it’s important for leaders to express their joyfulness since emotions are contagious, and for that reason leaders should try to confide their emotional lows with God and only a few select others who can provide prayer support. But there is so much to appreciate every single day and as leaders, we want, even need, to be ones who reveal the joy of our ministry.

Encouragement to sing

As a way to encourage you to be more expressive, let me close with some of the biblical injunctions to sing and give praise to God. By reading these, you will be greatly uplifted:

  • Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. 1 Chron 6:14
  • I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High. Psa 7:17
  • I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. Psa 9:2
  • I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me. Psa 13:6
  • Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. Psa 47:6
  • Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious. Psa 66:2
  • Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds ; rejoice before him—his name is the LORD. Psa 68:4
  • For you make me glad by your deeds, LORD; I sing for joy at what your hands have done.  Psa 92:4
  • Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.  Psa 96:1
  • Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.  Psa 100:2
  • Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.  Psa 105:2
  • Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant.  Psa 135:3
  • I will sing with my spirit.   1 Cor 14:15
  • Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.  Col 3:16
  • Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.  Eph 5:19
  • Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Phil 4:4
  • Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.  Jas 5:13

So be joyful in your leadership and don’t overlook the goodness of God in even the small things. I can’t think of a better way to close than with this commitment:

I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Psa 146:2

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