When I looked at the “why” behind worship music and expanded my palette, I unlocked a world I never knew existed—one where God and I share a unique bond in one of the greatest art forms he designed.


Do I Have to Like Worship Music?

Jeff Wiesemann

6 mins

For most of my life, I did not listen to worship music. In fact, I actively disliked a lot of it.

Worship music—any song devoted to harmonizing about God—was never really my taste. Most of the worship tracks I had heard seemed like weak-tea versions of quality music: bland and not much flavor.

It was odd, though, that I felt this way about any musical genre. I grew up loving music and still do. My high school years were spent scouring bins at local record stores for used vinyl, many of which I still have, from Aerosmith to Marillion to Joe Zawinul—A to Z, get it? I even worked in a music store for almost four years, accumulating over 3000 CDs (I know, I’m dating myself).

Do I need to like worship music?

In short, I’m a concert enthusiast, a hoarder of historic listening devices, and a Spotify-wrapped buff. I just couldn’t seem to acquire a taste for this one genre. “So, what?” I thought—it’s not like Jesus walked around the streets of Jerusalem bumping Godly tunes with a prehistoric walkman…right?

Did I really need to like worship music to follow God?

I started digging through what the Bible said about worship music, and to my surprise, I learned that scripture is full of examples of singing to God. Plus, there is a whole book, Psalms—a collection of sacred songs and poems—intended to be sung. A few verses of the matter that stuck out to me included:

Psalm 95:1 - “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

Psalms 71:23 - “My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed…

Exodus 15:1 - “Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously…””

Ephesians 5:19-20 - “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Do I need to like worship music?

I even noticed that Jesus himself sang (Matthew 26:30). Whoa—combine His voice with Fergie and…well, maybe you know the rest. To me, one thing was clear after reading these verses. It wasn’t about the instrument being played, who sang it, or even having the exact rhythmic lyrics—worship was about singing to God because he deserves that kind of worship. Plus, hopefully, I can get to know him better and feel closer to him as a result.

I started my journey small. Since I hadn’t heard any worship music I had really enjoyed, I started singing the Psalms. It wasn’t the prettiest sight or sound, but I immediately saw my heart grow in intimacy with God that I hadn’t felt before.

When my own voice got old, I started to expand my horizons because God clearly made professional musicians for a reason, right? I combed through Spotify and YouTube, which made me realize I had a pretty narrow view of worship music. There were tons of sub-genres and artists I had been ignoring: gospel, hymns, contemporary, rap, rock…the list goes on.

Do I need to like worship music?

Getting on Track

Knowing the importance of worship slowly chipped away at my calloused heart toward worship music and motivated me to try out all different kinds of artists and styles. I now (try my best to) show up on time to church to hear the music—and enjoy doing so—and have curated playlists full of diverse worship tracks.

Have I now thrown out all my CDs—err—unfollowed every artist on our music apps who isn’t worship? Nope. I still love Ray LaMontagne and Thin Lizzy and experience joy in listening to a wide variety of music, which is attributed to God’s creativity in giving us this art form in the first place.

In addition to these artists and songs, worship music (and singing) now has a place in my queue. The worship genre as a whole doesn’t need to be an afterthought and can be a monumental step toward getting to know God better. It’s given me a space to tell God what I think about him, hear what he thinks about me, and trust that he loves my so-so singing voice.

So…does one need to like worship music to follow God? I don’t think so. But when I looked at the “why” behind worship music and expanded my palette, I unlocked a world I never knew existed—one where God and I share a unique bond in one of the greatest art forms he designed. And it doesn’t have to be studio-produced worship music—simply singing the Psalms to myself has been monumental in and of itself.

Look out, church parking lot—my Buick Encore will be taking up some more timely real estate.

A side note about Crossroads Music. This article is not a commercial for them, but I’m so grateful that God has blessed them, the Holy Spirit inspires them, and they are all using their gifts to help us all worship and connect more deeply to God. It was this deeper and more frequent Bible reading that made me reconsider my feelings. But when I heard *Crossroads Music’s “Grateful” and “Take Me Deeper,” I was so moved that these are now two of my all-time favorite songs from any genre. Check ‘em out in the Crossroads app, Spotify, YouTube, and other channels, too.

Disclaimer: This article is 100% human-generated.

Reflections to share? Got an idea for an article? Email us at articles@crossroads.net

At Crossroads, we major on the majors and minor on the minors. We welcome a diverse community of people who all agree that Jesus is Lord and Savior, even if they view minor theological and faith topics in different ways based on their unique experiences. Our various authors embody that principle, and we approach you, our reader, in the same fashion. You don’t have to agree with every detail of any article you see here to be part of this community or pursue faith. Chances are even our whole staff doesn’t even agree with every detail of what you just read. We are okay with that tension. And we think God is okay with that, too. The foundation of everything we do is a conviction that the Bible is true and that accepting Jesus is who he said he is leads to a healthy life of purpose and adventure—and eternal life with God.

Jeff Wiesemann
Meet the author

Jeff Wiesemann

I’m a husband of one, a dad of two, and an owner of zero pets (unless you count dust bunnies). Jesus is more than just alright with me. In fact, I think He’s pretty cool. When I’m not writing, you’ll probably find me watching sports, reading funny mystery novels (they do exist!), sipping a cold beer, or quoting 80s movies. Not necessarily in that order.

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