Researchers at the University of East Anglia have discovered something important that many churchgoers already know: Singing in a group is not only enjoyable, but also improves one’s mental health (BBC, December 21, 2017)! “Researchers from UEA’s Norwich Medical School said a study of 20 members of the group over six months found singing and mixing socially had helped those who had had serious mental health issues to function better in day-to-day life… because it gave participants a feeling of belonging and wellbeing.” The researchers studied a casual singing group that accepted everyone and did not have the pressures of rehearsals and performances. It simply allowed people to show up, sing as a group and fellowship together.
This modern research reinforces what the Bible has promoted for nearly 2,000 years. The Apostle Paul instructed Christians to use opportunities to gather together and encourage each other (Hebrews 10:24-25). He also instructed Church members to speak to each other “in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19). Paul also urged believers to spend time “teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16). At God’s weekly commanded Sabbath services (Exodus 20:8-11), His people come together not only to worship and hear His inspired word explained, but also to sing together in praise to Him and fellowship with each other (Psalm 100:2). This tradition of the Church is also a command by God—a command that has inherent mental health benefits! To learn more about the biblical instructions for worshiping God, read or listen to Which Day Is the Christian Sabbath?