I’m not sure what sort of church you go to and the style of worship, but at our church one of the things we’re often working on for musicians and singers who lead us in worship is there “scrunch face”.

What I mean by this, is that so often when people are concentrating on their musical parts and being sincere about the words that they’re singing they get this serious, scrunched up face of concentration. Whether on the platform or in the congregation, a lot of us sing songs with this very serious and intense look about us.

It’s funny though, because the words that we’re singing are often some of the best news headlines in the world!

“Our God has conquered the grave! …Oh how He loves us! …What a beautiful name it is! …Amazing Grace!”

These words and truths about our amazing God usher in the joy of the Lord. The fruit of the Spirit includes JOY, and yet so often when we sing these songs and declare the goodness of our God we look the opposite of joyful. What’s with that?!

We often tell those who lead worship through singing or instruments to let their hearts tell their faces that this is GOOD news and JOYFUL truths that we are singing. We encourage them to lead others and communicate with their eyes, smiles, and upturned heads what is so great about our Jesus. He is our joy! He is our song!

So, I have determined as a bit of experiment, to see what it would be like to be intentional about joy. Each Sunday at church, I choose to smile as I sing. And when the chorus comes (usually the most triumphant part), I grin and shout it out like a fool!  It really is the best news in the world, and so I’m making a joyful noise.

This practice has changed worship times for me, helped me to see the amazing news of the Gospel with fresh eyes, and has ushered in the Joy of the Spirit. Maybe you want to try it too!