Speaking in tongues during worship is common in Churches that believe in speaking in tongues. But of course it raises questions in the congregation.
I have attended churches where the worship leader spoke in tongues during worship and I could tell that not everyone was happy.
In this article, I want to analyze speaking in tongues during worship and whether it is a wise thing to do or not.
Speaking in Tongues during Worship: Is it Okay?
Before you ask if speaking in tongues during worship is okay, you need first to specify your position. During a worship session in church there is the worship leader, the backup team and the congregation.
The worship leader is usually the main focus (Physically speaking) during worship. If she speaks in tongues during the worship session, her action will have a tremendous impact on the congregation than any other person.
Different churches have different rules but what does the Bible say?
Well, there is no specific Bible verse that addresses this matter. The closest verse that relates to this matter is 1st Corinthians 14:40 that says everything should be done in an orderly and fitting way.
But what exactly does orderly mean?
Orderly is a relative term and each church has its custom scale. I have been to a church where the worship leader would speak in tongues almost half of the entire time allocated for worship and no one would complain.
I have been to other churches where the one leading worship could not even utter a single word in tongues even though the church allows speaking in tongues.
This is more of a ‘housekeeping’ issue rather than a doctrinal issue.
The best thing for a worship leader to do is be herself and lead worship the best way she knows how to.
There are worship leaders who love speaking in tongues during worship and some who don’t. Provided both of them are giving worship to God, there is nothing to worry about.
Will the speaking in tongues of the worship leader cause chaos in church? Chaos is too strong of a word to use but we can agree that it will cause some level of discomfort.
Backup Team Speaking in Tongues during Worship
The backup team follows the leading of the worship leader. If the leader is speaking in tongues and people in the backup team also have the gift, it is common sense that they also speak in tongues.
The role of the backup team is to back up the leader in whatever she does. Of course the impact of the worship leader will be multiplied by the backup team.
If the worship leader offended a few people with speaking in tongues during worship, the backup will only make the offence worse. But if the one leading worship charged up the congregation by speaking in tongues, the backup team will fire them up even more.
Either way, each person leading worship and her team need to decide what they will do and stick to it because either way, there will be casualties.
Speaking in Tongues in the Congregation during Worship
If you are in the congregation and you get the urge to speak in tongues when worship is going on, do it. The Spirit of God is not foolish to prompt you to speak in tongues in that situation; He knows what He is doing.
Most tongues spoken during worship are directed towards God. No one should withhold their worship from God in fear of men.
Remember the Bible asks us not to quench the Spirit of God. Jesus also told us that whoever is ashamed of Him before men, He will be ashamed of him before the Father.
If you refuse to speak in tongues in a congregation during worship because it is creepy, don’t complain when you struggle to speak in tongues when you are alone.
Speaking in Tongues during Worship: Does it need Interpretation?
Tongues spoken during worship are spoken to God and do not need interpretation. Why should anyone know their interpretation? Is it the person who is being worshipped or God?
If God wants someone else to hear the worship someone is giving in tongues, He will give the other person the ability to understand. But to demand that tongues spoken during worship need to be interpreted is foolishness.
From what I have observed, people who don’t speak in tongues are the ones who demand that tongues spoken during worship need to be interpreted.
That doesn’t mean that tongues spoken during worship can’t be interpreted; they can but we won’t waste time interpreting them.
I do interpret tongues but many times I never tell people the interpretation unless I am asked. Interpreting tongues is hectic. As a wise person, you need to know when to interpret and when to ignore.
Speaking in tongues during worship happens all the time. Will I focus on worshipping God or on interpreting the worship that someone is giving to God? Even if it was you, what would you do?
Does speaking in tongues during worship please God?
Speaking in tongues during worship pleases God. How can God be displeased by worship that is initiated by His Spirit?
Knowing whether speaking in tongues during worship pleases God is the most important thing. There are actions that please God when you do them but men frown at you.
Once you know that your tongues are pleasing to God, you will be willing to be hated for them.
There are people who speak in tongues during worship to tune into the spirit. Once they are in spirit, they can then sing.
Forbidding speaking in tongues during worship will choke such people.
If a church is genuinely interested in giving God the best worship, I don’t see why they would forbid speaking in tongues during worship.
Some churches I know permit people even to sing in tongues during worship. You can clearly tell that such churches are genuinely interested in letting people worship their creator. I hope we get more of such churches.
Speaking in Tongues during Worship: Conclusion
Speaking in tongues during worship is a powerful act that complements worship given to God. If you have the gift and you get an opportunity to exercise it during worship, do not hold back.
If we are genuinely interested in giving worship to God, there is no reason for us to forbid speaking in tongues.
Whether someone is leading worship, backing up or is part of the congregation, we all should consider speaking in tongues during worship.
Those who demand for interpretation and oppose speaking in tongues during worship can carry on with their mission while we give God the best worship we can. Eventually, everyone will reap what he sows.