Billy: In a one-hour church service, how much time should be devoted to hymns?
Adoration Songbook: 1 Peter 2:9 says: "You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."
God’s chosen people are commanded to praise God. This can be done in a variety of ways, but Scripture, and history, tell us that singing is the very best way to praise Him. As you know, singing hymns require a lot from people. One of the primary reasons for the decline of great hymn singing is that people prefer being "passive" (Passive doesn’t rhyme with lazy, but its definitely in the same neighborhood!) Worship has become a spectator sport. Often great preaching and great music have the same effect: they allow people to be involved vicariously. No real intellectual involvement is required.
But this is counter to Scripture. Music exists to praise God—but not an empty, emotionally oriented praise. No! In just one verse St. Peter lists four elements in the singing of praise. Our song must affirm that we are:A chosen people
Now it is hard to do this in just one or two hymns. (And certainly, it is impossible if the service is dominated by chorus singing and songs that sport superficial lyrics.)
How much time should be devoted to the singing of hymns? A lot!