What Does The Bible Say About Drums In Church?

  • Written By 
  • Shalon Palmer

The Debate Over Drums In Church & Worship

The use of drums in church has been a topic of debate for many years. On one hand, some believe that drums bring a new level of energy and excitement to worship services, and help to create a more dynamic and engaging atmosphere. On the other hand, some argue that the use of drums is not in line with traditional forms of worship and can be distracting to some members of the congregation.

The debate over drums in worship is often a matter of personal preference, and as you’ll see below, there is no one right answer. Ultimately, the decision about whether to incorporate drums into worship services is up to each individual church and its leaders. With that said, we’ve laid out all of the facts here so you can have a fully rounded view of this debated topic.

What the Bible Says About Drums In Church & Worship

It’s important to understand that the Bible does not contain specific instructions or guidelines for the use of musical instruments in worship. However, it does contain many references to music and worship in general. In the Old Testament, music and instruments were often used in the temple and in religious ceremonies to praise God and to accompany sacrifices and offerings. For example, Psalm 150 encourages the use of various instruments, including cymbals and tambourines, in praising God.

In the New Testament, there are several references to music and singing in worship. Colossians 3:16 states, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” This passage highlights the importance of singing and making music as a form of worship. Ephesians 5:19 says “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.”

Bible Verses & Scripture About Drums

  • Psalm 150:3-5: “Praise him with the sound of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.”
  • 1 Chronicles 15:16: “David also commanded the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brothers as singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals.”
  • Isaiah 5:12: “The harp and lyre, tambourine and flute, and wine are in their feasts, but they do not regard the deeds of the Lord or see the work of his hands.”
  • 2 Samuel 6:5: “David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals.”
  • Exodus 15:20: “Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing.”
  • Judges 11:34: “When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of tambourines!”
  • 1 Corinthians 14:15: “So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.”

These verses suggest that musical instruments, including drums, cymbals and percussion instruments, were used in worship and other cultural events in Biblical times. However, the specific interpretation of these verses and the role of drumming in worship is a matter of personal belief and varies among different denominations and traditions.

The Cultural and Historical Context of Music in Worship

It’s also important to keep in mind that the cultural and historical context of ancient times is different from today. In the Bible times, music and instruments were used in religious ceremonies, and the main goal of the worship was to connect to God through the offerings and sacrifices. Today, the focus of worship has shifted, and the main goal is to connect with God through the songs, prayers, and preaching.

If you’re looking for the perfect drum set for your church, check out this article here on the 10 best drum sets for church and worship.

What were ancient tambourines and cymbals in the Bible like?

In the Bible, tambourines and cymbals were musical instruments that were used in religious ceremonies, festivals, and other cultural events. These instruments were commonly used in ancient times throughout the Middle East, including in Biblical times.

The tambourines of the Biblical era were likely similar in construction to those of ancient Greece and Rome, consisting of a frame that was covered with a drumhead, and decorated with small jingles or metal disks.

The cymbals of the Biblical era were likely similar to those used in ancient Greece and Rome, consisting of two small metal disks that were struck together to produce a loud, clashing sound. Both tambourines and cymbals were often played in unison with other instruments to create a joyful, celebratory atmosphere, and were considered important symbols of worship in many cultures.

The real reason why people don’t like drums in church

Drums don’t make people hate drums. Bad drummers do. Good drummers know how to use touch and feel to play to the room. They know the right way and wrong way to play their cymbals. They know how to use their dynamics to play tastefully. And very importantly, they know how to tune their drums. Bad sounding drums is not going to be enjoyable for anyone.

How To Tune Your Drums Properly For Worship

If you want a quick run down on how professional worship drummers tune their drums, check out this video here with Austin Davis. Austin is the drummer for Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes, Lauren Daigle, and more, and in this video he’s going to walk you through exactly how to take your drums from dull and brash to professional studio quality. Check it out!

How To Tune Drums For Worship [Video] With Austin Davis

Having Empathy For Those Who Don’t Like Drums

As someone who strongly supports drums in a worship experience, it’s easy for this topic to become and “us vs them” debate. However, it’s important to remember that we are all part of God’s kingdom and in order to make any sort of progress, we have to have empathy for someone else’s position.

So much about ourselves is simply cultural programming. And many people grow up with different kinds of music.  This will naturally create different biases towards different styles.

Having empathy for those who don’t like drums in church means recognizing and understanding their perspective and feelings, even if you personally disagree with them. It is important to acknowledge that different people have different comfort levels and preferences when it comes to worship, and that what may be an uplifting experience for one person, could be disruptive for another.

By having empathy, you can approach the debate over drums in church with compassion and respect, and work towards finding a solution that accommodates everyone’s needs and beliefs. This can help to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment in your church, where everyone feels valued and respected.

As a mentor once told me, people don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care. So before we rush in with all of our new found Biblical knowledge to prove our point, we must lead with empathy and care.

Should drums be a part of worship?

In conclusion, while the Bible doesn’t give specific instructions or guidelines on the use of musical instruments in worship, it does encourage the use of music and singing in worship as a way to connect with God.

It is important that the use of drums and other instruments in worship is guided by principles of love, respect, and reverence for God and for the congregation, and that the intention is to lead people to connect with God. The most important thing is the attitude and the heart with which the music is played, and not the specific instruments used.

Now that we’ve covered that, check out our post on The Best Drum Sets For Church & Worship

How To Mic Drums for Church Service & Livestream [Video]

The drum kit itself is only one of the factors that go into getting a great sound out of your drums! A huge, and largely overlooked, part of this process is knowing how to mic drums specifically for church services and livestreams. We’re going to walk you through exactly how to do this. Watch Now!

Micing Drums


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