Music: What Are You Teaching the Church?

BY: Brittani Scott
Seattle, WA

Music is a vital part of the ministry in our church services.

We use music to facilitate congregational praise and worship. We use music to create a faith-charged atmosphere where the Spirit can minister. We use music to set the stage for the preaching of the Word of God.

But there is another important aspect of the music ministry we may not often consider: music is a great way to teach and to learn!

Many of us have used songs to help us memorize or learn. Anyone remember Schoolhouse Rock?

I can almost guarantee that everyone reading this right now learned the ABC’s through a song. Even more complicated things, like learning the books of the Bible, have been more easily memorized by putting them to music.

Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

What is your church music teaching the congregation?

My husband and I are church planters in Seattle. We’re consistently working with people who have little-to-no knowledge of the Word or praise and worship. Figuring out ways to teach them Biblical principles and what it means to be a Christian is not always easy.

I’ve discovered that the songs we sing can, and do, play a huge role in teaching our congregation. Songs just have a way of sticking with a person. We find ourselves singing them over and over again, sometimes without even realizing it.

Imagine the impact music and song can have in the life of a new convert!

Church music can inspire, create an atmosphere, and get our hearts focused on Jesus – but the songs we sing should also be teaching people how to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Whether it’s a first time visitor or a dedicated saint, our music should instill truth in the hearts and minds of those who fill the pews.

If our congregations go home singing about the oneness of God or with words of worship on their lips, then we’re doing something right.

How many times have you prayed the lyrics to a song you heard?

If you’re like me, many times!

And just look at how much we have learned from David’s songs about praise, worship, and who God is!

Our songs can teach people how to worship as they are building a relationship with God. Many of the new people who walk through our doors don’t know how to praise like those of us accustomed to church.

We have the great privilege of teaching them.

With this in mind, we should consider the songs we introduce to our congregation. They should be full of truth, and they should never add to confusion.

There are quite a few popular songs right now that may cause someone who struggles with the concept of One God to leave our service feeling even more confused. Changing lyrics to more clearly proclaim true doctrine is okay!

Why? Because, the message in your music is teaching your congregation!

In a world that is determined to leave truth as far behind as they can, we should be extra thoughtful about the lyrics our praise teams and choirs are singing. This is one reason I believe we need more apostolic songwriters.

We have the truth, the most precious gift. We see the needs of our congregations and the seasons of life we are going through. What better people can you find to write the lyrics our churches are singing every week?

Whether you decide to start writing songs for your church or not, I hope every pastor, music director, worship leader, and choir director recognizes the powerful teaching tool music really is.

Think about how you can use the songs you sing to put something of value into the hearts and on the lips of the people you lead in worship. Then watch the impact it makes in our churches, our cities, and the world.

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