Songs about Jesus
Essential words we need to say in church
A few weeks ago, the team that leads worship for our elementary-aged children on Sunday mornings had just wrapped up their set and closed in prayer when a child from our 2nd grade section called out, “When are we going to sing a song about Jesus?”
Though two of our songs that day came directly from the words of Jesus (Matthew 6:25-27 & Luke 9:23) and our third song was a song that sings of our God’s power, I had not been intentional about making sure that our kids (especially the short ones in the room) sang a song that specifically mentioned Jesus that morning. I’ll get to why that is a big deal in a moment.
I believe that the words we speak and the songs we sing in our church’s worship services help create a reality for the community we worship alongside. And, though I believe that statement, I sometimes forget how important it is to remember its truth each time I have the opportunity to lead from the front of the room – with adults or with children.
With that in mind, here are a few things I’m going to be super intentional about saying when I have a chance to speak in front of our church. If there’s anything you’d add to the list, feel free to add on.
The Name of Jesus
I am convinced that this is what separates the Church from being just another neat place where people go and learn to be nice. It’s a big deal that Jesus was a real person. It’s an even bigger deal that he died for our sins. It’s the biggest deal that he came back to life and that we can experience eternity in Heaven because of the gift of grace that his resurrection offers to us. With that in mind, we should probably say the name of Jesus and sing songs that specifically remind us of his name – the Name by which we are to call to during life’s storms and the Name by which we pray.
Visitors are Welcome
It’s possible, believe it or not, for someone to feel unwelcome at your church. In fact, one of the biggest obstacles that our churches face in getting a first time visitor to become a second time visitor is helping them feel welcomed and connected during their first visit. I was recently speaking to a group of children’s directors and youth pastors when I suggested that they always take a moment to welcome first time visitors. Afterwards, I had multiple people come up to me to tell me that they haven’t had first time visitors for over a year at their church.
I’d encourage you, much like I encouraged them, to begin talking about visitors before they are there. If you intentionally begin talking about first time visitors and using words that express that everyone is welcome at your church, you’ll begin to teach your congregation that (a) church is a place for visitors and (b) they need to live into the reality that it’s their job to make your services a place where they can invite their friends who do not yet know who Jesus is.
If I could encourage you to be intentional about the words you choose when speaking in front of children, teens or adults at church, I couldn’t end the conversation without talking about this next idea. We live in a culture where fame and outward beauty are the bars by which we measure worth. And those who try to measure up to that world and fall short question their own worth. It’s our job, as those who have the chance to speak words of truth to our churches, to make sure that we let others know that they matter – that God loves them and created them on purpose.
Make it a point, every time you gather, to speak of a world where God loves us deeply, where our community needs us and where we are valued… because that’s the world that exists and speaking of it gives others a little glimpse into what Heaven on Earth might look like.
These are the things that I’ll be making sure that we say in our church and in my ministries because I believe that they are true and I believe that it’s our role to say them regularly. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s a start. Feel free to add on or ask questions below.