Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas as a Season of Worship

At Nags Head Church, our goal every Christmas is to challenge people to not fall into the trap of nostalgia. Too often, when it comes to Christmas music, we tend to sing more because of those warm fuzzy feelings than to actually worship God (for more on this topic, read my post about "The Problem with Christmas Music and the Church").

So, instead of just playing the same old Christmas classics every year, we attempt to put together a setlist that includes songs from all three of the following:

1) Old songs with a new arrangement or a few new lyrics.
These songs can challenge people to not just go through the motions of singing a familiar song without thinking about what they're singing. It makes the worn and old seem fresh and new.
2) New Christmas songs.
Too many worship leaders see the Christmas season as a time to mentally check out and give their bands a break from learning new music...a shame since there are so many great new Christmas songs being written by people like MercyMe, Chris Tomlin and others. New Christmas songs can help your church create new traditions.
3) Worship songs that may not have been specifically written as Christmas songs.
Too many Christmas carols are seen by many people as tradition and not worship. Challenge your people to think about Christmas as an incredible time to worship by painting a picture of the Christmas story with "worship" songs that you might also be singing at other times of the year.

With those things in mind, here are some of the songs that we're using this Christmas season (along with the authors, in case you want to give them a listen).

Angels From The Realms of Glory - Downhere
How Many Kings - Downhere
Gloria - MercyMe
Glory in the Highest - Chris Tomlin (We actually have been using this song as a Christmas song for several years before Chris wrote the third Christmas verse a year ago)
Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy) - Chris Tomlin
My Soul Magnifies the Lord - Chris Tomlin
Rejoice - Chris Tomlin (we also add the chorus from "O Come, O Come Emmanuel")
O Praise Him - David Crowder
Shout for Joy - Lincoln Brewster
O Come Let Us Adore Him - Matt Redman/Passion

What are some songs that you're using this Christmas to point your people toward worship?


1 comment:

Rick Lawrenson said...

Point #3.
"Joy to the World" which is traditionally sung at Christmas isn't really about Christmas, but about the return of Christ when He comes to "rule the world".