Equipment: Speakers, Clips of current top 10, pens, paper, prize for quiz winner, clips of contemporary Christian music (Our 10 clips are available here: YouTube ), printed bible verses (download here)
Opening Game: ‘Name That Tune’ – Split the group into teams and give each team a pen and paper. Play clips from the current top 10 chart in your country – The UK Charts Company puts these on youtube – http://www.youtube.com/user/ChartsUKOfficial1
Find out the winner. Award a point for artist and song. Have a prize for the winner
Explain: This afternoon we’re thinking about we sing so much in church. You’ve probably noticed that churches are full of singing.
Ask: Do you enjoy singing in church? Which songs do you like? What don’t you like?
Explain: Music has been a way of people expressing themselves for a long time and every song is essentially the artist expressing something of themselves (whoever the writer is) it may have a profound meaning or just be fun but often we find music something that is enjoyable to listen to and something we can relate to.
First we’re going to think about music in the bible…
Brainstorm: What instruments are there in the bible? (Pipe, flute, horn or cornet, trumpets, lute, lyres, cymbals, sistrum, timbrel)
Explain: There’s lots of instruments in the bible and they were people making music with the instruments of the time and church music has been known to go with the times…when organs were added they were the ‘in’ thing…like-wise some churches now have electric guitars, drums etc….there might even be a church somewhere with synths and DJ decks!
Bible Verses: Hand out the following bible verses for young people to read out. (See extra sheet)
Ask: What do you think of those bible verses?
Explain: All those verses talk about people singing to God. We sing in church because it’s something that people have done for hundreds of years to worship God but also because it’s one way of using a gift that God has given us.
We also sing because music is incredibly powerful. Music has the power to influence how we feel, to influence what we think and change how we feel.
Ask: Can you think of a time when music has had an influence on you? (For me a fast rock track on a tread-mill seems to give me more energy!)
Explain: Worship songs and lyrics written by others can ofter be used by God to speak to us.
Ask: Which church worship songs do you like and which speak to you? Do any non-church songs speak to you?
Explain: God isn’t limited to the music we have in church or to speaking to us through Christian bands…often God can speak to us through lyrics written by artists who may have had no intention of writing a worship song.
Likewise Christian musicians don’t have to write music that fits with the acceptable church style.
Quiz: Which of these songs is Christian? (Have 10 clips of a variety of genres but make sure they’re all Christian…invite the young people to vote true or false. Some more varied Christian bands you could use: Underoath, TobyMac, Mxpx, Propaganda & Old Thomas)
Explain: All those songs were Christian! Some might not be what you associate with Christian music but there is no limit to how people can worship God through music.
There is Christian music for everyone…and lots of Christian in the mainstream music scene too (such as Owl City). Whether it comes to music in church or on our iPod’s God can speak to us through it, we just need to be looking out for what God has to say to us through it.
Pray to Close: Ask that God would speak to us through music, help us to focus on the words and to focus on Him.