I have been playing on worship teams since 1993.  That equals a lot of Christmas seasons and lots of Christmas Carols done in many, many ways.  Over the years I have had conversations with several worship leaders about playing Christmas songs in contemporary worship settings and most of those conversations have not been positive.  It seems  that a lot of worship leaders have a hard time translating some of these old, traditional songs into contemporary versions that fit with full band worship music.  I am not saying that all carols should be turned into rock songs.  There is a lot of power in doing the songs in the way that they were written.  What I am saying is that you can only play “Joy To The World” as a bad blues song so many times before you never ever want to hear it again.  That is the moment that Christmas Music becomes no fun for Worship Leaders.

I LOVE Christmas and I LOVE Christmas music.  As a worship leader, it is one of my favorite times of the year.  I love the challenge of keeping Christmas Carols fresh.  I love the challenge of helping people to engage in true worship with these songs and not just singing them to sing them.  The lyrics are so powerful and well written.  These are incredible WORSHIP songs, not just feel good seasonal favorites.

So, what is the point?  My point is to encourage leaders to accept the challenge that comes with the season.  This is actually a great opportunity for us.  Usually we can only introduce about one new song a month. This time of year all the rules change.  You don’t have to do all of the normal songs that you do, you can play songs that you haven’t played in a year.  You can do a brand new version of “Angels we have heard on high” and treat it as a brand new song, yet everyone already knows the lyrics and the melody.  This is like a Christmas present for worship leaders… Oh, wait, IT IS CHRISTMAS.

There are lots of new resources available to us.  Chris Tomlin’s “Glory in the Highest” is a fantastic new record with lots of classics and some wonderful new congregational worship songs.  Bebo Norman also has a great Christmas record.  He has redone “Angels from the realms of Glory” and titled it “Come and Worship”.  This has got to be my favorite Christmas song and favorite to lead.  Let’s remember that this is a season to truly worship God and what he has done.  Let’s keep that spirit of worship fresh in our Christmas music.

What are your thoughts?
(The picture is just because I thought it was funny.)

BOBBY

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Comments
  1. Scotty Mac says:

    I love it every year when we get to break out the old Christmas hymns! when I was kid growing up in a church that sang very traditional hymns most of the year, I was always excited to turn to the Christmas section of the hymnal come December and bust out some ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” Today, I love taking a break from the more raw and modern worhsip music, to spend a few weeks singing songs that date back a couple centuries, but resonate through to today. Merry Christmas!

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