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Hymns are Here Again

     If you grew up in the church in the 1980’s, you were probably raised on the great hymns of the church. I clearly remember singing mostly hymns with a few praise choruses sprinkled in… usually at the end of the “praise and worship” time.

     I love this statement by Amy Grant in her “Hymns and Faith” CD:

It’s funny, even as a child I never thought of hymns as “old people’s” songs. They were simply basic, foundational tools of faith. Truth be told, even a good Sunday sermon was mostly forgotten by midweek, but the hymns, sung over and over, year after year, shaped us… comforted us… inspired us.

     Isn’t that beautiful? The reason I still love hymns is not for nostalgia’s sake, but because the great hymns sing and teach solid theology. As a worship leader, I love many styles of music; but it is the theology of the infallible Word of God that trumps my personal taste of music styles. When life gets hard and my faith is tested, singing “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place,” “Abide with Me” or “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” will carry me through the tough times.

     To be clear, that is not at all to overlook the  many wonderful contemporary songs that effectively minister with both encouragement and with a Scriptural foundation.  It’s simply to remind us not to forget the power of a good hymn, too!

     Like I stated earlier, I love many kinds of music and worship styles…as long as it contains lyrics that pull my heart to the sweet, surrendered will of God. Moreover, worship leader should focus on coming to the feet of Christ in humility, without concern as to how the music makes us personally “feel.”

     If you have the honor and privilege of leading your congregation in worship, consider adding a hymn each week to your set. If you are in need of direction as to what the “great hymns” are and how to bring them back to your church, simply do an Internet search on “hymns CDs,” and you will find a myriad of wonderful options. Many Christian artists have now devoted an entire CD just to hymns!

     I would also highly recommend the worship CD’s of Keith and Kristyn Getty. They are prolific modern-day hymn song writers who gave the church “In Christ Alone.” Their songs are a treasure and a gift to the church today.

     If your church does not sing hymns and you are a mom that would love for children to learn the hymns you grew up with, I would recommend a series entitled Hymns for a Kids Heart by Joni Eareckson Tada and Bobbie Wolgemuth. The books are produced by Focus on the Family, and each book includes the stories behind the hymns plus a CD with which you can sing-a-long! These books are illustrated beautifully and have inspired my own children’s hearts for hymn-singing.

     Let us make sure that the great hymns that shaped the church do not become relics of the past but rather anchors for the future!

Copyright © 2008-2015 Alyson Shedd

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