by Taylor Agan
Christmas is over and worship leaders everywhere are hibernating. Like me, maybe you’re recovering from all the extra rehearsals, attention to detail and special events that mark this season for us.
But as the chaos dwindles down and neighbors pack up their manger scenes, I wanted to encourage you (and myself) with a seemingly obvious, yet challenging, proposition:
Keep Christmas a part of every Sunday.
This simple reminder hit me this Advent season as I spent extra time tailoring the song selection at Redemption City Church to themes of preparation, repentance and hope at the coming of Christ. As worship leaders, we zero in on the arrival of the Messiah— the theology of Immanuel— for the months of November and December and sing “Christmas Worship Songs” that would seem out of place any other time of the year.
Whereas it’s imperative to lean in and dwell on the arrival of our Messiah during this time of year, let’s be careful not to limit the Christmas story to the Christmas season. If I were to strip away the sermon each week at Redemption City Church (sorry Dr. Coppenger) and only examine the songs our people sang, would they still have a clear understanding of the Gospel story? Would they understand its breadth and movements from beginning to end? That’s a humbling question.
Maybe singing “O Holy Night” in the middle of April isn’t the answer, but we do have the beautiful responsibility of thinking long and hard about building a setlist that embodies the theological framework of the Gospel each and every week.
In his book “How to Worship a King,” Zach Neese reminds us that many of our beloved hymns were not written “to facilitate ‘worship’; they were intended to teach doctrine.” So week in and week out, teach doctrine. Share the Gospel. Remind weary hearts of their enteral hope.
Connect the manger to the cross and the empty tomb.
My prayer is that our worship team carries over the joy and longing of Advent into the new year. My prayer is that Redemption City Church has a clearer picture of the Gospel each week because of the songs we sing. My prayer is that you would keep Christmas a part of every Sunday.