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Music! Music is one of my favorite things. I am a music teacher—I went to college for Music Education and specialized in voice. I currently teach elementary music (hence: why the blog’s name is Becca’s Music Room), which I love most of the time.
So I was really excited to talk to my kids about ways we can use music for God.
Now, some of you may not agree with me on all of the points. I have been singing in choirs since middle school. I have taken piano lessons. I have given recitals where I have sung opera and art songs and oratorios.
Some of those songs were about God. And a lot were not.
And you know what? During all of those instances, I feel like I am praising God. Sometimes even more so than in church on Sunday.
It is something about music that makes me feel connected to God, even when I am singing about French birds (no, I am not making that up). I truly believe that God honors the dedication and practice. He pours out his presence and his spirit of creativity on us.
I don’t sing on Sundays because I teach Children’s Church, but I still honor God with music.
I do it every day when I teach school, even though I do not say his name or sing songs that have to do with him. But I am still honoring God with my talents because I am showing his love to the kids and teaching them about music.
So I went into teaching this lesson with that in mind. You can be a worship leader and honor God with your talents. You can play trumpet in a jazz band and honor God with your talents. You can play Mozart on piano and honor God with your talents. You can teach elementary music and honor God with your talents.
I want my students to see all of those sides.
This lesson, even more so than some of the others, was inspired by reading this book. It is a wonderful book, and talks in depth about praising God with art—even when it is not in the most obvious ways. Because so much of my life is dedicated to art—both in music and in my painting hobby—I related very well to the book. It is also a quick, good read.
This lesson is conversation based, like the others have been. If you have missed any you can read them here:
Using Talents for God: Music
Psalms 98 (main)
1 Samuel 16:10
- Ask if any of the students have a talent for music. If you do, or one of your other teachers does, go ahead and talk a little bit about it now.
- Ask the students what some ways we can use music for God are. You will probably get a lot of “We can be worship leaders!”
- Say: Great! Being in a worship band is a great way to honor God. You use your talent to bring people closer to him. Do you think that is the only way that we can use music talents for God?
- Read Psalms 98
- I heard some interesting things in here. It said to praise God with singing. But it also said to use the harp (show a picture of a harp if they don’t know what that is). The harp is kind of like a piano. Does the piano say words? Well if the piano doesn’t have words, can it still honor God? It also talks about the trumpet. When you play trumpet, you buzz your lips (allow the students to buzz their lips. This is a similar sound to a motorboat—put your lips together and then push a lot of air through them.) If you are buzzing your lips, can you say words? So how can we praise God with our trumpets?
- I think that I know a verse that may work here. 1 Samuel 16:10 says that man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. So it doesn’t matter if I am singing or playing trumpet—it is what is in my heart that glorifies God!
- So if I play tuba in a band at school, can I honor God in that? And if I sing in a choir and our songs are not about God, can I still honor God in that? Yes! God loves music—he created music! If we play music with the intention of honoring him with it, then we will honor him!
- Now, do you think God like it if we play flute but we never practice? And we don’t work on it? No. God loves it when we work towards something. He sees when we practice every day, and he rewards it with us getting better. We can honor God just by working hard on our music. And music is hard. You have to practice a lot to be good.
- Can anyone think of any other ways we can honor God in music? (I got “We can write songs about him.” “We can make songs that teach people about him.” “We can have a concert and give the money to charity” and “We can help people in our band or choir and be nice to them so they can know about God.”)
- If we have a talent for something, should we hide it? No! We should share it. We can do that by playing music for people, and also by teaching people.
- (I teach elementary music, so I was able to share a bit of that. We talked about how I teach music, but I try to show my students God’s love through that—hopefully by me loving them, they will see God’s love through me. I can also give them the skills they need to worship God with their music. (We also talked about how teachers in public school cannot teach about God. You do not need to go that far, but it came organically for us since I am a teacher.))
- End the service with something musical. You could have them dance or sing along with a worship song. (My kids LOVE this one—they request it every week!) We played a music game, which is my thing because I do it in school all week. Or you could sing a song with them—Father Abraham is a big favorite.
Also read: My Kids’ Favorite Church Games
How do you use music for God? What did you students come up with? Let us know in the comments!
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