Posted by Paul Baloche on 16 November 2015

I’ve often found Christmas a challenge. But not for the usual reasons. For me, one of the biggest struggles has been played out at church, in worship. We have such a rich heritage of Christmas-themed songs, yet so many of them don’t seem to fit with the way we do things today.

I love pulling out these standard Christmas carols that we only seem to sing once a year, but I’ve found that very few of them are sung to the Lord. Instead, they sing about Him.

Does that matter? I think it does. I think that it is so important in our congregational worship times to get our hearts going "vertical." More than at any other time, Christmas is the season when we need to be reminding people that Jesus isn’t just a character in the story, He is the perfectly approachable and totally loving Christ of Christmas.

That’s why, during the month of December, I will sometimes add a simple tag at the end of a familiar carol that gets us singing to the Lord instead of just about the Lord. It’s like breathing; the carols allow us to inhale all this wonderful content, while the added tags allow us to exhale a simple worship response back to God.

For example, at the end of "O Come Let Us Adore Him," try adding a chorus of "O Jesus we adore You, O Jesus we adore You" over the same chord progression. Or why not take a song like "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and at the end, where we sing "glory to the newborn King," add a simple tag by holding the final chord, carrying on with the drums and start singing out a simple melody that the congregation can pick up with words like "we give You glory Lord, we give You glory."

In the run up to this Christmas, why not practice a little? Put aside some rehearsal time to experiment with different approaches until you find a melody and chord progression that helps a Christmas carol become a more vertical worship song. Remember to keep it simple, keep worshipping and keep experimenting.

More like this

Top 10 Multitracks You Need For Easter

Easter is right around the corner and we are so excited! It is a time of remembrance and celebration of Jesus' love for us! We have gathered some of our top Easter Multitracks we think you will love for your services! You can get these now at $29 for a limited time only on Multitracks.com! Use the code 10EASTER for the discount! Offer ends April 1st. 

What's the Big Picture?

What’s the Big Picture? When it comes to the essence of worship, David Binion, Pastor and Worship Leader at Covenant Church, Texas, wonders whether our focus is quite right. Being a part of the community of worshipers at Covenant Church in...

How To Respond To People Who Don’t Think You Should Be Leading (Cause You’re A Girl)

Years ago, I was asked to lead worship at a summer camp for a small church. I felt elated to help kids experience God, and hammered out the details with their youth pastor over the phone. The next day he called...