Selecting Meaningful Sunday School Songs

Just about anyone who has taught for any length of time has done it.  There you are, with ten minutes left on the clock, and you’ve blown through your entire lesson plan. Depending on the age of your class, you might whip out some catchy tunes to pass the time until parents arrive to pick their kids up.  There are the good ol’ stand-bys: “Father Abraham,” “Deep and Wide,” and “The B-I-B-L-E.”  This kind of random selection of songs just to pass the time is fine in a pinch—occasionally.  But should this be the general trend in your music selection for class time?

How can you make the M-O-S-T out of time spent singing in your class?  The following acrostic (using the word MOST) should help you when picking songs for your class:

Meaningful

Does this particular song have a spiritual truth that you want to communicate in your lesson?  Does it have a spiritual truth that you want to communicate period?  Some songs are fun, like “Deep and Wide,” but have little spiritual meaning or substance to them.  Even if you spend time convincing your youngsters that the song is about Christ’s blood that He gave for us, will that be what they remember when that song pops into their head later that week?

On their level

I’m a big fan of teaching kids hymns of the faith, but we have to be careful that we don’t sing a bunch of songs that shoot right over children’s heads. If the kids can sing the song with understanding after you explain a few words, then you’ve probably got an age-appropriate song—challenging, but not too advanced.

Stick-able/Singable

The best kids’ songs will stick in your students’ heads all week, so that they will take home reminders of God’s truth for their lives. You never know what Mom and Dad might learn as their kids sing truth around the house!  You also want the song to be singable. If you can’t sing it, chances are that the kids won’t be able to, either!

Tied to Teaching

If you can find songs that are all of the above AND are tied in to what you’re teaching that day, you have just scored a home run!

Of course, not every song that you sing has to fit every single one of these criteria, but if it scores a zero on the M-O-S-T scale, then you probably should skip that song in your class time.  Make every minute count to invest God’s truth into your class!

For those of you who teach Sunday School at Faith, you have a helpful list of music suggestions in the front of your curriculum folders.  This list provides some good ideas of songs to use to make the MOST of it!

Scott AllisonScott Allison
Scott is a pastoral intern at Faith Church. He and his wife Courtney work in Children's Ministries at the church.
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