This is a NEW resource within our Music Workshop forum. We'll be adding more links. Your links are welcome too. Below we'll also soon be adding a list of "teaching techniques" (ideas, examples of how to teach with a music video, lyrics, etc.) in this "general" forum. A few tips are already mentioned below, and there are more detailed "how-to's" suggested in various Bible story Music Workshop topics. The Writing Team sets have even greater "how to" detail when music is incorporated into one of their sets. -Neil
We've started this topic to bring attention to a growing bunch of great teaching resources here at Rotation.org --and help teachers who love the idea of teaching with music to realize that good contemporary Christian music can help them do just that.
If you enjoy contemporary pop-rock-country styles of music, like the idea of teaching with Christian music, then I believe you will like many of the songs and music videos I've highlighted below and posted in Rotation.org's various Bible lesson forums.
This topic is especially for my mainline friends who think "contemporary Christian music is theologically thin" or "only for evangelicals," or only for contemporary worship. I hope the tunes and videos posted below will open their teaching eyes and ears
You are welcome to post song titles, links and teaching ideas for them. If you can, also post your suggestion in our specific Bible lesson forums. If you're not sure what Bible story or topic the lesson might fit, post it here and we'll figure it out together. This is not meant to be a comprehensive listing, but an introductory one.
HERE IS A TEST
Here's a mellow 2016 Chris Tomlin song to test your "openness" to what's good among today's contemporary Christian music. If you don't like it, then let me suggest you forget the rest of this topic
YouTube is a fantastic source for finding, listening to, and teaching with Christian music. The above clip was posted for free use by Tomlin's publisher. And you can find many "fan video versions" of great songs on YT as well.
Scroll down this page for more great songs like this one and a few teaching suggestions.
What is "good" "contemporary" "Christian" music we can "teach" with?
- By "contemporary" I mean the style of music that sounds similar to the secular music kids and adults listen to on the radio and online. (I'm not including gospel or hymns, or "children's" songs.)
- "Good" to me means lyrics that are rich and theologically legit (according to me), as well as having a good tune.
- By "Christian" I mean those songs that have an overtly Christian message.
- By "teach" I mean songs that we can use in creative ways to teach our kids and youth (and not just "listen and/or discuss" though that's cool too).
I'm a mainline Presbyterian-leaning Christian. I love a good tune, but I listen more closely to the words of Christian music than I ever did with secular songs. Why? Because I want to be inspired, not just entertained. That's the burden of Christian music, and I'm thankful that there are MANY artists who live up to that burden with good tunes and good lyrics.
Sadly, the use of music in Sunday School has been on the wane for decades in many churches and curriculums. I won't take the time here to get into the reasons why it has been waning, but suffice to say that the Rotation Model was originally designed to give creative teaching methods a "classroom to call their own," and not get continually overlooked by our volunteers. And yet, our Music Workshop forums have been under-served, in part, due to the "wane," and because many teachers still haven't discovered the "good" contemporary Christian music that exists and keeps coming.
For the past couple of years we've been posting new lessons and ideas about teaching with music and music videos. We've been posting contemporary songs and music video suggestions with lesson ideas in our various public Bible story specific forums. And we've been including more music in the Writing Team lesson sets. Sometimes we of course post them in the Music Workshop, ...but depending on what we're going to DO with the song in the lesson, we might recommend a song video be used in a Drama or Video workshop, or as a reflection in any kind of workshop. Yeah, we're not just watching and talking!
If you need help finding or picking a song to go with a lesson, or coming up with a song-lesson activity for a song you want to teach with, post your song question in the Teachers Lounge.
The following posts are not meant to be a comprehensive list of "songs to teach with."
Rather, my purpose is to introduce some teachable favorites to those of you who might not be "up on" what's out there and make a few suggestions about how to teach with them.
If you want to add your own suggestions please include the title, artist, and a LINK so we can click to listen to the song or see and hear it on YouTube.
This topic is NOT for songs like "Lean on Me" or "Father Abraham." They are fine, but they are not "contemporary." This topic is also not for "hymns" -unless you're posting a contemporary 'take' on a hymn (and there are some great ones). In other words, do not post "Jesus Loves Me This I Know."
Rotation.org has been innovating in Christian Education for over 20 years. We helped invent the Workshop Rotation Model and online sharing of lesson resources (yes, we were the first across the Church to do that!). And we continue to innovate and stay current with tech, media, music and teaching techniques. One of the virtues of being an online resource is that we can link you media that's out there, like music videos and songs.
I invite you to join in supporting our unique ministry and resource efforts.