In the Spirit of Charles Wesley:
A Christian Music Companion to Claim the Name
By Mike Weaver
You already know that music is important to youth today. But think about this: From its very beginning, United Methodism has been using music to support and communicate our theological beliefs such as our assurance of God's grace. Charles Wesley not only wrote new songs to convey the essence of Methodist beliefs, but also did so with music that was familiar to the people of that day.
The last few years have seen an explosion of contemporary Christian music. As in the beginnings of Methodism, these songs seek to nurture Christian faith in believers and communicate the gospel in relevant ways to non-believers.
Below is a list of songs by well-known contemporary Christian artists. These relate to the theme of claiming the name and the journey of discipleship. With the titles are the related themes.
The primary purpose for incorporating contemporary Christian music into your confirmation program is to get youth listening to music that affirms the decision for discipleship that they are being asked to make.
Look for ways to integrate the music into your teaching plans. For example
- Have the recordings playing as the youth arrive.
- Add listening to a particular song as an activity option. Ask the youth what the song says to them about the topic of the session. Or prepare some questions from the text to stimulate discussion.
- Listen to music as youth write in their journals or do any other writing or reflection activity.
- Use music as a transition to worship.
- Use music as part of worship.
Mike Weaver served as a member of the Confirmation Task Force of the Curriculum Resources Committee of the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church.