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Tune Up Your Teaching - Christian Music and Singing as a Dsicipleship Tool - daniel aaron webster - a thing worth doing blog

Tune Up Your Teaching: Christian Song as Discipleship

Thanks for attending my session! As promised, here is a link to download a PDF of the PPT notes. Also, here are the notes from the seminar.


BIG IDEA: Singing is not just for the worship ministry; singing should be used for discipleship in the church, home, and personal worship.

Is there biblical warrant for using singing for discipleship?

In Colossians 3:16, the Apostle Paul commands us to use singing for teaching: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

While most of the hundreds of references to singing in Scripture are “unto the Lord,” there are instances when music is used for addressing or teaching the people of God:

  • Ephesians 5:19 – Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart. (See Eph. 4:25 and 6:19-20 to see how Paul uses this word address/speak (λαλέω).
  • Hebrews 2:12 – I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation, I will sing your praise. (The author is quoting Psalm 22)
  • Psalm 89:1 – I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.
  • Psalm 78:1 – Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
  • Psalm 60:0 – To the choirmaster: according to Shushan Eduth. A Miktam of David; for instruction; when he strove with Aram-naharaim and with Aram-zobah, and when Joab on his return struck down twelve thousand of Edom in the Valley of Salt.
  • Proverbs 25:20 – Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day.
  • Deuteronomy 31:19-22 – Now therefore write this song and teach it to the people of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the people of Israel. For when I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to give to their fathers, and they have eaten and are full and grown fat, they will turn to other gods and serve them, and despise me and break my covenant. And when many evils and troubles have come upon them, this song shall confront them as a witness (for it will live unforgotten in the mouths of their offspring). For I know what they are inclined to do even today, before I have brought them into the land that I swore to give.” So Moses wrote this song the same day and taught it to the people of Israel.

What does Colossians 3:16 teach us about discipleship through song? 

  • The Content     “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly”
  • The Means        “teaching and admonishing”
  • The Audience   “one another” . . . “to God.”
  • The Wisdom     “in all wisdom”
  • The Form          “singing”
  • The Variety       “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs”
  • The Attitude     “with thankfulness in your hearts”

What does Christian song as discipleship look like in your church, in your home, and in your personal worship?

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Daniel Aaron Webster - blog a thing worth doing - worship, culture, ministry - early Christian music

Daniel Aaron Webster is a minister, writer, and teacher. His primary research interest is early Christian music, especially the musical thought of Clement of Alexandria.

Daniel serves at Welch College as Director of Enrollment & Marketing and as Adjunct Instructor of Music & Theology. He is also the Associate Pastor for Music & Worship at Immanuel Church in Gallatin, TN. 

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