Colossians - Lesson 7

By Stafford North

How We Sing

Colossians 3:16

Background Information for the Teacher


  1. The student can recite Col. 3:16b.
  2. The student can explain how worship is both to God and for each other.
  3. The student can sing a song with deep thought emotion about its meaning.


  1. Have worksheets and the song sheets or songbooks ready.
  2. Have access to a blackboard or marker board.
  3. Each student should have a Bible.


God has designated congregational singing as an act of worship which both bring honor to him and encouragement to each other.

Lesson Plan for Teaching the Class

Introduction: (15 minutes)

  1. Call the roll and introduce visitors, make announcements.
  2. Last week we asked you to look for examples of people staying within or going beyond the limits. So what have you observed in your behavior, your families activities, something in the church, or something in the news about staying within or going beyond the limits. (Teacher: draw the diagram for limits on the board so the class can see this again.)
  3. Say the memory verse of Col. 3:16b together in class.
  4. Introduce the topic of worship by using four words-proclaim (1 Cor. 11:26);adore (Heb. 13:15-praise); communicate with God (Eph. 5:19); and edify (1 Cor.14:26-strengthening or edifying). The first letters of these words spell PACE-proclaim, adore, communicate, edify. Our worship is to proclaim our faith to those who are present; it is to send messages of adoration TO God; it is to communicate WITH Him the thoughts of our hearts such as our confession of sin, our determination to do better, our thanks for Jesus as our sacrifice, our love in response to His love; and it is to edify or strengthen each other as we share this experience together and sing songs to encourage one another. Hold these thoughts throughout our lesson today.

Learning Experience:

  1. Read Col. 3:16. Q: What is the goal Paul wants Christians to reach? A: The word of Christ will dwell in them abundantly. Thus, we are to have the message of Christ indelibly stamped upon our hearts.
  2. Q: What two methods does Paul suggest for reaching this goal of having the word of Christ to dwell in them? A: To teach and to sing.
  3. Q: In what ways do we teach today? A: Sermons, Bible classes, VBS, Christian schools, books, periodicals, talking with each other about the teaching of Christ.
  4. Q: How does singing achieve the goal of getting the word of Christ in our hearts? A: We sing to each other the message of scripture-sometimes in the actual words of the Bible text and sometimes in what the song writer has derived from such teaching.
  5. Read Col. 3:16 again. Q: To whom do we sing our songs-to each other or to God? A: Both. Even those songs that are primarily directed to each other are sung to God-in His honor and for His glory.
  6. Read Col. 3:16 again. Q: What does this verse say about emotion when we sing? A: Sing with gratitude in your heart to God. Read Eph. 5:19. Q: What does this passage say about emotion in singing? A: Sing AND make melody in your hearts to the Lord. Make melody suggests that you "vibrate" the heart or touch the heart when you sing. Songs and words have the capacity to touch us deeply if we approach them in the right way. Yes, there should be some emotion in our worship.
  7. Let's look at some songs and ask how each of these fits what we have studied. (Teacher-adjust the number of songs you discuss to the time you have. Sing at least some of the songs after you talk about them. This will give the class practice in doing the kind of singing the lesson is designed to promote.) "Holy, Holy, Holy." Q: To whom are we singing? A: To God. We are honoring Him. This fits "adore." Now look at all three verses of "Fairest Lord Jesus." Q: To whom are we singing? A: The first verse is directed to Jesus-adore. The other two verses are about Him and so proclaim him to others. To note changes like this will help us sing songs more meaningfully. Now look at "Shine, Jesus Shine." Q: To whom is it directed? A: To Jesus. Q: What do the two verses suggest that we want Jesus to do? A: First verse asks for the spread of "the truth" Jesus brings. The second verse asks that our lives will be clean and, thus, a testimony to Him. So we are adoring him and we are edifying each other to be evangelistic. What emotion should accompany this song? A: That we are dedicated to helping the light of Jesus shine in the world around us. Now look at "The Church's One Foundation." Q: What is the purpose of singing this song? A: To teach and admonish-proclaim. Q: What are some of the lessons this song teaches? A: That Jesus is the foundation of the church. That we enter this church "by water and the Word." That the church is the bride of Christ. And many more. Now look at "Trust and Obey." Q: To whom are we singing? A:To each other urging that we all "trust and obey." So we edify. This song is not asking God to trust and obey but, while the message is not directed to God, it is still done in His honor and so meets the condition of Col. 3:16 of "to God." Q:So, when we sing this song, what are some of the things we are teaching and admonishing each other to do? A: God abides with us when we do His will. We will be happy in Jesus if we trust and obey. Even when times are tough, the problems will go away if we trust and obey. And many more. Now, "On Bended Knee I Come." Q: What type of song is this? A: Prayer-communication with God. Q: And what are we praying for in verse one? A: That my life will be"a holy praise" to God. Q: And in verse two what are we praying for? A: My life will be "a holy sacrifice" to God. Q: In what mood or emotion should we sing this song? Q: What could the song leader do to help us with this? A: Sing the song softly and somewhat slowly. And maybe mention before we sing that this is a prayer song. Analyzing songs as we have today will help us be more aware of the words we are singing. And this will help us to worship God more as Paul describes in Col. 3:16.


  1. Singing to God and to one another is clearly something God wants us to do in our worship assemblies-and which we can even do in our private meditation to God. There is a general decline in "congregational singing" in many religious groups. They have made the song service more a performance than participation by all. But God wants us to sing to Him and to each other in meaningful thoughts and feelings.
  2. Q: What could we do individually to improve our participation in singing?


  1. Next class meeting, we'll visit a few minutes about how our study has affected your worship.


  1. Practice what we have studied in your worship in the coming week.

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