David C Cook COVID-19 Response

High School

Sing a New Song

Lesson 13 


Summer 2021


By: RLD Editorial Team 


August 29, 2021

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Lesson Focus:

Praise God with music! ECHOES Focus: That your students draw on Christ's power to make them more like Him.

Bible Basis:

Psalm 150; Revelation 15:2c-4

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Memory Verse:

Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.
—Psalm 96:1

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
—Galatians 2:20

Step 1:

Your students will look at the ways music influences their behavior before considering how it can be used to praise God.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Begin today’s lesson by showing this video to your students [12:01; stop at 2:41].
How Does Music Affect Your Brain? | Tech Effects | WIRED 

As we’ve just seen, sound and music are powerful influencers that manipulate our behavior in ways few other forces are capable of. Today, we’re going to focus specifically on how music impacts our lives and the ways in which we can use it.

  • What kind of music are you into? (Ask a few of your students to respond. Each student is likely to have a fairly well thought out answer to this question; allow them to share a few of their favorite songs or artists and a brief explanation of why they are a favorite.)

There’s a reason this is a common first date question: many psychologists have concluded that “our musical choices reflect important aspects of our personality.” In other words, you can learn a lot about someone by the music that they listen to.

A quick look around the data of music consumption makes it easy to understand why.

According to research presented in articles written by Forbes, we’re listening to more music than ever before. Way more. In 2008, the average American listened to 2.5 hours of music per day. In 2017, that number was up to over 4.5 hours. That’s 32 hours a week! With this astounding level of consumption, it would be impossible for music not to influence identity development, and likely, it is doing so more than any other entertainment medium.  

So, what’s the impact? What are the good influences in music? What about the bad?

Even across the same artist, and in some cases, even across the same album, there can be huge fluctuations between positive and negative messages. While some songs choose to focus on uplifting, motivating content, others target substance abuse, opulence, and sexual immorality.

The reality is that music can be used for both good and evil, but understanding the impact of what we’re hearing can be tricky. The question becomes “what music helps us live for God, and how can we use music to worship Him?” Today, we’ll look at the answers and discover the Bible’s link between music and worship.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

Before class, print out enough Music Analysis Worksheets so that each of your students has one (template found here). If your class is meeting online, email a copy of the worksheet to your students to print before class, and invite them to have pens/pencils ready.

In today’s lesson so far, we’ve looked at the incredible way God designed music as a tool of worship. At this point, the question on most of your minds is probably “should a Christian listen to secular music? And are there any secular songs suitable for worship?” This has been and remains a hotly debated inquiry in the Christian world. The simple answer is: there is no simple answer.

As an article from Got Questions Ministries puts it, “Many secular musicians are immensely talented. Secular music can be very entertaining. There are many secular songs that have catchy melodies, thoughtful insights, and positive messages.” And for all of the secular music that has these virtues, there is at least as much that does not. Therefore, making blanket statements about the suitability of secular music would be hard to defend; we should look to Scripture for advice.

In the remainder of this lesson, you will be given the Biblical tools needed to decide for yourself which songs are suitable for listening and worship.

Hand out worksheets and pens/pencils to your teens. If your class is meeting online, invite students to have supplies ready. Move through each of the three steps with your students, allowing time for volunteers to look up and read the Scriptures listed. Engage your students in the discussion questions at the end of each step. Answer other questions as they arise and assess specific popular music when it fits into the discussion.

There may be students who still hold onto views they had before using the worksheet. Do not allow arguments or heated discussions. Allow God’s Word to marinate with your students as you challenge them to use the worksheet to analyze their own music library this coming week, identifying those songs that are virtuous (encourage them to in turn spend time worshiping God with them), and those that aren’t (likewise encourage them to prayerfully consider that music’s place in their library).

Close in prayer, thanking God for giving us the gift of music and the ability to express praise to Him in so many ways.

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