Christmas Hymns/Carols and the Gospel Story

Greg Strand – December 23, 2014 Leave a comment

As pastors who are responsible for studying, preaching and teaching the Word of God and as pastors of music/worship, how do we approach the Christmas season in the church?

The notion of “here we are again” can carry two different nuances. In the first it is stated with a notion of dread and tiredness since we have “been there, done that.” We feel a burden to come up with something new and fresh . . . again. In the second, it is stated with a notion of excitement since we can celebrate something familiar and we get to tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love . . . again.

Keith Getty acknowledges some of these sentiments in that often we approach this with feeling “overwhelmed, exhausted, and lacking in creative freshness.” In response, he provides 5 Reasons for Musicians and Church Leaders to Love Carolling the Story I simply include the list and encourage you to read the rest of the article.

  1. Remember that Christmas is a huge opportunity to sing the gospel.
  2. Explore and immerse yourself in the abundance of historic church Christmas music.
  3. Educate and reinvigorate your congregation to sing well.
  4. Challenge and broaden the musical vocabulary of the church.
  5. Seek fresh opportunities to think outwardly and to take music outside of the church building.

So “here we are again” in the Christmas season.

  • How do you approach this time?
  • How do you make the most of this opportunity?
  • How do you “carol the story?”

Greg Strand


Affectionately called “Walking Bible” by his youngest daughter, Greg Strand has a ministry history that goes back to 1982. Since that time, he has served in local church ministry in a variety of ministry capacities: youth pastor, associate pastor of adult ministries and senior pastor. He is currently the EFCA's Executive Director of Theology and Credentialing. Greg reads voraciously and never stops learning — a passion reflected in the overflowing bookshelves that spill from his library to multiple offices. And he could tell you about each of those books! His hunger for learning pales in contrast to his great love for God and for teaching the Word of God.

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