Many people think the hymn book is old-fashioned; however, the hymnal in your pew has a lot to offer beyond Sabbath morning services. It is a collection of the church fathers’ eclectic poetry about their intimate relationship with God and His awe-inspiring character. It is also a great resource for your small group.
Many churches have old hymnals in storage. Ask a church staff member if your church has extra hymnals that you may keep or borrow. If there are none in storage, ask if you can use a few hymnals from the pews during the week (just promise to return them in time for the next service). You can also find hymnals at your local Christian bookstore, or you can search hymn collections on the Internet.
Here are some creative ways to use hymns in your small group.
- Sing a hymn together, and then discuss the characteristics of the God it describes.
- Ask each group member to write out a phrase, sentence, or verse from the hymn on an index card. Suggest that they keep the cards with them throughout the week and reflect on the words’ meaning during spare moments. When you come back the following week, discuss how this contemplation affected each member.
- Hymns, for the most part, are poems. Encourage each group member to write his or her own poem (or hymn) about a facet of God.
- Read the lyrics of a hymn collectively; then challenge each member of the group to find a psalm that praises the same attribute of God’s character.
- Use hymns that correspond with a particular season of the year or a specific topic you are currently studying in your group (hymnals often include a topical index). There are hymns describing many characteristics of God and one for just about every occasion, season, and holiday. Hymns touch on God’s love for us, our love for Him, our love of other believers, and our love for the lost.
Utilize the great resource that we have in our pews beyond Sabbath morning!
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists