In my last post I listed some songs that have unifying qualities, especially ones that can speak into the cultural climate of today. I tried to pick some hymns and some contemporary worship songs as well as songs from a few different traditions. Here are a few more that can tie the body of Christ together theologically as well as through the act of singing them together.
As an aside, I originally listed these in alphabetical order and now this second part is exclusively “the T’s” so enjoy…
6. The Church’s One Foundation – Hymn
This classic hymn title really says it all. It expands, theologically what it means that the body of Christ on earth has unity. If you are wanting to really communicate ecclesiology while giving God glory in song, you can’t do much better.
7. There is a Fountain Filled With Blood – Traditional/Gospel Hymn
As the people of God, our worship is continually re-telling the story of God. I don’t know any worship leader who would be against singing about the cross and the blood. I question whether we even know who we are when we don’t sing about the cross. I discovered this older hymn more recently but it really is a cry of thankfulness for the atoning blood of Jesus. And the last stanza really brings home the unifying quality of that blood. In scripture the blood of Jesus not only covers our sins but is directly tied to our unity with the rest of the community of God. As 1 John says,
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”1 John 1:7
The atonement here is two-fold. Reconciliation with God and reconciliation with each-other as believers. If we are looking to really unify the church, we must sing together about the cross.
8. This I Believe (The Creed)
Another way to point the congregation towards unity is to center singing (or even just saying) core statements of faith. In the past, many traditions have used spoken-word liturgies. One of these statements that have been repeated in the church for centuries is the Apostles Creed. This affirmation that traces itself all the way back to the 2nd century summarizes the core beliefs of the first followers of Jesus.
There are actually quite a few songs based on the Apostles Creed, and you might find that other musical settings fit better in your worship community. The Hillsong United version from 2014 is what I have suggested here because I think it fits the widest range of styles and the melody is really easy to catch on to.
9. They will Know We are Christians By Our Love
This song is really a repeated prayer about unity. The lyrics express a desire that we will be unified as a group of people who are distinctive because of our love for others. Though it’s a simple song it has both a prayer for reconciliation with each-other and also a hope for others to be reconciled to God. Love, that is love founded in the love of God really should be the source of our unity to each-other just as it is the source of God’s mission to the world.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”1 John 3:16-18
What do you think? Are these good recommendations for unifying worship songs? Do you have any others that I missed? Let me know in the comments. And be sure to subscribe below!