A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Friday, June 26, 2015

Inappropriate Hymns for a Pastor's First Sunday

Just as there are inappropriate hymn choices for a pastor's farewell Sunday (click here), there are also hymn selections that a new pastor will do well to stay away from for his or her first Sunday. To all my clergy colleagues who are leading worship in their new churches this Sunday and have chosen any of these hymns, hopefully there is time to change the bulletin asap before they get printed for this Sunday.

You're welcome.


God Forgave My Sin in Jesus' Name
[Your first Sunday is not the time to share your deepest sin with the new congregation.]


O Mary Don't You Weep, Don't Your Mourn
[Chances are really, really good that there is a parishioner named Mary in your new congregation. Don't choose this one!]


A Heavy Burden
[I know we pastors can be high maintenance, but let's not get off to a negative start.]


Restless Sea of Time
[For most congregations, the perception is that the 1950's was the only non-restless "Sea of Time." Think positive and don't use this hymn!]


Dear Lord, for All in Pain
[Let's not assume that people will not like you on your first Sunday. Again, think happy thoughts!]


I Want to Be Ready
[I know that we never feel perfectly ready to deliver that all important first sermon, but if we studied the text, prayed, and know what the Lord wants us to say, just let it happen! OK, now go hit it out of the park!]


Let the People Seek Their Freedom
[OK, this hymn should NOT be sung for the first Sunday because of United Methodist Book of Discipline and governing reasons. Even though this hymn has nothing to do with voting on keeping or not keeping a new pastor, perception is reality. We do not have a congregational method of choosing pastors. Our Bishop makes clergy appointments.]


Farewell Dear Friends
[Do I even need to explain why you shouldn't use this hymn for your first Sunday? Do you know how crazy tired you will be if you move twice in two weeks??]


People Look East
[This hymn should not be chosen if the Bishop's office is located east of your new congregation.]

And the top most inappropriate hymn for a pastor's first Sunday is the exact same hymn that is inappropriate for a pastor's last Sunday...


Move Me, Move Me

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