Faith, God, Love

Can Pop Music Help in Evangelization?

“I Hope You Dance” is a crossover country pop song written by Mark D. Sanders and Tia Sillers, and recorded by country singer Lee Ann Womack along with Sons of the Desert. The song, which was featured on Womack’s 2000 album of the same name, reached number one on both the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks and Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks charts, and also reached number fourteen on the Billboard Hot 100. It is considered to be Womack’s signature song, and it is the only Billboard number one for both Womack and for Sons of the Desert. “I Hope You Dance” won the 2001 CMA, ACM, NSAI, ASCAP and BMI awards for Song of the Year. It also won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song and was nominated for Song of the Year. “I Hope You Dance” is ranked 352 in the list “Songs of the Century” compiled by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). (Wikipedia)

Here are the lyrics of the song with corresponding Bible verses (chosen by me) whose meaning, in my opinion, are captured in the words of each line. Being a secular pop song it does not impose the Christian religion on others, but I find it inspiring and meaningful when sung or listened with reference to the Bible verses. The words of advice in each verse lead to the chorus which urges one to dance and not just sit it out. Dancing is a form of worship in the Old Testament. We are told King David danced before the LORD with all his might, wearing a priestly garment (2 Sam 6:14). I think it applies to evangelization as well; all Christians should spread the Good News and not just sit it out. I find the question at the end of the song “Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder, where those years have gone?” very appropriate as we see the Day drawing near (Heb 10:25). This song has demonstrated that Christian values have been successfully promulgated into the secular world as conventional wisdom which is widely accepted. For Christians, this wisdom is rooted in doctrines that are as old as the Bible (the Word of God) which should be made known so that proper acknowledgment can be made to the source of all wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:2-3).

I Hope You Dance (Lyrics in Bold)
(Verse 1)
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Eccl 3:11)

You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (Deut 8:3)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Matt 5:6)

May you never take one single breath for granted
He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. (Acts 17:25)
As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. (2 Cor 6:1)

God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. (1 Cor 13:2)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “These are the ones I look on with favour: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” (Isa 66:1-2)

Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isa 43:18-19)
With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Matt 19:26)

Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it. (Matt 21:22)

(Verse 2)
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isa 43:1-2)
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deut 31:8)
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

Never settle for the path of least resistance
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matt 7:13-14)

Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:35)
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24)

Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. (Psalm 126:5-6)

Don’t let some Hellbent heart leave you bitter
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Col 3:13)
See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. (Heb 12:15)

When you come close to sellin’ out, reconsider
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Gal 6:9)
You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matt 10:22)

Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Matt 7:21)
We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. (Heb 2:1)

(Chorus)
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Matt 5:13)
Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:18)
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:26)
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matt 28:19)

(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along)
(Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder, where those years have gone?)
Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Eph 5:15-17)
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Heb 10:24-25)

Here’s the song on YouTube performed by Lee Ann Womack (with lyrics). Enjoy!

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About RockofFaith

I'm a Christian who likes to share about my faith.

Discussion

One thought on “Can Pop Music Help in Evangelization?

  1. I love worship music! I usually stick with the music I hear on K-LOVE or WAY-FM, but any song that glorifies God is good by me. It doesn’t hurt if it’s something that is also pleasing to the ears. God bless!

    Posted by Douglas Gill | July 1, 2013, 2:28 pm

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