Growing up in the Baptist Church we’d go all out for July 4th with a full-fledged cantata, waving flags and veterans dressed up in their uniforms.
These days some contemporary churches are uncomfortable mixing worship with patriotism and make no mention of patriotic holidays in their services. Pulling off a big patriotic musical is out of the question anyway because families are so much busier now in the summer than even twenty years ago. Choirs disband for the summer and I know the headaches of scheduling praise team members during the vacation months.
Why not try something simpler – touch on a patriotic holiday but don’t let it be the focus of your service. Most worship media companies have short, patriotic-themed videos that would work great as an opener or offertory.
You might kick off your service with an upbeat patriotic tune (like my guitar-driven version of America the Beautiful), stop for welcome and announcements then continue with your regular praise set.
America the Beautiful
You can give the patriotic holiday a spiritual thrust and use it as a time to uphold our leaders in prayer. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 says “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
In my Freedom’s Holy Light Patriotic Collection I have a congregational prayer section in the middle of the praise set. Try selecting 2 or 3 people and suggest they each pray for a specific topic – servicemen and women from the congregation, peace, political figures, etc. This will help shift your congregation’s minds away from any secular and political baggage and focus their minds on things above.
Download chord charts and sheet music for the guitar-driven version of America the Beautiful with a HymnCharts subscription. It’s the best sheet music value on the Internet.