It is often possible, and most desirable, to have the theme of the song service fit in with the subject of the sermon, especially on themes such as the second coming, the new earth, conversion, et cetera. However, there are other times when the best thing the song leader can do in the song service is to hold up Christ and Him crucified, rather than try to sing something on the subject. The same is true of the special music at such a meeting, especially on nights when spiritism, the mark of the beast, and other strong doctrines are presented. If Christ is held up on these nights by the song leader as well as the evangelist, very few hearts will be turned against the truth, as has too often been the case. Here is a suggested outline for such a song service:
"What a Friend We Have in Jesus."
"Does Jesus Care?"
"A Wonderful Saviour Is Jesus, My Lord."
SOLO: "I Know a Name."
"All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name." (CLIMAX.)
This makes a very nicely connected song service, leading up to the solo, which crystalizes the sentiment of the other songs regarding Jesus, pointing to the fact that there is power in the very name of Jesus. Then in the climax the audience can join in with all the conviction they can muster in the sentiment of the hymn, "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name."
A similar outline was followed in the recent Pittsburgh campaign on the night spiritism was presented. A very earnest season of prayer was held by the workers before the meeting. Appropriate, but brief, remarks were made between songs, holding up Christ and the joy of having Him as a personal Saviour. Under the influence of these songs, and through the promptings of the Holy Spirit, hearts were well prepared for the message of the evening. Then George E. Vandeman, of the General Conference Ministerial Association, presented the subject of spiritism with all kindness, having special regard for those who might have the beliefs of a lifetime shaken by the truth. Christ and the love of God were interwoven with this message, as it was in every doctrine presented during the Pittsburgh campaign, and yet the truth was presented with power, in all its clarity.
Consequently there was no disturbance during this service on spiritism, as is so often the case. When the meeting was dismissed, even old confirmed spiritists were heard to remark, "Well, maybe he [the evangelist] is right after all," and similar comments. Their interest had been aroused, their attention focused on Christ, and they were not turned against the truth.
A similar procedure was followed in the meeting on the mark of the beast. The Lord came very near during the service, and a wonderful aftermeeting was held. Around a hundred or more interested ones remained in response to a special call.
So, on special nights, when very testing truths are presented and decisions will be made, let us remember that if we hold up Christ, His name and His power will do the work of preparing hearts after a fashion that can be done in no other way.
"Lift up Jesus, you that teach the people, lift Him up in sermon, in song, in prayer. . . . Let the science of salvation be the burden of every sermon, the theme of every song."—Gospel Workers, p. 160.
Incidentally, this is a very good time to get that wonderful book, Gospel .Workers, down off the shelf, and reread, restudy, and mark the entire chapter, "Preaching Christ." Note what Mrs. White says about "Christless sermons." Let us determine to have more of Christ and His spirit in our song services.