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My Church
A Quick Music Discussion Guide for Parents
02/24/2017

Dynamic ImageThe Song: My Church

Main Point: Church isn’t a building, it’s not a boring service…. it’s experiencing God’s calling in our lives in a gathering of believers, worshipping Him and encouraging each other to live in the joy that comes from the knowledge of His truth.

Vital Info Before You Get Started:
The following info should help you contextualize this very popular song so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.

“My Church” is a song by American country singer Maren Morris. It was released in January 2016 as her debut single and serves as the lead single from her debut studio album, “Hero” (2016). Morris co-wrote and co-produced the song with busbee. The song won the award for Best Country Solo Performance and was nominated for Best Country Song at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.

The church in the song is used figuratively to describe the sanctuary that she feels is her car when she plays music on the FM radio while driving.

IMPORTANT NOTE TO PARENTS: We at The Source for Parents believe that certain elements in our youth culture can serve as good discussion jump starters with students. At the same time, we would never hope to introduce students to a negative influence that they haven’t already encountered. This balance is a delicate one. In our experience most students, churched and unchurched, keep pretty current with music and music videos. Thanks to YouTube, MTV.com, and iTunes, the most popular music videos and songs are free to access only a click away.

Since this song is so popular, your kids have heard it. When you sit down to discuss this song, make sure to have a copy of the lyrics available (below) and access to the music video (which we provided in the link below, as well).

Above all, don’t appear as if you have a “canned” discussion in your head and rattle off questions like a teacher giving a pop quiz—your kids get enough of that in school. This is a guide, primarily—not a verbatim script. Just familiarize yourself with the content here and start a conversation in the most natural, unforced way you know how.

The Music Video:
The music video can be viewed for free at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouWQ25O-Mcg



Song Lyrics:
"My Church"

[Verse 1:]
I've cussed on a Sunday
I've cheated and I've lied
I've fallen down from grace
A few too many times
But I find holy redemption
When I put this car in drive
Roll the windows down and turn up the dial

[Chorus:]
Can I get a hallelujah
Can I get an amen
Feels like the Holy Ghost running through ya
When I play the highway FM
I find my soul revival
Singing every single verse
Yeah I guess that's my church

[Verse 2:]
When Hank brings the sermon
And Cash leads the choir
It gets my cold coal heart burning
Hotter than a ring of fire
When this wonderful world gets heavy
And I need to find my escape
I just keep the wheels rolling, radio scrolling
Until my sins wash away

[Chorus:]

[Chorus:]

[Chorus:]
Hey, Can I get a hallelujah
Can I get an amen
Feels like the Holy Ghost running through ya
When I play the highway FM
I find my soul revival
Singing every single verse
Yeah I guess that's my church
Yeah I guess that's my church
Yeah I guess that's my church


Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):
    Q: When it comes to this song, what’s “My Church” about?
    A: The song refers to listening to country icons like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams and is about "the simple joy that comes with turning up the volume, rolling down the windows and singing along to the radio at 65 miles an hour." She compares the experience to a church revival, saying, "Yeah, I guess that's my church." Marren Morris commented about her song, “My Church”:
    Q: The song seems sort of negative about church--what is the worldview behind it?
    A: While Morris is not being directly negative about church, it does seem to convey the idea that we don’t need church to find our spiritual experiences and emotional contentment.

    Q: Why is the video/song so popular?
    A: Besides having a catchy tune and clever lyrics, it is probably popular because we all can relate to the freedom you feel when you crank up the radio with the windows down driving down the road. Music evokes strong emotions, and this song is a tribute to that.

Where to Take It from Here:
Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful! (There’s a guide just after this paragraph that helps you do just that.) If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged—the next time it feels right, try out another song. Keep engaging them.

For Deeper Discussion: If your kids seem into diving in deeper, the following discussion guide can help take you there.

Want help getting your teenager engaged in conversation? CLICK HERE for a helpful article from our "Parenting Help" page providing you with 3 Essentials to Talking with Today's Teens.

Transitional Statement:
Have you ever been driving down the road or sitting in your room, your favorite song comes on and you just turn it up… and maybe even sing really loud and off-key? Music can stir something up in us. It’s powerful. “My Church” draws from that experience when music creates a feeling of such elation and adoration that you almost want to say, “hallelujah” and “amen.”

But there’s another message in this song, subtle, but unmistakable — the message that…
this awesome feeling I experience when I crank up my music, that feeling is my church. Sure, she never says, “So don’t go to church, just listen to music.” But the implication is pretty obvious… the spiritual experience I feel playing Johnny Cash and Hank Williams is waaaaaaaay better than any I’ve felt at church.

Why do you think she feels this way? Let’s take a peek.


More Discussion Questions:
  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Before we dive in, let’s all answer this question—what is one of your favorite songs right now?

  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: In what ways can you relate to Morris’ experience that she describes in this song?

  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do you think music has such a power to noticeably impact our emotions?

  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Are there any ways you can personally connect your feelings about listening to music in the car and what you’ve experienced at church?

  5. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think she is missing at church that she is finding through music?

  6. Read the following passage:

      Matthew 16: 13-18

      When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

      14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

      15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

      16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

      17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

  7. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What images come to mind when you hear the word “church”?

  8. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: When Jesus said, “I will build my church” in the passage we read, do you think He had a building in mind? Why or why not?

    *Note: Explain that the Greek word that’s translated “church” is ‘ecclesia’ — which referred to a group of people who were called out of one sphere and into another for a specific purpose. So in this case, Jesus is calling people out of the Roman system into another kingdom, God’s Kingdom, with an entirely different experience and perspective on life.

  9. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How did we get from the concept of “called out ones” to thinking primarily of buildings and denominations? (In other words, why do we think of a brick building with a steeple when we hear the word church?)

  10. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Given that new or different understanding of what “church” means, how might Morris’ definition of church be accurate on some level to what Jesus meant? (i.e. - an experience vs. a building, an escape from the world, a ‘soul revival’, etc.)

  11. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What kind of connection and emotion might you be able to find at church that you couldn’t get from listening to music?

  12. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS Do you think the church would be more impactful in the world if we understood it as a community of people called out to gather together, experience worship, encourage each other and live out God’s calling on our lives rather than a building? Why or why not?

  13. Share this quote from Saint Augustine:

      “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

  14. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Do you agree with Augustine? Why or why not?

  15. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: If our hearts are ultimately restless until we rest in our relationship with God; can music ultimately fulfill us? Why or why not?

  16. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: How could the church change its formula so that it could create an experience comparable to what Morris describes in “My Church”?

Wrap Up:
(Parent- this is a great opportunity to share a personal story of a time where you were encouraged and lifted up by a group of believers either during a tough time in your life, or encouraged to live out your calling.)

The church isn’t four brick walls and a steeple. The church isn’t a guy playing guitar or reading the Bible.

You are the church.

And the good news is… you alone aren’t the church. The church is a gathering of imperfect people like you, who God is slowly transforming to look more like Him. And you’ll find a common message all throughout scripture—that is, when you are going through the ups and downs of life… don’t do it alone!

Church is a gathering of people to worship God when the rest of the world is worshipping everything else, share truth in a world full of lies, and encourage each other in a world almost void of encouragement.

The message in “My Church” is a great reminder that our church experience should be joyful and inspirational so that the world will see that we aren’t called into a building, rather we are called out of the world into a gathering of believers who are authentically expressing ‘hallelujahs’ and ‘amens’ from our hearts.

Morris is expressing a common sentiment in her song, “My Church.” A lot of people aren’t enthusiastic about going to church. Maybe they were bored. Maybe they experienced judgment. That’s sad. That’s not what church is supposed to be. That’s why we should be contagious and passionate in our faith in Christ and be more like Christ in the way we love and the authenticity we show. If people saw more of that and how we have found our true fulfillment in God, no song in the world could compete!


Close in prayer

Written by Lane Palmer

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