How do you go about selecting new songs to learn yourself but also to teach to your congregations / housegroups etc? Do you listen to new worship albums and see which ones you can play easily and then use those ones? Do you try to work out which ones would work well with your church even if you can't play it very easily on your own, without your worship band? Do you ask your worship team members to make suggestions of new songs?

Or do you have another way of discovering new (or old ones that are new to you) praise and worship songs?

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In the main I don't introduce that many new songs to the church myself but tend to reinforce (by choosing them again) the ones that the other worship leaders choose. Quite often this is stimulated by a large conference that folks have been to or the discovery of someone (like when we heard Chris Tomlin's first CD) who writes songs that somehow speak to where we are at.
Sometimes God just seems to highlight a song (either new or old) that just seems right for a particular time. Last week I chose "I'm accepted, I'm forgiven". We probably haven't sung this song in our church for 15 years but somehow it was just the right time.
Mark
How did that go down? (I'm accepted, I'm forgiven) I've not sung that one for a while either!
It seemed to go really well. The song just represented what my heart for the morning was. What I seem to be in the process of learnign at the moment is just who I am in God, all that he's given me. I suspect a lot of pastoral issues come down to folks not being confident that they are accepted and forgiven and Fathered by the True and living God. My heart is that I and the other members of the church that I'm part of would be unshakeable in our confidence in our place in God and unswerving in our desire to do his will!
Mark
Amen!
It is always good to see which & what kind of season the church is going through & what God wants to speak to the church, & not choose a song just for the sake of nice lyrics & melody.
Hi. Newbie here. Sometimes I wake up with songs playing in my head that I have heard on the radio, or on cd, or having heard someone play it. When I do, I get up and go straight to the guitar / piano and find the song and learn it. If I'm leading, then I bring it to the team as a new song. That happens alot. But sometimes I hear it and like it, then learn it.

The bad thing is...sometimes I hear a new song, and cant find it in print or online because it's so new. That is a drag. I hate it when that happens.
Yeah, this happens to me too.
I always ask myself, will this work with a congregation or is it more of a solo song? If I think it will work then I learn it from CD (YouTube mostly), stop listening to it, then allow it to develop so that I am comfortable with it. I normally slip no more than two new/different songs in at any one time. I usually tell the congregation I am introducing a new song and repeat the choruses etc. enabling them to become familiar with it.
First and foremost, I am listening to the spirit of God within me. Every song that I hear I allow the spirit to filter. I don't do a formal evaluation of the song but rather wait on the Lord to quicken a song to my spirit. I stay focused on three areas of worship and three alone. They are:

The high praises of God = the songs that place God in his rightful place - on the throne
The holiness of God - the songs that proclaim God's holiness - this is a key one for the church right now
Songs of pure worship - songs like "Here I am to Worship." Songs that by their words force you choose - are you going to worship or not?

Out of these three key areas, I find the the spirit will lead into songs of purity, cleansing, the love relationship with God and any other area that may be key for the congregation.

Next, I ignore the congregation. Yep, I said it. It may sound bad, but I don't care what the congregation thinks they need. I can't give it to them so why try? I instead focus on making the praise totally vertical. It belongs to him anyway so why get wrapped up in the horizontal? Over and over again, I have found that as the team focuses solely on praising God, that he responds to the vertical praise and then moves horizontally through the congregation to minister to them. Then the one that desperately needs a touch of God's love get's what they need right next to the person who needed to be released in their worship by proclaiming "God You Reign!"

When listening to a song, I am always listening for a certain "Amen" from the spirit or heaven. Often songs will sound really good, and be great for personal worship and edification but not good for congregational worship. There is a lot of stuff out there that is really good, but it is very wordy, complicated melodies etc. I as a rule won't use them, unless of course I get that Amen.

Recently I introduced "God You Reign." I had a phenomenal effect. The song and the flow of the spirit went on for almost 30 minutes. This was an example of a song that having heard it on the radio, the spirit made it personal to me, and also prompted the introduction.

So I hope this helps, if not at least it may provide for yet another way of handling the new song issue.
i feel like i have an advantage because im 30 minutes away from Atlanta, but i really feed off Steve Fee, Kristian Stanfill, and anything North Point is doing. we've actually been using 2 Fee songs in worship that our church knows completely now and the cd doesn't even come out until October.
For me, the first criteria is that it must be a song that I can sing. There are styles of music, that no matter how much I like them, I just cannot sing.

I spend a lot of time listening to the radio, when I hear a song that I like I make note of it and then start checking CCLI and Worship Together to see if the sheet music is available. Once I find the sheet music I begin working on the song. Some songs come so easily that I can introduce them the same week, others take weeks to get worked out. I strive to work on at least one new song a week.

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