Yeah, that's about the proportion I tend to stick to, and the key part for me is the "only if it fits overall" part.
I've heard people say "Well, we may for 4 or 5 Tim Hughes/Matt Redman etc etc ones, so why not do more original ones?"
For me, and it's probably just a perception thing, I'd feel like it might be distracting for the congregation ("Oh, another one HE wrote.....").
I've heard some people who've been to services led prominent worship leader/songwriters (where they've done a lot of their own material) who have commented that it can start to feel a little more like a concert than a worship service. Maybe that's just a personal thing for them, but it's a difficult balance to strike.
When it comes down to it, as long our hearts are set on serving through music, rather than showing off our 'creations', it will show in our choice of songs for a service.
What do you think, lets say I do,,,4 chris tomilin songs in a row (or any other artist)
From my view songwriters tent to use the same structure, chord choices and overall musicall vocabulary in thier songs to play 4 or 5 from one artist seems to limit the musical landscape...
Not at all - I think it's good to be as varied as possible, but there's also the thing that if I did 4 of my own songs in a service (assuming they're all well know by the cong.,) it would probably be received differently than if I did 4 tomin songs.
I think a lot of it is that a proportion of the congregation may not know (or care) which famous worship leader wrote a song, but if it's one of mine, they may well be aware of it.
Having said that, I think that the key part is the "where appropriate". It may well be that those 4 back-to-back tomlin songs have the right theme / flow etc for that part of the service. I very rarely consider the songwriter when picking. If it happens to be 4 by the same person, it doesn't bother me too much. (unless that person is me...!)
Hmm... seems like a hometown prophet syndrome big-time!
One thought, if the 4 songs you chose happened to be written by you around the same time-frame, wouldn't they have pretty much the same theme/flow anyway? And therefore CAN be appropriate to have them one after another?
That's based on my experience of God dealing with me (and other people I know) on a theme-based approach... :)