11 years ago I stood up and was prayed for at Soul Survivor; The call was for people who want to have a voice for God.   Since then songs have flowed out of me.  However, I'm not a Worship Leader as my voice has not the qualities I would want to hear, this is honest as I've heard the tapes.    I have been what I called a worship pusher (planned the service/songs and lead the practises/arrange the music)  kept and eye(!) on what is happening during the worship and nudged the the Worship Leader/Team.


However, though most of my output is used by the witness band I'm in.  I've had local bands uses song that I have written for them.   

I have a few songs that are suitable for congregational singing.   I've never had a song used congregationally by the churches that I'm  a member of...


Any one else had a similar experience?  

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When I was WL at our church, we used a bunch of my songs; when I stepped down and somebody else came in, he had a "no original songs" policy, so that was that.  I was able to do a couple things as special music, but nothing in terms of congregational singing.


It sounds like you have done a good part of the background organizing of the worship band - you don't say whether or not you're still in that role, but if you are, have you shared a few of your songs with the current WL and asked if they would consider using something as a worship song?


There are, of course, certain kinds of songs that "work" for congregational singing and other kinds that don't.  One of the issues is that (IMHO) worship songs should not be "preachy" - that is, they shouldn't be about how "you," the sinner, needs to come to Jesus.  That's what "witness" songs are usually about, but for congregational worship, the goal is more to "put words of worship into the mouths of the congregation" to help them worship.  So I would think it's possible that maybe even your "suitable" songs might still have lyrics that fall more into that "witness" category, or music that is not going to be easy for the congregation to sing.  Or something.  Even if your singing isn't the greatest, I would suggest that you post a couple of your originals to the songwriters' corner and ask the folks there for some feedback, specifically about the use of the songs in worship.


You might also try submitting a couple of your songs to worship music publishers, just to see what sort of response you get.  I almost had one of my songs published in a songbook put out by our denomination (I'm actually listed in the credits for the book, it's just that several songs that start with the letter "R" don't show up in there), and if the song had been in the book, we might well be using it at our church.


When I was WL, if someone from the congregation had come to me and said, "I wrote this song, could we use it in worship," I would have made it a priority to use the song, even if it was not that well written... I might ask the writer's permission to make some changes, or ask them to submit three or four songs and let me pick one, or whatever... but, to me, the value of "hey, Joe Schmoe from our church wrote that song" would far outweigh, "hey, that's a great new Paul Baloche song."  At the same time, I do understand that once the WL opens the door to original worship songs, it can lead to bad songs, hurt feelings, etc.


But, ya know, I would talk to your current WL, explain your feelings.  Offer to put together a CD of three or four of your most appropriate songs and ask if they would consider using one of them.  This may be tough, but... let the WL know that you are okay if they re-arrange the song, tweak some of the lyrics, etc.  Even if you find yourself appalled at what they did to "your baby," be gracious and thank them, and then try to step back and ask yourself, "okay, why did they change the things they did?"


You did mention having "nudged the Worship Leader/Team," and you may need to think about whether they may perceive you as a bit of a threat, somebody who is trying to "take over" from the WL.  I get it that that's not your intent, but is it possible that that's how you are perceived?  If so, understand that they may be resistant to using your songs if they feel like that might be a "power play" of some sort.  Whether it is or not.  If the leader thinks you are challenging their authority by bringing them a song, you're going to lose regardless of how good your song is.


Good luck!

Why would someone have a "no original songs" policy? Is it to avoid personal agendas in pushing one's own material?

Oh, I imagine he had a problem at some previous church where they did an original song by one person and then somebody else (or a lot of people) started bringing their really awful original songs and he decided it's just easier to say "no."  I'm pretty sure he's only written a couple of songs himself.



Perhaps the policy should be, "can't advertise that it's your song."
The difficulty I've found with that is that, for all other songs we sing, we have to put copyright information up with the projected words. So, some people in our church got used to the code: no copyright info -> might be a homegrown song!
I guess I've been lucky in this regard.... firstly I'm the main (only!) worship leader in our little church, and secondly the leadership and congregation have generally been very encouraging when it comes to me using songs I've written (or songs that others in the church have written). They seem genuinely to like singing them. I also think it is good to use homegrown songs, but you still have to excercise some quality control, especially on your own songs (which is hard!).

I can't understand why anyone would insist on a "no original songs" policy. If everyone did that, we'd be a bit stuck....

Charles has given excellent advice, I think.... you have to develop a good relationship with your worship leader over this. Certainly there's no way your songs are going to get used unless you are a little pushy, at least to the extent of saying explicitly "here's a song I've written, I think it might be a good one for the congregation to sing - what do you think of it?" They might say no, and I think you'd have to respect that, but at the very least you could hope to get some constructive feedback as to why it might not work, and what you could do to improve it. Generally a good way to test whether you have a gift is to find out whether other people recognise that gift in you.

Also, yes, do submit a few songs to the songwriting forum!


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