AMEN to that Jerry! We are doing well if we manage to repeat a chorus at the end 3 times - just getting to a place then...... Here's how our services are - We start before the service begins with maybe two short songs, asking the still-arriving congregation to join us. The opening hymn, a prayer and announcements, 2-3 songs, offering, a song, sermon, closing hymn. Whilst this is fine, and both our own congregation and visitors say wonderful things about our playing/singing, and we do often feel the Holy Spirit moving, all of us the worship team looooooong for the above from Jerry! Some congregations don't take kindly to change, and we do always try to consider what they want/need, and try to have a good balance of songs, ie old and new. It feels like the worship is in a birdcage, and we just need to open the door and give it its freedom!
Sunday mornings it really depends on which team is up, but we go anywhere between 20-40 minutes. Some teams tend towards the shorter times, others to the longer. There is not set framework, but most teams tend to place praise songs before worship songs, and most are open to the leadings of the Spirit if they need to go in another direction.
Sunday nights are a bit more open and go for 1-2 hours, generally following a very rough outline with lots of "optional" stuff readily on hand, so they can do whatever is necessary for the direction the service goes in. These are much more of a worship service and less of a traditional "church" service.
Soon I will be introducing a new team and a new format to our church, and we will be doing a once a month (for now) Alternative service. This will follow in the basic framework of our Sunday night services, but will be a bit more "let your hair down" with a more dimly lit sanctuary and slightly louder music. There will be some video clips and very breif "think about this" statements or discussions, but it will mostly be praise, worship and ministry time. I doubt we'll ever clock in under 2 hours for these, and they've been scheduled for the last Friday of the month, so we can go very long if necessary.
At the AG church we help 3 times a month - 6 songs, plus a song for the offering and sometimes at the end.
At the Anglican Church we go to once a month - 5 liturgical songs (including Doxology) 4 worship songs during communion, and a Recessional hymn.
Typically, about 20 minutes or so ... we have 4-5 songs, typically anywhere from 3-10 minutes used for announcements and/or a testimony or media element, and the sermon is typically 35+ minutes. Our services are 1:00-1:10.
I also pick 7 to 8 songs just in case of prayer line, I'm lucky to get through 3. One thing I have learned over the years. Worship leaders do tend to sing to many songs on a Sunday. When people start to sing the first time they just sung it, the second time the getting into it and the third time they are starting to feel what the song is about and enter into His presence. If we do to many songs people don't really enter into that intimate time with God. When we sing only a couple and songs with not to many words. Its amazing the response from people towards God and how they respond with the minimal amount of songs. We will sing and spend that time with God between 30 - 45 minutes, sometimes it has gone to an hour or so.
i totally agree with you...i do have 5 songs for praise that includes medleys but when i comes to worship we generally have 3 songs....we sing over and over and get into spontaneous and verbal expressions ...I believe that come more from the heart than just following through the lines someone else has written.