I'm fairly new to worship leading. I lead worship each week and we sing 3 songs before service starts. We started about 14 months ago and have come a long way!
We began with a lot of older songs that the church already knew to ease into things, and recently, we've been adding more contemporary ones. We've been hovering around ~10 active songs in our list but I'd like to add more now that we have our feet underneath ourselves as a team.
What are your thoughts on the total number of songs that you can have in your entire song list? There are a bunch of wonderful songs that I would like to introduce. I know we can't introduce songs too often, so it's fine to spread them out. But since we only sing 3 songs a week, I wonder what a reasonable limit is to the size of our active song set?
How frequently should we sing a particular song so that the congregation doesn't forget it?
Should I consider older songs (e.g. "Lord I Lift Your name on High") as unforgetable and assume that I could pull it out months later if we haven't done it in a while?
Thanks for reading this post and offering your thoughts!
Ha ha ha ha!!! "Lord I Lift Your Name on High" Newer....Ha ha ha ha.... good stuff. I like the song I think it only needs to be played once or twice a year. In all seriousness This song was the single major casualty of the worship cd movement. When Worship music really became a "big" comodity and was mass marketed to the christian masses. This song was the "new" sound and the latest and greatest. It became the song and the sound of a new generation and move of God. So everybody and there dog sung the song, and it got beat to death. So dont be a hater of "Lord I Lift Your Name on High" Look upon the song with pitty. Lol...
Wow...I have a binder of songs from old pentecost favorites to our modern day worship songs. I
change songs like I change outfits...lol...but we consistently keep the favorites around and the older songs are always there to go back to when needed. We started playing all our modern contemporary songs on Sunday Mornings and in the evening services I tend to go back to the older hymns. I try to keep a balance since we have some many in different ages and in my church I do all my songs bilingual from english to spanish. Some of our older spanish songs that I only know in spanish are sung in our night services those are old favorites that never seem to lose their power. For the most part I like to bring in about 2 new songs a month and play them at every service until everyone gets them down. I mix a lot of old with new for my congregation-they seem to like that.
Hundreds and hundreds!! Way to many. They span 20 years. We play probably 500 songs that we are "familiar" with. Everything from Easter - Christmas and all points in between. I know about 50 by heart and another 30 by "fake it" and the others I need a chart.
Hi Cyrus, We have around 80, not including the Christmas songs, but as we play five each service and have two services on Sunday, it never seems enough. I do, however try to introduce a new song every 3-4 weeks, but I don't get hung up on it if it takes longer.
Our Pastor (also our main guitarist) is also very creative when it comes to Sunday evenings and sometimes likes us to shake things up a bit; recently we had a 'Music Cafe' evening where we suspended the general learning of new worship songs and learnt a whole new set of about 8 songs which included some worship, gospel and some secular songs which had links to testimonies etc. It worked really well and everyone had a great night.
A good thing about this was that we kept hold of around three of the songs and introduced them.
We also did 'Open Church' the other week where there was no preaching, but music & lots of prayer, waiting on God - it was very refreshing and there's more in the pipeline.
Last year we decided with our Pastor to introduce new songs more frequently, but recently have heard that people (although they like the new) are missing some of the older ones, so we've tried to listen to them and strike a balance and every now and then I throw in something like 'Shout to The Lord'.
When I choose songs, either for the first time to learn or for Sunday, I try to consider a few things:
1) After praying, am I drawn to any particular song?
2) What is God saying to the church right now - what's going on?
3) What is my Pastor speaking on - does the song fit in?
4) When was the last time it was played? (We don't tend to do them twice in a row unless it's newly introduced)
if it is a new song I add:
5) Is the song doctrinally sound - no glaring heresies or anything!?
6) Does the song fit the vision of the Church?
7) What kind of song is it? (We may need more on God's presence, or something more joyful etc)
I hope that helps
Sorry for the essay- length reply!
1.An idea is that if you do offering music use that time to play new stuff. The congregation doesn't need to sing because it is offering time.
2. Play music before the beginning of service. A pre-service warm up. Sometimes we will start to "jam" as a band 7-5 min before service starts. We don't play "christian" music every time. (just good music) You could do that with the new music.
Let people get familiar with it.