If you think about it, the songs we sing as worship leaders are our product. We consume the product at first when we hear a song on the radio or latest album. Or maybe we craft the product when we write that song. Then we change the product when we put our own emotional energy into the song. Finally, we deliver the product to our congregation through the music portion of our service.
That product, then, hopefully creates an atmosphere where people can connect with God. Ultimately, all we can do is deliver the product and hope that our people use it to express their hearts to God.
It?s funny, considering how important these worship songs are, that we don?t read too many articles about them in the magazines. We talk a lot about theology, leadership, team dynamics? But we don?t talk too much about this big product we use.
Part of the reason is that there?s no magic song that works for every church. Or for different contexts, some churches might use a song in their worship service that another church would consider anathema. Songs are the product, but we all use them slightly differently.[quote]There?s no magic song that works for every church.[/quote]
There are, however, a few things we should talk about when it comes to worship songs. I believe remembering these two things will help you use songs much more effectively in your worship service.
1. You appreciate the nuances more than your congregation.
You may have picked a worship song because of that screaming guitar solo or that amazing vocal run on the bridge. So when it comes time to learn the?part, you put tons of time and energy into it. You practice and practice and practice. It?s nuanced and emotionally powerful.
But do you realize that, in a worship service, most of your congregation won?t get that? They just hear a unified sound (which is what we?re going for anyways). And they barely hear that unified sound because they?re also singing along (another thing we?re going for). So while you might have put the most amount of time into working on your part and getting it perfect, the thing the congregation really needs from you is put on the back burner.
What do they need from you? They need your encouragement. Your expression. Your leadership. They need you to lead them into singing and engaging with this song. So even though you?re playing or singing your part perfectly, if you aren?t leading them with the song, you?re missing out on what people need from you.
Excellence is important in music. But that?s almost secondary in the worship experience.[quote]Excellence is important in music. But that?s almost secondary in the worship experience.[/quote]
2. You get sick of them faster than your congregation.
By the time you first introduce a new song to your church, you?ve probably already heard/played it 10-15 times. This is a good thing, because you want to be comfortable performing the song in front of people. But you have to remember, unless it?s played as much as Pharrell?s ?Happy? on the radio, most of your congregation haven?t even heard the song once. You?ll start getting sick of the song four or five Sundays in ? especially if you have two or three services each weekend.
Resist the urge to pull it from rotation too quickly. I?m not saying your church should still be singing ?Shout to the Lord? each Sunday. But you might be missing out on a powerful moment one Sunday when your congregation all finally latch onto that chorus and make a sweet sound together.[quote]The songs we use in our worship services are powerful tools.[/quote]
The songs we use in our worship services are powerful tools. They can be used like a hammer to drive power in our services. Just be sure you wield them wisely and with care. Don?t take them too lightly, but also don?t take them so seriously. The songs aren?t sacred, but what we do with them is.