Saturday, 16 October 2010

the story-arch of a worship set

I've spent a night choosing songs, going back and forth over which songs to sing, what would bring out the message, where are we would like to go with this and finally falling back into the rut of 'I think this is too ambitious, my musicians will kill me, it's going to be a disaster, I don't know why I'm doing this, can I sink into a hole and disappear now?' along with the little voice that says THIS IS GREAT! I LOVE THIS! Negativity usually has more vocab than positivity and is usually louder, don't you think?

I doubt I speak for every worship leader when I say that I choose songs for the story. I don't know if it's a normal method, or it's just some strange thing that I do, but I like to choose songs in a sequence and a theme. I like to bring you somewhere from the start of the praise songs to the end. Maybe it's the way I think, or an outcome of being a writer-ly and reader-ly kind of person.

Sometimes this ends up as having a dual theme between the praise songs and the worship songs because I cannot find one overall theme that fits, but sometimes when things click it just arches over by itself. I don't really know how to explain it. It just happens, which is why I don't like recycling songs and song sets. Re-using a good medley that works, yes, if it fits, but not reusing a whole song set or merely swapping one or two songs in and out. That just doesn't work for me.

Each week is a different week. God says different things all the time. Reusing the same song set is like projecting that God doesn't have anything new to say. There are times when certain songs get chosen together over and over, maybe because they work well together. Nothing wrong with that. There are times when a song is sung every week, or keeps recurring regularly because that is really is what on God's heart (or at least on yours). Nothing wrong with that. What's wrong is if it's done because you don't have time or you don't have the willingness to make time.

This sometimes annoys me though, because I start off wanting to introduce a fresh song, or thinking that we should do a song that hasn't been sung in a while and I get excited about it, but when I actually sit down and craft the songs together, it just doesn't fit anywhere. It doesn't go with what has been happening in my life, in the church, in the present. Usually the "isn't right in my life" is the strongest factor though, because I can only lead you in worship to where I've gone before. I can't take you further than that. (ah, that whole revelation thing of worship was something I wanted to blog but haven't yet)

What I'm bringing you through next weekend (if you don't mind knowing in advance) goes with the theme of missions, since it's missions month and we were requested to insert at least one "missions" song during worship. It goes from the time has come to stand for all we believe in to stating that we believe God is mighty to save and where it says I give my life to follow everything I believe in we dedicate our lives, telling God to take my life, I lay it down at the cross where I am found and into Here am I, all of me, take my life, it's all for Thee where we reconcile what we believe and what we should do with Jesus, I believe in You and I would go to the ends of the earth for You alone are the Son of God and all the world will see that You are God.

Then again in my current (negative) state of mind, I might dumb this down. You'll find out next weekend.


  1. The songs that tell a story are the ones I tend to love most. I love that you give the planning of the music so much thought. I'm sure that your efforts do not go unnoticed.

  2. Thanks, Carol.

    I'm sorry that I'm notoriously bad in answering comments promptly. =(