Do you remember what songs you used to lead the congregation last week? Did they have any tangible connection with your worship song list from the previous week? How about for the current week’s song list that you’re preparing? Is there a purposeful connection between what you sang last week and with what you will be preparing for the following week? These are questions that we as worship leaders should be asking.
The reality is that the current week’s song list is not an island unto itself. Rather, it is part of the “big picture” view of congregational worship that we should be purposefully fostering. The songs we choose for worship are the tools that we use to teach our congregations about God and His character. They are snap shots of truth highlighting who God is, what He’s done and what He desires to do in us and through us; and these truths are best learned when they are allowed to operate through a cumulative effect over time. The truths of our songs build upon and support one another. So when viewed as a whole over the course of six months or year, they should present an accurate and full view of our God and His truths as expressed in scripture.
Of course such an understanding of our worship song repertoire presupposes that our songs accurately portray the truths of God. The faithful representation of biblical truth is our first responsibility as worship leaders. We are charged with selecting songs that are biblically faithful and doctrinally accurate. Likewise we must choose a variety of songs, that when viewed together over a period of time, will give the congregation a well-rounded understanding of our Heavenly Father.
When contemplating the issue of choosing a well-rounded repertoire of songs, I find it helpful to use the analogy of eating a well-rounded meal. Assume that you want to prepare a 6-month diet of meals that will give you all of the important and necessary nutrients required to stay healthy and fit. To do this you will need to choose foods from the major food groups and then eat them in the appropriate quantities. So it is when thinking about the development of our worship song sets from week to week. We want to choose songs that will give the congregation a steady and well-rounded diet of God’s truth and character. Of course another key aspect of being able to stay on track with a healthy diet lies in having a variety of specific foods. In worship, we can accomplish this with the musical style and lyrical complexity of the songs we choose. This variety is not at the expense of the biblical or doctrinal integrity of the lyrics; but rather it enhances the congregation’s ability to stay on a healthy worship diet.
So remember, the songs you choose for worship this week will directly flow out of what songs you used in the preceding weeks and will also flow directly into what you choose for the next week and those that follow.
(c) 2014, Brent Helming. All Rights Reserved.