14 Thoughts for transitioning songs in worship

Do you find it difficult to transition from song to song?  I received this question through twitter recently.  It’s a good question as it can hinder the effectiveness of a worship leadership team.  Even when songs are solid,  transitions can come across unnatural.

Here are some one line thoughts on transitioning songs during worship in no particular order:

Scripture – Reading Scripture – calling people to worship, inviting them to experience God’s love and hearing the Word is a great way to smooth the transition between songs or sets of songs.

Intros – Telling the congregation why this song was written or why it is meaningful.

Invitation to Sing – A simple invitation to “sing with us” or “let’s lift praises together” is a great way to transition into another song.

Testimony – After someone has shared the way God has worked in their life.

Be Upbeat – Good Morning Church!

Speak Clearly – Don’t mumble.  Don’t fade away. Whatever you are going to say, state it clearly and concisely in the mic.

Prayer – Prayer really isn’t a transition, but I thought I better include it because some people use it that way.  Know who is praying when, for the corporate worship.  Don’t use it as a time filler.  Don’t say a prayer – pray a prayer.  At times, invite others in the worship team to pray.

Variety – One key to effective transitions is variety – keep it fresh and don’t get in the rut of saying or doing the same thing each week.

Rehearsed Musical Transitions – Musical transitions are great for seamless music flow, but must be rehearsed to work well.

Confidence – This is really a huge part of the battle – having confidence to be a leader of the church, not a performer for the church.  Look people in the eye, give them the assurance that you know where this is going, you know the next song, and that, humbly, you are confident.

Intentionality – Whatever you decide to do, know what it is and why you are doing it.  Don’t leave transitions to chance.  There are lots of rehearsals where we rehearse what we are going to say or how it will come off to people.

Authenticity – Be real about it.  Don’t just watch a youtube video and imitate the latest craze.   Consider the style, size and situation of your congregation.  Consider your team make up and style of worship leading.  Of course, be creative, look for something new and try to raise the bar with transition, but keep it real.

Video Transitions – Show a video leading into a song.  Use a video to intro into a theme or a worship set of songs.

Everyone knows their part – The less you can talk for the purpose of directing the service, the better.  Example of this:  “now we are going to show a video”  or “now we are going to watch this drama”.  If those things can just happen, everything will flow more fluidly.

Do you have any others you would add to this list?  Any thoughts on transitions?


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