Like wearing proper sized clothes, worship songs that fit work better all the way around. Some worship bands wear them too big – trying to imitate worship teams and songs written for an entirely different context. Some worship teams wear them too small and get stuck with songs that they have done for years without advancement. Worship teams can make songs their own and congregations can learn and grow. So here are five ways to make sure your songs fit well:
Songs should fit the worship team – Worship leaders and music directors not only try to find new songs that are great for people to sing, but songs that will fit the style of band, the members, and instrumentation. Songs should help the worship team be excited to sing and share. Some of the songs each week should be really comfortable and familiar and some should stretch the group to new heights. If your worship team is comprised of several young musicians or new musicians, you may have choose more simplistic songs to make them sound great.
Songs should fit the congregation – Worship songs should line up, to some degree, with the characteristics of the congregation. Is your church charismatic or a little more reserved in worship music? What is the primary age of your group? What is your target goal? What is the purpose of the worship service? Of course, you want to lead forward and teach new songs, but don’t let misaligned songs discourage your group. Examples of this include keys too high for smaller congregations to sing well. Another example might be a set list that includes all new songs and nothing familiar.
Songs should fit the theology – Worship songs should fit your church theology. You want to balance your songs to declare the the story and glory of God with personal response songs. Worship songs need to be grounded in scripture and include sound doctrine.
Songs should fit the message – You’ve heard about the new preacher who enthused a dying congregation with a powerful sermon on moving forward with a new vision for the church. Following the sermon, the choir sang the closing song, We Shall Not Be Moved.
Songs should fit the spirit of the church – What new thing is happening? Where is the spirit moving in your congregation? How is the congregation responding in worship? Is there is a hunger for new songs? More energetic worship? What is happening in your church that is making you unique?