I recently blogged about looking for songs for a new service just starting. I’d love your ideas for song choices.
Here’s seven guidelines I use for choosing new songs.
- Think of choosing most songs as an investment.
- Like buying a home or real estate, the songs we choose greatly impact the spiritual life of a congregation.
- We are literally putting words in people’s mouths.
- So we should be diligent about this. Song choices are important decisions.
- Short term would be the occasional seasonal, special or “one-off” song.
- Long term should have a significant up-side, it’s adding value to our worship repertoire.
- How does this song inform our understanding of who God is, what He has done, and who we are in Jesus?
- Do a gap analysis. Are there areas we overemphasize and/or under-emphasize? For example …
- Are our songs so formal and theologically correct that we lack enough personal, emotional connection? Or …
- Are our songs so personal and experience oriented that we lack depth or only “insiders” get it?
- It may be new to your context, but it could be well known through radio or other use.
- If so, then it’s highly likely the learning curve will be lower. Especially if it’s a CCLI Top 100 song.
- One is not necessarily superior to the other.
- If you really believe in the long, complicated song for long term spiritual formation, stick with it. “What Words Can’t Say” would be an example.
- Musical style is certainly a consideration. So is the worship team’s ability to pull it off.
- Will singing these these lyrics resonate authentically with our collective hearts?
- For some churches I know, country/bluegrass is more authentic than the Coldplay/U-2 vibe. Each congregation should recognize their unique identity and strengths.