New music can make a huge difference in worship! It adds a level of energy to the worship team members who have to break the norms and learn new things. It adds an element of surprise and refreshment to the congregation who may be feeling a little stale in singing the same songs. It also adds to the heart of worship because with each generation and movement comes new music and expressions as a witness to God’s faithfulness!
Introducing new music can be a challenge because you want to get it right – always keeping in mind the ultimate goal for the worship team: to get the congregation singing.
Here are some thoughts for introducing new music:
Plan The Rollout Well
A well-timed new song can help bring life to worship! When you do introduce a new song, plan to sing it a few times so people can catch it. Often a worship team will sing a new song for a couple of weeks in a row, then wait a week or two and pull it out again. Remember that worship teams get tired of music long before the congregation does! Give a new song time to connect, then give the congregation time to let it sink in!
Explain The Meaning Behind The Song
Before singing a new song, one possible way to help it connect is to introduce it and explain some of the meaning behind the song. Sharing a story, scripture or why you chose the song can create a meaningful moment and encourage more connection to the music!
Introduce A New Song As Performance First
One common way to introduce a new song to the church is to share it as a performance song first. Maybe include a new song as the first song of the morning, while people are just showing up and finding seats. Or, maybe sing a new song at the close of a message before inviting people to stand and respond in singing and worship. After even just one time of singing for the church, they will be more likely to engage with singing the new song in meaningful ways.
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST
Introduce A Song For A Particular Reason Or Season
At times, we will find a new song or two and sing it a few weeks leading up to Easter or aonther theme focus. We might even say, “here’s a new song we want to learn as a church. We’re planning to use this song as part of our Easter worship celebration, so we’re giving everyone time to learn it well so when Easter comes, we can truly sing and celebrate!”
Balance New And Familiar
One key to introducing a new song is to keep a great balance of familiarity in the lineup. If you have a brand new song in your order of worship for a particular week, surround the song with a couple of standards for your congregation. Introducing more than one new song can discourage the church – it becomes too difficult to engage.
Keep A Tally Of Songs
It’s the job of the worship leader to keep a tally of the music being sung and led. This will allow you to know that you may need to introduce some new music! Planning Center Online makes this really easy. At the time of this post, all you have to do is go to “songs” then hit the “Reporting” tab and you can choose a certain number of weeks to look at which songs you have sung.
Incorporate A Team In Planning
One way to encourage and introduce new music is to have a team of people with eyes on the planning. When you have more people around the table, you have access to more new songs, and you have some balance in perspective of which songs you’re choosing on a regular Sunday.