Most of us have our comfortable area of music. We resonate with a certain style. We might listen to all styles of music, but when it comes to worship, we wind up in one vein.
But stepping outside your regular style now and then will do you some good – and those you lead.
First, here are some reasons why it will be helpful:
Connects with different people – when you present a different style of music, it will connect with different people. Brainstorm a list of styles of music that you might be willing to experiment with and give it a try. Gospel style, maybe even have a worship choir for a Sunday; Jazz style, a piano only accompanied song, etc.
Connects in different ways – When we use a different style of music, it can signal a different way of approaching worship. If all your songs are from the top forty worship songs out there, it’s likely they all have a similar feel. Try engaging the church with a different style of song before the message or another part of the service.
Lessens the predictability – When the service is too predictable, it becomes less engaging. A new style of song will increase the flow for your worship team and for the participating congregation.
Open doors to other musician’s styles and preferences – Other leaders and musicians in your worship team will have their own preference of styles and you can include them as you put in something a little unusual now and then.
Brings people back to their roots – Most people will be engaged in worship because it’s their church and most often, we understand preferences aren’t the top priority. However, when we do some new styles – espcially hymns, country or gospel – there’s a good chance it may take some people back, in a good way. We want to help people feel grounded in that way when we can.
Builds up your skill level – When we pull out a different style of song, we wind up having to work a little harder. It requires the leaders and worship team to soak it in, rehearse more and make sure things are good with something that’s out of the norm. Hard work on a piece might be good for your group.
Keeps things fresh – The obvious reason for a different style now and then is that it helps things remain fresh and exciting.
Then how to go about it…
Pull out a different rendition of a regular song – One simple way to change the style is to find a common song that has been recorded creatively, with some different instrumentation or rhythm. This is one of the easiest ways to accomplish this.
Go back to some hymns – Another simple way to change the style is to pull out hymns. They can be done as simply as needed to make it all happen.
Bring in more traditional elements – Traditional elements – such as vocal choirs or ensembles, bells or other small percussion instruments – are also easy to bring in, or other more traditional musical styles – such as solo with piano accompaniment, or maybe a harp or brass instrument.
Think of a different style as a discipline; when you think of experimenting with different styles as part of a discipline, it may help you do it more naturally. It’s a help to you and the worshipping church.
Use a different instrument – do you have skills on another instrument? Leading with keyboard if you typically play guitar will give it another style. Or maybe if you always lead with an instrument, just try singing instead. This will create a different style immediately.