How to Introduce a New Song to Your Church


(Photo: Unsplash / Edward Cisneros)

Tuesday morning, a new song hits the thread that leaves you inspired.

It’s got everything you’re looking for: solid biblical lyrics, a soaring melody that manages to grab hold of the congregation’s reach, and a killer guitar hook that stays with you for days on end. Sunday comes and you let it tear, but halfway over that epic bridge you walk through the congregation and all that looks at you is a sea of ​​empty faces. What didn’t go well?

Learning a new song is like meeting someone for the first time. Being a good worship leader means being a good teacher, and good teachers find ways to present new ideas in ways that students can understand. Here are some ways to make a solid introduction:

Give a reason

You have given a lot of thought to the songs you have chosen. Often, a simple introduction explaining why you made the choice is enough to open your ears to hear it. You don’t need to give a 20-minute sermon. Something as simple as, “Last week we were discussing surrender, and those words really struck me. I believe this is something we have to sing together ”is enough.

Share a story

We are all human and humans are moved by the stories. Songs are not written in a vacuum. A writer is often moved by a life event and, in turn, writes a song in response. “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus” is a beautiful song, but when you hear it was written by Louisa M. R Stead after she and her daughter saw her husband drown while trying to save a young boy , you have a new appreciation. . Understanding where a song is written of helps us find a place for it in our own history.

Take the time to listen

I like to internalize things before singing them and it takes time. Try asking everyone to be quiet and just meditate on the lyrics as you sing them. Keep the words on the screen. Play slowly and deliberately. This not only helps the tune hold, but also gives weight to the words as you re-introduce the song later in the gathering.

Educate

It seems like a no-brainer, but it took me years to make this my go-to introduction. After announcing that we are learning a new song, I sing the chorus once with just a guitar, then ask everyone to join me. Depending on how quickly we understand, I can rehearse it a few more times and then jump into the beginning of the song with the whole band. After going through the verse, I give the old “Let’s sing that again” and repeat the verse once more before playing the song in its entirety. As we enter this chorus, my voice is drowned out by the voices around me. Mission accomplished.

Conclusion

I’m by no means suggesting that these are the only ways to introduce a new track, but they were certainly the ones that created the most engagement in my experience. With over 500 song lessons, if you’ve heard a new song recently, you can probably learn how to play it. Artistic worship before presenting it to your congregation.

I would also like to learn from you: what methods did you use and how did they work for you? I’m all ears.

Jason Houtsma is the co-founder and guitar teacher of Worship Artistry, where he helps musicians of all skill levels answer the call to worship with passion and confidence. Jason has been leading worship and writing music since the age of 15 and is currently a worship pastor for Mosaic Church in Bellingham, WA.


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