Thursday Training – Choosing Songs for Worship

Ryan Egan —  November 11, 2010 — 4 Comments

Photo of a Hymnal

Do you have a process that you utilize to chose the songs and hymns you use for a worship gathering?  Or is your decision-making arbitrary or based on the fact that you just “like the songs?”  It’s very important to have solid reasons for choosing the songs that you choose. Here is my process:

First and foremost: Is God, in all of His nature, revealed clearly?

The most important criteria when choosing a selection of songs is that God is represented clearly and accurately. This includes:

  • His grace (He has offered this help to us freely)
  • His wrath (songs we pick must help drive home the point that we are sinners in need of His help)
  • His triune nature (try to make sure the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are represented)
  • His attributes (we obviously can’t mention every single one of His attributes in song every gathering, but songs must clearly show one or more of them)

Are the Songs Singable?

  • Is the key appropriate and attainable for the average singer?
  • Do the rhythms work well in your congregation’s demographic?
  • Would the lyrics take too much time to explain or are they self-explanatory? (“Here I raise my Ebenezer” or “like a sloppy wet kiss” being examples from both traditional and modern music that would need to be explained)

Will the Songs be Sung by all Generations?

In our case, we have a very multi-generational worship setting. I want the songs that are picked to be able to be sung boldly by both the seasoned and the youth of our congregation.  Youth should be expected to have an appreciation for hymns and, in the same manner, the older generation should be expected to have an appreciation for the modern music of our culture.

As I pick songs for worship gatherings I want them to give an accurate picture of God’s entire nature, be singable, and be proclaimed by every generation.

What is your process for choosing songs for worship?

(photo by MissBee on Flickr)

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Ryan Egan

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Ryan is a follower of Christ, husband, father, worship leader, & creative. He is heavily involved in the Association of Free Lutheran Churches and desires to teach others to live a life of worship in everything they do.