Music is an integral part of the church that makes the experience lively, more entertaining, and more pleasing to attend. However, picking songs usually isn't an easy, quick, or fun job to do. It can take a long time to settle on a list of songs, or worship set, for one week alone, and it's something that has to be planned for every week of services.
What Is a Worship Set?
A worship set is a series of songs that a church plans to play for services every week. Each song has to fit with one another stylistically or thematically. This is so that your service gets its message across for why your community is summoned to Church on Sunday (or any day that you have service).
To avoid repetitiveness, churches will choose different songs for each part of the mass. This includes the beginning, the end, communion, and more. This can be very hard to do, considering that some songs can feel like they fit great with multiple themes when they have been already used weeks ago, while you're looking for songs to fill that void in the worship set.
Sometimes there are themes that are very broad, in which there are more songs that you can count that you can use. Other times, it can be troubling to find any songs to go with a theme for a service one week. For the next time you plan a worship set with other church officials, here are six questions that may help you complete worship set with confidence.
Are The Songs Singable Or Interesting?
Of course, with every song you consider for a worship set, you expect it to have it sound great and have lyrics that the community can sing along to. If there are some songs that you are considering but do not know how they play out, talk them over with your music director. How do they play on a piano or guitar? Do the lyrics sound beautiful when sung? You want to choose uplifting, cheerful, and energetic songs for the entire worship set. You would like your churchgoers to sing along, feel energized, and make the church service lively.
Songs that have a sad or somber theme, or have lyrics that are dull or hard to understand can actually do the opposite. A singable song with a cheerful melody can allow members of the church to sing louder. Every now and then you may come across a song in another language like Hebrew or Latin, and while they may sound beautiful, you would always like to have English lyrics that other people can sing along to. At church, old people want to feel young and young people want to feel wise. The right songs are capable of doing both of these things, making them great to sing at any age or demographic.
What Do I Think Of The Songs?
This may be an obvious thing to point out, but if you are not sure about a song yourself, there are some things that you can do to help make a sound decision. Imagine standing or sitting in a pew during a church service and hear the song playing. Do you feel right at home, or is something rather off? As somebody who is listening to these songs as they play, what do they mean to you?
It may require you to read the whole lyrics and listen to a couple of verses, but if nobody has listened to the song before it is composed on Sundays, how will you be sure whether or not it will fit the mold?
Do The Songs Have Meaning?
It's one thing for songs to have great, and even catchy melodies. You want songs to entertain your church, but do the songs tell a deep story is another question. For a song to be used for your worship set, it has to be about the Lord and His righteousness, first and foremost. You would be surprised at how many songs for worship do not mention the Lord at all, and instead, just contain lots of fluff in it. Some of them could even just be a pop song if you replaced the word “Jesus” with “baby”. Church services should try to choose meaningful songs rather than play what might sound like karaoke.
If you happen to find a good song for a worship set, but it may not be all that fitting for this week's service, save it somewhere to use for another week. The week that you need that song can make it all the more easy to complete a worship set. Many churches happen to do this for multiple songs.
What Does The Pastor Think Of The Songs?
Of course, your pastor might have listened to hundreds of songs in your songbooks already, as well as other songs from other books that he may like or dislike. Of course, you likely cannot confirm the worship set for the week without your pastor's knowledge. But, having him involved with the worship set, even with only input, can make you and other officials feel more confident in what gets chosen.
As a matter of fact, your pastor probably has a number of favorite songs that are played for certain themes in the prayer service. If you are having trouble finding songs for the worship set for a given week, going to your pastor for help is never a bad idea. Whatever choices your pastor recommends, you can feel certain that you're making great choices. This is not only because the pastor might know a thing or two about worship music, but because it won't be possible for him to question your decision on song choices since they are his.
What Would The Lord Think Of The Songs?
You may ask for opinions from other church officials and even your pastor, but what about the Lord? Of course, the Lord cannot give you the answers to specific questions you ask, but he can tell you through instinct.
When picking out songs for your worship set, do you choose them with 100 percent confidence? Might you have some guilt or hesitation, even if you have everyone else's approval? Sometimes, the Lord can signal you on whether or not your songs are good choices. If you have doubts about one or more of your song choices, that's simply the Lord's way of telling you that there are better choices out there for this week that you need to find.
Do These Songs Resonate With The Church?
Where you are headed and where you want to go as a church can also play a factor in which songs you want to choose in a worship set. Are you looking to appeal to a new demographic? Is your current demographic still your main priority? Not only can you choose songs to get young or old people more involved, but songs that appeal to certain demographics can actually cause more people of that demographic to come to your church from word of mouth. If your churchgoers are in love with your music choices, they will definitely recommend your church to other people that they know, leading to more seats being filled each week, and more funds you may receive.
With a great worship set, you can be sure that you have a series of songs to keep churchgoers engaged and create an overall positive atmosphere each Sunday. If one or two songs just miss the mark, you have next week at least to learn from your mistake and make a more informed decision.