Monday, February 9, 2009

It's Monday!

Good morning Team,
Sunshine! I love it! Even cold days are better when the sun is shining!

I was so blessed yesterday as you led God's people in worship. I read an article by Keith and Kristyn Getty about congregational worship. You'll remember them as the composer's of last year's Easter musical, "The Risen Christ." Their emphasis is on composing modern songs in a more traditional hymn setting. One of the main points they brought up is that congregational singing has diminished over the years. They look back at the times when hymns were the prevalent musical form in worship and suggest that contemporary worship lacks the participation of the past. I paid special attention this Sunday to our level of participation in both services. Here is what I noticed:

1. You sang very well this week
2. More people were singing than not singing
3. Participation increased when we sang familiar songs, regardless of whether they were hymns or contemporary songs
4. Participation was greatest on the hymn "How Great Thou Art" but was almost equaled by the contemporary worship chorus "Breathe."

My conclusion is that the familiarity of the song, not the musical style, determines the level of participation. My goal as a worship leader is to select songs that meet certain standards:

1. Is the song theologically sound?
2. Is the song easily sung by the congregation?
3. Is the vocal range of the song within the range of the normal singer?
4. Does the song fit the flow of the worship service?
5. Is the song playable by the band or accompanists?

Another challenge for worship leaders is introducing new songs. This week we introduced a new song in the second service, "You, You Are God." We started it 4 minutes before the service started and did it as a prelude with the band and praise team. I am interested in your comments about starting our second service like that. Did you like it? Dislike it? Suggestions?

This week we will rehearse the choir on Wednesday at 6:15 and the band on Saturday at 10am.

Mark your calendar...
Wednesday, Feb. 18...
6:30 - 8:30 PM
This rehearsal coincides with the children's special Winter Break at the same time.

Have an awesome week!


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