We live in an age of temporary things or is it really that in this period of time we have greater access to the new? So is this the age of the 'throw-away' item or the age of the 'immediate,' greater access to the new replaces yesterday's new. No matter your opinion or your answer they both are affecting how most of us plan worship.
Yes, we have greater access to new songs or other worship tools.
Yes, the songs we sing have a shorter shelf life.
Yes, due to technology we access to more peoples writings.
And even the best songs of today seem to be used for a shorter amount of time...the reason might be that we as worship leaders tire of them before our congregations.
No matter what is driving our choice of songs I think we need to be reminded to keep the 'great' songs and even dig into our past to find great text and present them in ways that bring them to life.
This week we used an old text and tune that has not even made it in the newest hymnals. The hymn "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say." The text has great truth and that should be the top qualifier for any song we use in a Christ-centered worship service. (I have posted a video of this hymn below.)
Here is our setlist and how we incorporated this old song:
God is Great by Marty Sampson
Songs, Scripture and Prayer
Song: Hosanna (Praise Is Rising) by Paul Baloche and Brenton Brown
Prayer: I am trying to raise up worship leaders so more and more I am asking others to lead prayers and read scriptures. Today a vocal team member lead this prayer.
Song: Love You So Much by Russell Fragar
We started this song immediately after prayer. We usually sing the song in key of C but today we started in key of G and had one of our altos introduce the verse and chorus then after a quick key change up to C, had her start the whole team and congregation. Key of G was way to low for the congregation but it made a great solo.
Here I took time to introduce a prayer time that was to follow, reminding the congregation that God invites us to bring our needs and cares to him.
Scripture: I Peter 5:7
Song: I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say by Horatius Bonar and Ralph Vaughn Williams
We had all the lights turned off and only the words on the screen illuminated the audience. We wanted to focus to be on the words, so to help with that a soloist say the song without any accompaniment.
Prayer for the Needs of the Church
Song: Still by Reuben Morgan
As the prayer concluded the congregation was asked to join in singing this song as a continuation of the prayer.
Song: Jesus Paid It All by Alex Nifong, Elvina M. Hall, John Thomas Grape
Immediately following baptism the band kicked in strong on the intro to this song setting up the new chorus "O praise the one..."
Song: From the Inside Out by Joel Houston