The Colors of Worship

Bob Kauflin states in Worship Matters that he asks his team this question each week during the worship planning process: are we falling into a musical or thematic rut? I can easily travel in those ruts and to make my way out takes some intentional planning.

Thematic ruts happen when I continually plan worship services focused on one portion of the God Story. Our team believes it is important to present the whole story of the Gospel each week and that from week-to-week a deeper emphasis can be given to one aspect. But nothing should be left out.

Musical ruts happen when our planing team becomes complacent

  • with scheduling the same people and same instrumentation each week,
  • by not preparing for rehearsals with intentional fresh arrangements

Musical ruts are like painting by numbers with only a few color choices. It takes creative and intentional thinking to color with an expanded palette. Last Sunday we added new musical color that gave life to familiar songs. The first change was adding a cello to our normal instrumentation and the second change was presenting a choir feature with only piano and cello. The texture change of the cello and the simplification of the choir song gave life to the story. (Note: during the choir song we also dimmed all the lights in the room and put no words on the screens. We wanted the congregation to not be distracted by any visual that would hinder focusing on the words.)

Here is our set list:

Songs for Worship

Everything to Me

Great I Am

Psalm 62

You Are God Alone


Songs for Worship

What Wondrous Love Is This arr. by Jay Rouse for choir, piano and cello

Majesty (Here I Am)



This post is my contribution to the blog carnival Sunday Setlists which is found at

Are we boring our congregations?

Learn the Music, Sing the Words