Let me take a minute to talk about the amount of songs that you sing within your church gathering. One of the blessings of recent technological advances is that new congregational worship songs can make their way rapidly from the pen of the composer to the church musician seeking to leading meaningful songs.
No longer does the song need to be printed in a collection of sacred music, rather it can be broadly distributed in minutes. One of the clear benefits is that you only need to purchase/download the songs that the congregational actually wants to sing, rather than purchasing a book where you will likely only use one third to half of the songs printed in it.
But no technological advancement is neutral.
The drawback to the proliferation of congregational worship songs is that there can be a sense where new songs are constantly being introduced into the life of the congregation. If the part of the reason that we sing is to have a united worship activity which activates our intellect, emotion core, and motor-sensory channels then there is a need for the songs to have a sense of familiarity.
Another drawback is that the vetting of songs which get used for worship are placed on a couple of individuals who may or may not have the theological and musical discernment needed for the work. In the past hymnals were vetted rigorously by panels of individuals assessing the language, structure, and musicality of the songs.
- Consider keeping track of the songs that you sing as a congregation. Keep the active list to between 70 – 100 songs.
- Have a group which regularly assesses the quality of a new songs that are being introduced.
- When you introduce a new song decide which song you will remove from the active repertoire.
- Keep an inactive repertoire of songs that you may wish to re-introduce at some point.
- Retire songs completely that have lost their usefulness or that do not contribute effectively to the worship of the congregation.
If you would like help setting up a worship repertoire can contact me to set up a session.