Why Do You Pick the Worship Music You Do?

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by Tom Butler, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    When it comes time to pick the music for the worship services, what critera do you apply? I'm referring to style as well as content.

    For instance, if you use CCM, why? Traditional, why? Blend, why? Christian rock, why?

    Are your selections affected by the age of your church members? By their music preferences? By the kind of atmosphere you which to create?

    I'm just curious to know if your choices are driven by your culture, either religious or secular?

    I freely acknowledge that my church's worship services are pretty traditional. We tried some praise choruses a few years ago. Our folks, mostly older, didn't like them. If I'm choosing the music, I keep that in mind.

    I'm not culturally attuned to CCM, so it's not a big problem. Besides, I don't know many of the CCM choruses. Are you the same way? Are you just not culturally attuned to the older stuff? So you pick what you know?

    Rock music in my church? Not likely, ever.

    I'm looking for information here, not value judgments.
     
  2. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes
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    Typically I pick the music based on theme, and not on the age of the song. For instance, the pastor tells me that his message Sunday is multi-themed. We're talking about the coming of Christ foretold in prophecy, and the worship of Christ by those who came (and are still coming). Now, I don't have his notes, all I have is his reference and the above description. This is what I've decided on after prayer and study of his passages:

    Come, Now is the Time to Worship (1998, Doerksen) V-C-V-C-C
    O Come, Let Us Adore Him (Chorus) (PD) C twice

    Welcome/Missions Moment

    Angels We Have Heard on High (PD) V-V
    Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus (PD) V-V
    Joy to the World! (PD) V-V-V

    Scripture and Prayer

    Jesus, Savior, Friend (2006, Cloninger, G. Rhodes)
    Awesome in This Place (1992, Billington)
    Come, Let Us Worship and Bow Down (1980, Doherty)

    Message

    Take My Life and Let it Be Consecrated (Invitation)

    Hope that gives you an idea how I create a Sunday morning worship time. I understand it's not completely comprehensive, but it's how I typically do it. Our church seems to respond well to the mix of songs, both old and new, and I'm often surprised how well it's mixed even though that's not necessarily my intent.
     
  3. annsni

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    DH is the worship pastor at our church and I know he usually knows kind of what the message is about (it helps that we're going through the book of Romans - so it's the next section), and will pick songs that will work for that. In our church, we have a worship band so many of our songs are more contemporary but not necessarily "CCM". The criteria for songs for him is that they must be worship - songs FOR the Lord and not just sing-song "feel good" kind of songs. This past week, the songs were:

    Everlasting God
    Sing to the King
    Center

    Offering consecration:
    Give Thanks

    Song before the message:
    Before the Throne of God Above.
     
  4. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Joshua, thanks. My wife and I visited your church when you were in SW Missouri, and enjoyed the worship.

    I'm glad to see you relate the music to the pastor's message when possible. To what extent are the perceived musical tastes of your congregation a factor?
     
  5. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes
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    Thanks Tom. I remember meeting you that day, and was surprised/excited to meet a fellow BB member in the "real world!" Thank you for your compliment.

    When it's possible (it's not always a direct match) I do strive to be on the same wavelength as my pastor... even writing a few songs when the right "match" didn't present itself. Our congregation is a vast mix of people... I think the last stats were 35% seniors (60+), 40% medians (25-59), and 25% "young" (25 and under). The children don't worship with us, 5th grade and lower have "KidzTown" which is their own time of worship and teaching completely separate from the rest of us. I was told by the pastor when I came here in May that the musical tastes were all over the board, and I should try to incorporate everything in the span of a month. So we do alot of everything... traditional/contemporary, country/southern gospel, and so on. I like alot of styles, and I try to use songs from all eras/styles if they are worshipful and speak to the truth that will be focused on in that service. Sometimes I'm unsuccessful, and I know those are times I let my flesh get in the way. Other times it gets nailed, and I know that the Spirit gets the glory for that. Our choirs do a blended mix of styles, too, and that's alot of fun also.
     
  6. tinytim

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    Since I am the Music director now as well as the Pastor... (hopefully I can shed the title of Music director before long :) ) It is easy for me to pick songs that go along with my sermon.

    We have always done a praise chorus since I started as pastor, and all age groups love it... Of course we sometimes use a great hymm as a praise Chorus too.. (a praise chorus doesn't have to be new, you know)

    Our choir sings everything from bluegrass to Christian Rock (if you consider Casting Crowns and Third Day Christian Rock) And on some Sundays we really mix the two together...

    Our praise chorus right now is Amazing Grace (my chains are gone) by Chris Tomlin... and you should see the response from all age groups...

    Of course most music now is Christmas songs...
    So this Sunday, we sang O little town of Bethlehem, Silent Night, and Go tell it on a Mountain...
     
  7. gekko

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    i like any song that i can actually sing to.. haha.
    other songs are good - some i can't sing to because of the key they're in.

    so it makes for a lousy time. not for me. i still hum it though. heh. just wish i could sing along to those songs.

    God bless =P
     
  8. David Lamb

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    I tend to choose hymns that blend well with the sermon. For instance, next Sunday, in a series "Great David and His Greater Son", the subject will be David and Jesus Christ as fathers and husbands, and the hymns are:

    The church's one foundation (which includes the words: "From heaven He came and sought her, To be His holy bride, With His own blood He bought her, And for her life He died.")

    Children of your heavenly King

    How sweet the name of Jesus sounds (includes the words: "Jesus, my Shepherd, Husband, Friend,")

    Go, labour on, spend and be spent (with the words: "Soon shalt thou hear the Bridegroom' voice, The midnight cry, Behold, I come!")

    As for the tunes, we try to ensure that they fit the general tone of the words. The rousing tune for "Stand up, stand up for Jesus!" would fit (metrically) the words of the hymn, "O Sacred Head, sore wounded", but would be far from suitable.
     
  9. tenor

    tenor
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    When planning worship I like to know the Pastor's message for the day with Scripture and theme. I would like more of this and earlier (I tend to prefer to plan about 6-8 weeks out - for rehearsal purposes and hymn enhancements). Advent and Christmas is easy.

    Basically we are a "traditional" music church. I tend to sneak in things of a more contemporary nature when it fits.

    As to choice, content is always first and foremost before any musical/style issue. I also like to go for variety in meter, key, mood, etc.
    One Sunday I planned the service and then realized everything was in the same key. It was a little bland that day.

    I introduce "new" materials at least once a month. This can be truly new or new to the congregation. We are instructed in Scripture "sing a new song." As to new things I introduce both new CCM and worship songs as well as new "hymns," even materials from other cultures.

    As to the main question of the OP - I don't care about the style, if the content isn't solid, it doesn't get used.
     
  10. Joshua Rhodes

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    (emphasis mine)

    I couldn't agree more.
     
  11. annsni

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    And I'll say "AMEN" to that too.
     

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