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Best Practices For Creating Flow In A Worship Set

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How do we establish flow and transition in a worship set? There’s nothing worse than hearing a bad transition. They throw off the congregation, interrupt the atmosphere of the music, and set a precedence for what’s to come. Avoid these moments with my three best practices for creating flow in a worship set.

Best Practices For Creating Flow In A Worship Set

1. Think like a storyteller.
2. Choose diverse transitions
3. Choose smooth changes.

1. Think like a storyteller.

Thinking like a storyteller when you’re planning your worship set is where transitions and good flow begin.

Every great story, whether in a movie, a song, an oral telling, or in a book, has a strong beginning, a beautiful middle that holds your attention, and an ending that drops you off somewhere and leaves you moved.

Think this way when you are putting a whole worship set together.

Ask yourself, “How is this set going to move smoothly in such a way that people will feel beautifully drawn to a conclusion –where we’re dropping them off at a place of meeting and encounter with God?”

We can do this through music, through art, or other creative means when we gather together. Ultimately we want our entire worship service to be one continuous flow in this manner.

2. Choose diverse transitions.

You can connect songs in many different ways. Use a variety of transitions to keep the ‘worship story’ that is your set moving along. Be diverse – try different things, and do them in fresh, new ways.

1. Tie songs together instrumentally.
2. Sing a capella.
3. Avoid stopping and starting.
4. Keep a continued groove.

3. Choose smooth changes.

When planning a worship set, I’m thinking about songs in terms of what key they are in and how they move rhythmically from one to another to keep a smooth flow.

Sometimes I’ll end celebratory songs and instead of moving directly into a slower intimate song, we’ll do a medium tempo song.

Why? The transition is much smoother moving from medium tempo songs into slower, sweeter intimate songs.

In more extended worship time settings, like conferences, I move from slower sweet songs, into medium, then fast tempo songs and visa versa.

ACTION STEPS

  • Try at least one idea for the next time you meet.
  • Think of your worship set as the story you are telling.
  • Use diverse transitions to help create a smooth flow in the songs of the ‘story’ – the worship set.
  • Bring the set to a close in such a way that people are beautifully drawn to the conclusion and find a place of meeting with God.

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This article on establishing flow in a worship set originally appeared here, and is used by permission.

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Dan Wilt, M.Min. is an artist, author, musician, educator, songwriter, communicator, and spiritual life writer. With 20+ years in the Vineyard family of churches, he serves in various ways to further a “New Creation” centered vision of the Christian life through media.