Picking great songs for worship is one of the most important skills a worship leader needs to learn. There are many different kinds and levels of worship songs. Some songs are written about God, some songs are written to express our feelings, some songs are sung prayers, some songs are upbeat praise songs and some songs are pure worship to God. And many Christian songs are performance songs and really don’t fall into the great worship songs category.
There are fast songs, medium songs and slow songs. There are difficult songs and easy songs. There are old songs and new songs. But what are the best songs for us to sing with our congregations? What songs help our congregations to sing with all their hearts and connect with God?
Here is my philosophy of picking great songs for worship distilled from 10 years of traveling, writing charts for Praisecharts.com and over 25 years of leading congregations in worship.
12 Keys to Picking Great Songs for Worship
Learn to pick great songs, not just doable songs. Great songs are the ones that you will still love to sing a year from now. Different songs have a different ‘shelf life.’ Some songs you don’t mind singing a few times, but after that you just seem to forget them. Generally speaking, a congregation learns between 12-20 songs per year. Make them great songs! Pick congregationally friendly songs that line up with God’s word!
Test of a Great Song:
One of the tests of a great song is that you catch yourself singing it by yourself, in your car, in your house or when you are out on a walk. Or a congregational member tells you that they have been singing that new song you introduced all week. Or you hear your spouse singing that new song.