7 Tips for Adding New Music
There are times in ministry where we start relying on what has worked for us in the past. And although past successes can be a great asset, if that’s all you rely on, over time you will see results diminish. One area where this is the case is your song choices. Let’s face it: there are great songs that have been overdone in our ministries. It doesn’t make them less of a great song it just means we have worn them out by overusing the songs. An example: “Here I Am to Worship” is now sixteen years old. It’s still a great song. It still will achieve great results in creating an atmosphere of worship, especially if you only use it a few times of year vs. singing it regularly a couple times a month
It’s important for your ministry’s sake that you periodically evaluate the songs you are using. One of the best hours of my ministry was spent with a student evaluating songs. I started playing her songs I was considering adding to our ministry. Her feedback was so valuable we ended up talking through every song we had done in her class in the past year. I found out what the students liked and what they were tired of (but yet was still garnering good participation during the services…valuable!) I found out songs the girls loved but the boys not so much. I was able to take her feedback and make some necessary changes to our upcoming set lists all because I took the time to evaluate what we were doing.
We’ve all experienced those songs that have worn out their welcome. Just like we’ve experienced the joy that comes from a new song that we love. The Bible tells us to sing a new song to the Lord. Which is reason #1 for us to incorporate new material into our ministries on a regular basis.
Psalm 96:1 “Sing a new song to the Lord. All you people of the earth, sing to the Lord.”
I often get asked questions about introducing new songs. How many are too many, etc? That’s a hard question to answer not knowing the details of how many songs you’re including in your sets each week. Most commonly I think one new song per month will work well. In some cases you can even squeeze in a couple new songs per month. Here are a few ideas to help you introduce new songs:
- Put the song on a pre/post service playlist weeks and months before you introduce it in the service. Let it soak into your congregation’s subconscious and become familiar. It will help them as they try to sing along with the song in your worship set.
- Find a way to do it twice in one service. Maybe it’s in your worship set and then it’s used as a closing song (even if people are dismissed and starting to leave during it.) Still they get to hear the song multiple times in one day and it will increase their familiarity with it.
- I typically do a new song two weeks in a row, take a week off followed by another week on. The next month I try to include the song twice in the month. By month three I start repeating it as needed.
- Before you lead a new song it’s ok to tell your audience the truth: “We have a new song to sing with you today.”
- To introduce the song a couple options include teaching just the chorus with just one instrument. Verbally saying the words to a section of the song line by line and having the audience repeat them. Rehearse it a few times then kick in to the full song.
- To keep things fresh throughout the life of the song do different arrangements of the same song. This is easy to do with a live band but even with tracks you can find multiple versions of the same song that can help you mix things up and keep a familiar song fresh by putting it in a different package.
- Surround a new song with a “home run” song. What are the songs that work really well for your group every time? That’s what I call a “home run” song. I love to surround new songs with the familiar. So either do a song everyone will know first followed by the new song or do the new song followed by a familiar song. This way you never alienate a large group of your crowd for very long. Maybe they are slower to learn and get involved in the new song, following it up with the familiar allows them to jump back in to something they know well so they can participate.
Psalm 40:3 He gave me a new song to sing. It is a hymn of praise to our God. Many people will see and have respect for the Lord. They will put their trust in him.
Written by Yancy
©2016 Yancy Ministries, Inc.