Leading The Song Service
By Mark Condon
Moving people is not easy. In fact it is very hard. Getting people to change direction is even harder. Getting people to move forward when you have lost momentum is even harder still. Here are a few tips that may help you keep the momentum moving in the church service.
Don’t slow it down to fit your expectation of what the service should be doing.
The Spirit of God is a moving Spirit. It will not create if it is not moving. If you feel the urge or need to slow a service down, make sure it is the Spirit moving and not the flesh wanting to relax.
It doesn’t have to be a fast song, just don’t let it be a dead one.
You are better to stop in the middle of a song and start a new one if you feel that song is not working. If a particular song has the people standing and worshipping, don’t be afraid to sing it an extra time or two, but don’t wear it out either. I have heard verses sang as many as 30 times because the song leader did not know how to move on to another song without slowing things down. Have another fast song on hand should you need to keep it moving.
The last song should be the most powerful one.
Don’t shoot from the hip when it comes to choosing the songs for the worship service. Make a list of the songs that are slow and the ones that are fast. Then break it down by the effect each song may have on the service. If it is a song that generally brings people to the altar, don’t sing it during the song service, sing that one at the altar call. Always have an extra song on hand should one not go over well.
If the congregation is worshipping, let them enjoy the presence of God for a while.
However, don’t wear them out either. If you keep them singing, clapping, standing too long, they may not have the energy to stick with the preacher and pray with people in the altar. Too often our services are fat on the song service or preaching end of things and thin on the altar call/work. People may get direction and faith by your preaching, but the touch they receive and commitments they make to God in the altar are what will keep them saved and close to their Lord.
Be an apothecary in the service. (The apothecary was the guy who mixed the oils and incense every day in the temple so there would never be the same odor going up to the Lord. It was fresh every day.) Sing a new song unto the Lord. Just be sure everybody knows it before you sing it on a Sunday night.
Every aspect of the service is moving the congregation to a point where they can receive the next.
The opening prayer is to set the mood of the service and cause people’s hearts to receive what the Spirit is going to do in the service. The worship is lifting and exalting God in people’s hearts so they can receive His Word (Preaching). The Word is creating faith so they can receive what God has for them in the altar.
Everything is pointing toward the altar – don’t get in the way of that – keep it moving toward the altar.
This article Leading The Song Service by Mark Condon is excerpted from Mark Condon Online Newsletter, January 2007 edition.