Years ago, I led worship for a new contemporary service. One of the goals of each service was to have a cohesive flow. There was an overarching theme wound through each service, and we incorporated it in fun ways. My job as the worship leader was to pick songs that fit with the theme.
Some weeks it was pretty easy. I would find tons of songs on a certain topic. Then the next week there would be a topic that was next to impossible to find songs for. Some weeks I just picked a few “filler” songs.
The weeks when it worked, it worked so well. It was beautiful how well it would come together.
I wish that worship could always flow so well.
It is very difficult to coordinate everything. Many worship leaders would love to have the songs in a cohesive flow with the theme. The problem is, they don’t usually know what that theme is.
There’s a new service that just started at my church. It’s a small, intimate, coffee-house kind of service. It’s mainly led by a team of volunteers. Many weeks, we have no idea who’s even preaching. It’s hard to plan a seamless service when you don’t even know who’s showing up that Sunday. The worship leader is left with no choice. He has to pick songs.
I ran across this article by Michael Gungor, a musician I am coming to greatly respect. He speaks of the “concept album,” an album with a cohesive flow and theme throughout. Rather than random musical snippets that have nothing to do with each other, each song is connected together.
I would love to have a cohesive service again; one where the elements are all tied together. But I know how difficult this is, and I applaud all the worship leaders that do their best, having no idea what’s coming up that week.