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I have a dilemma.  My Pastor forbids the worship team to sing any new songs on a Sunday morning (this is when most people come to church so I think we could learn the new song together).  When we teach new songs in the evening not many people come back (?) so only a handful know the new songs.  Help!!!!


Any ideas?




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That's hard. Sounds like he got complaints about too many 'new' songs???

Does he forbid them outright, or says "do them a couple of times on Sunday evenings, then you can introduce them on Sunday morning"?

Maybe you could play new songs over the sound system before service, or sneak them in during choir practice, Bible studies/small group fellowship or Sunday school, if your church does any of that...
We will often introduce a new song during the offertory on Sunday morning (when they take the offering), and although we put the words up on the screen, we let the people know that they're welcome just to sit and listen.

"Forbids" is a pretty strong word. Can you tell us more about why this is so, and how it got this way?
DItto on the offertory. This has been very effective for us and we also put the words on the screen. We also sing new songs as a special ensemble during the service if it fits in with what the pastor is doing. We also sometimes use new praise songs as choir anthems first, then the offertory, then in the service. By this time the congregation is familiar enough with it to sing along. Our church just started using a countdown to the service, so I plan on using new songs there as well.
So you find out how many times you have to do a song in the evening for it not to be a "new" song any more, and then you go through the motions and then start doing it in the morning, knowing that you're really still "teaching it" at that point. But you've got a few people in the congregation who know it at that point, and the band presumably does, as well.

We used to have the opposite problem: our denomination (Methodists) has a folk hymnal called "The Faith We Sing" and the pastor would find a song in there with lyrics that tied in with the sermon, and then on Sunday morning there it would be in the bulletin and the band would be expected to figure it out - since the songbook had notes in it, she assumed that people could just do it on the fly, like they did in the traditional service... this was one of the reasons I "retired" as worship leader, she just didn't seem to get that she couldn't just spring a new (and, IMHO, generally pretty underwhelming) song on us on Sunday...

Ah....the "Joys" of Mis-communication!
I'm curious: did he give you a reason for this? Also, how often do you need to do a new song on Sunday evening in order for it to be ready for Sunday morning?

We pastors can be a grumpy bunch sometimes, but I'm interested in hearing his reasoning...
Hi Richard

The reason is that it takes too long to teach the congregation a new song and that they worship better when they sing songs with which they are familiar.....
Thanks for your reply. Hope you're still not "retired".....
The offertory sounds like a great idea. However, our offertory time is often a time of celebration when we "cheerfully give" so familiar songs are often expected there so that everyone can join in..

I'll try it out and see how it works!
My general belief is that one new song is adequate for the Sunday morning service simply because you would have to probably sing it more than once.

I'm encouraged by your comments to persevere on this one. Thank you for your ideas. Appreciated.

I'm not sure how it got that way as I inherited this worship team and Pastor. As an example, a few weeks ago, I decided to "go for it" when the Pastor asked me to come up and sing something before the speaker came up. So I said to the congregation that we would learn a new song at which point the Pastor came flying up saying "No, no!" but I didn't see so I carried on and it ACTUALLY WENT VERY WELL. I got no comment/feedback though..... I think maybe it's the Pastor's personal preference rather than anything else.
Personal preference or not, he still shouldn't come back on stage and try to change what you're doing, right in front of everyone. That's just rude. If something doesn't go well, he can have that discussion with you afterwards in private.

But he is the pastor, and as such will have to be brought on board if you're going to succeed. Perhaps if you meet with him and present a well thought-out plan on how you can successfully introduce new music on Sunday mornings, then he may be willing to work with you on it. Having his support is important, if not critical to your longevity in this position.

You can probably tell that I have little patience with pastors who try to "run" the worship times. Personally, I feel a strong urge to remind them that I don't try to "run" the sermons! :) But seriously, pray and ask the Lord for wisdom as you pursue this. Yes, it does matter in the end, in more ways that one. It's not about a song here or there, it's about being allowed to use our gifts well for the edification of the body of Christ.

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