O yes, planning for Sunday! Sometimes I feel like I am in a rut using the same opening songs too often. Can you relate? What opening songs work best in your worship services? Thanks for your help!
Ps some of my over-used ones are:
Happy Day (T Hughes)
O Worship the King (Tomlin version)
Everlasting God (B Brown, Brewster version)
Sing Sing Sing (Tomlin)
You can check out all of the songs we're using at Nags Head Church at the link below.
My first thought is - does the opening song have to fit certain criteria? I suppose on thinking about it, most like to do something upbeat. But the last 2 Sundays, we were without bass, guitar, and drums, so we went reflective. It was fantastic. People were coming for prayer and saying how much they enjoyed the worship. Our team didn't do anything special - I think it was that people needed a change from our usual format of faster songs going to slower songs.
What if you tried changing it up? Slower songs working to faster... or fast to slower to faster (or vice versa)... or alternating, like on a CD... or open with a power ballad...
Other than that, for faster songs, we've been trying to a few more gospel tunes, like I Came to Magnify the Lord, You Are Good, and now learning Hosanna by Kirk Franklin. We also like All the Earth Will Sing Your Praises, All Things are Possible, My Redeemer Lives. I know there's others, but those are the ones coming to mind now. :)
Thanks Flute, I like your ideas.
You need to know your congregation. Sometimes you can launch directly into worship, other times it's necessary to 'enter His courts with praise' before you can go any deeper. As a principle I like to have about 7-9 songs ready, of which we might sing 4-6, including a couple of alternative starts. I'd feel that a song used more than twice in a row was being over-used (mostly) unless you're trying to teach it. And there will be exceptions to this.
Thanks Toni. What are song of your favourite openers?
I'll have to "think a little more" so as to reply to your direct question :)
However, I would like to mention that which some others here mentioned - which is basically *strategy* for a worship set.
I spend considerable effort throughout the week in coming up with the best sequence of songs. I do this with prayer, but I also experiment with it and readjust it as I go - sometimes kind of radically. It's just *so important* to not only choose the right the songs but to put them in the right sequence.
With that said, I'll say that although I was weaned on a sequence that started off with a "bang" and then slowed down, what I've found to be especially effective is one which starts off at "mid-tempo" for the first song. I shoot for about 114 BPM.
Then I hit the accelerator on the 2nd song. I'll keep it up there for perhaps song # 2, 3 and 4. Normally these are all 4/4 songs. These typically vary from 120 BPM to 160 BPM, possibly going up and or down or back again as they progress.
Then I'll pull in a 6/8 song, in this case for #5. This sets up the atmosphere for a complete change. This is typically about 160 BPM or 170 BPM, but remember this is 6/8 time.
Then I'll slow it way down on #6 and if time allows for #7 and #8. These may be 65 to 90 BPM.
These song numbers are all relative of course. I need to make an estimate as to how many songs I think we'll do - and it is not always correct. In my case I "design" the set for 6 songs, but make #7 to be really worshipful as well.
Also, the tempos are all approximate.
I myself prefer the slower, more "worshipful" songs. But I see, week after week, that the people *need* the faster, praise songs, so I emphasize them more.
I know I didn't answer your question directly, because I think that with the right strategy, you'll find your own answers.
Bless you and take care,
Worship of Heaven (song-sharing)
Thanks David. I certainly spend time in prayer and planning the flow of songs/tempo/feel/theme, etc.
My church's more than usual format is 2 opening songs (usually upbeat but not necessarily), 3 songs in a package and one closing.
What are some of your favourite opening songs? Thanks.
I have to echo what is being said about switching things around and looking at flow. I personally have no set formula. Every week I approach as a new week which makes for a bit more work but it helps keep me fresh. I start in prayer and then look at the text for the week if I know it. Often I get a pretty clear picture of what direction I need to move in. I will simply make a list of all the music that God places on my heart. I usually put that aside for a few hrs or a day and come back and start the process again praying over the list. The right music makes itself known.
That being said if you are looking for a specific list of songs that lend themselves as good opening songs, here are some I’ve opened with recently:
Good Morning Friend – Chris Lizotte
Heart of Worship
Audience of One – Big Daddy Weave
Holy – Brenton Brown
We Are Hungry – Brad Kilman
We Cry Out – Brian Johnson
In Christ Alone – Steward Townsend
The Stand - (check out Rockharbor Awakened Caleb Clements version)
Friend of God
I Love To Praise Him
Come Now is The Time to Worship
This is the Day
Days of Elijah
Trading My Sorrows
Openers are tough, we have exactly 17 of them although we're not adverse to using other songs. Generally, we try to use upbeat numbers to kick things off. Here are some of them (hopefully not overused):
Because of Your Love (Baloche)
Come, Now is the Time to Worship
Holy is the Lord
Our God Saves
You're Worthy of My Praise