Any time you have the opportunity to bring people into the presence of God is a privilege, and hopefully guided by inspiration.
Whether you are planning to lead a small group or cast of thousands, there are some common things that need to be considered:
- What has God revealed to you that needs to be shared?
Without this, why are we meeting?
- Who will this be communicated to?
There may be a core group that are there every week, but every Sunday can be someone’s first Sunday.
- Who do you have available to help effectively share this?
You may have a passionate and animated bible reader, a music team, or a kids ministries leader who each understand what you are trying to say and can help connect with those who have come to listen.
Answering these three questions is key before getting caught up in whether to have a prayer before or after a song. Above everything else, the focus is always on sharing God’s message with His people.
In both the message itself and in the supporting elements of the meeting, making the message memorable will help the congregation with them.
If you are planning a series, is there a different creative item each week that can be a particular help leading into the message? It may be
- the congregation singing with a single acoustic guitar
- a music presentation item accompanied by lyrics on slides
- a high energy, or quiet interpretive dance item
- a video from The Bible Project
- a drama or monologue with a prop or puppet
- the congregation being led in a new song by your Songsters or vocal team
- prayer stations with themes chosen by topics assigned to jellybean colours
Music for Congregational Worship
Using the meeting or series theme, there are some great listings of pieces to use as a reference when considering a balanced mixed of pieces that are familiar, recent, or even a new song for the series.
The Songbook Of The Salvation Army “app” and desktop version have a biblical reference index, and is sorted into themes
SongSelect’s Theme Search covers over 30,000 songs sorted into 336 themes
Worship Together’s “Find A Song” includes many of the SongSelect listings, and also includes filters on key and tempo across it’s 15 theme categories.
With pieces in mind, talk with your music teams to see what options are available to choose from. While the Salvation Army Tune Book and SongSelect lead sheets are always a good option, there is almost something new that can be said in a different arrangement, format or setting.