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What Was That Song Again?

name_that_tuneSo you’ve heard a truly awesome song from Hillsong United or Charlie Peacock or you’ve stumbled on the latest song from Carlos Whittaker – now you want to play it Sunday in your lineup.  GREAT!  Who knows if the Spirit may reach someone in your congregation like it reached you…or is that the reason you want to play it?

Perhaps it has a cool back-beat, and awesome riff for guitar, a melodic line that fits your voice perfectly.  If that’s the case, we probably need to re-evaluate doing the song to begin with and this article isn’t for you to begin with.

If the reason is that you honestly feel that the song fits your community (your congregation) – then let’s press on.

How do we use the song now?  A huge trap that we, as worship leaders, will get caught up in is taking a great song, introducing it, not sensing that a lot of the congregation has grasped all the lyrics and are singing along with it, and then dropping the song without ever bringing it up again.  There’s a good reason they may not be singing.


Don’t assume that your congregation is as up on the latest worship music as you are.  They may not be at all familiar with the song or the artist so even the chorus and hook may be completely foreign to them.  How do you overcome that?  A great way to introduce the song may be to begin the song acoustic.  Give a little background about the subject matter…fit in a little scripture – a devotional…and then sing the chorus or hook.  After a couple of times, continue playing through the chord changes and encourage the congregation to sing with you as you read through the words (still displaying them on your media projections).  This re-emphasizes the words and also allows for better understanding of what is about to be sung.  Then, still in an acoustic setting, sing the chorus as a congregation.  Then, a simple segue way into the intro or verse – and you’re set.  It is now easier to remember and the congregation is more comfortable singing the song.

Now that you’ve sung it….what do you do with it?  Here is a combination I want you to lock away and never forget when it comes to introducing new songs to the church :


When you first introduce a new song – play it for the first three weeks.  Get people familiar with it.  Then, give it a one week break.  After a week break – resurrect it the next week.  During the five week time-period, you should have a pretty good idea as to whether or not the song is a keeper or not.

(This Flashback article was first published on on January 12, 2010)