Introducing New Songs to Your Church
Some ideas and tips for learning new songs as a congregation.
The start of a New Year is often a good time to consider new songs you might like to introduce to your church.
No doubt you will be considering carefully songs that contain clear gospel truths and doctrines, songs that serve to aid your fellowship in its gathered times of sung worship. But what’s the best way to teach a congregation a new song? I have a few suggestions you might like to try.
1. Let the congregation hear the new song before they arrive on Sunday.
Many new songs come with a YouTube video and a link to this can very easily be added into an electronic notice sheet, or weekly email to church members (which many churches use for communication). This enables people to listen to a new song in advance of Sunday, so that it feels familiar. We have been using this method at Cornerstone for a while and its proved helpful.
This is also a good way of priming the musicians in advance of their rehearsal. Because if your musician(s) and/or singers are not familiar with the song, then they will lack confidence and your singing will be rather flat. It's vitally important that those leading the sung worship know the clear structure and melody of a song, so that it can be taught confidently.
2. Play the song as the congregation are still arriving and settling into their seats. The residual sound of the music will assist their familiarisation of the song.
3. When using the song in the service itself, it's best to teach the verse with only the music team singing and the congregation sitting, listening. Then repeat the same verse but this time invite the congregation to join in. Once you feel they have grasped it, move onto the chorus and repeat the same process. Then invite the congregation to stand and sing the song right the way through from the very start.
4. Anything new, will take a bit of bedding-in time. So, it may be helpful to sing the same new song the following week. Then give a two-week break before reusing it again, and you will find that folks will have picked it up by then.
5. It’s always worth bearing in mind that not all of your congregation are able to attend every Sunday service. Typically, around 20% of your congregation will be away at any one time. This could be due to work commitments, or illness in the family etc. As a result they may have missed being taught the new song. This is why it’s helpful to have that YouTube link on your website, or emailed notice sheet, so that those unable to be present can familiarise themselves with the song at home. This prevents people from feeling left out.
A new song
As you consider new songs in 2020, here is one we’ve written called Jesus Redeemer. It’s on the theme of surrender, and we hope it might be worth introducing to your church, especially in the run up to Easter.