Words of Worship
Our primary goal as worship leaders is to facilitate an interaction between the congregation and God. We cannot worship for them, but the work we do is vital in facilitating a place that allows people to worship. With the prospect of in-person worship on the horizon, and even as we continue to worship together virtually, the selections we make for a time of worship should never be a responsibility we take lightly.
Songs are significant. Take singing the national anthem for example. Singing the anthem with others shows that there is a shared sense of respect and reverence for our country. Groups of people sing songs of support and solidarity at protest rallies. Songs of celebration have been sung at concerts. Yet the words that we choose to sing with our congregation hold much more weight than any of these examples. As we select songs to sing together, we put the words of worship on the lips of our fellow believers. Through the worship songs we use, we are inviting them to share in agreement that:
• God is good, no matter our situation.
• We know that God loves us despite our sinful nature.
• We will follow His leading in our lives and commit to service for Him.
As leaders, it is important to be in tune with our congregation so that we can provide opportunities that they need to worship freely. If there is hurt, presenting songs of God’s faithfulness and care can be a timely reminder. In times of celebration, choose a song of joy that allows them to express their love and gratitude to God.
Choose songs that they know which express familiar words and sentiments, but also try to grow and stretch their expression of worship by teaching new songs. Sometimes, it can be a challenge to cater to the wide range of emotions and situations your congregation is experiencing, but it is important that we need to acknowledge as we lead. As leaders, we can guide the congregation because we know them and their needs, and we have a clear vision of what we want our congregation to be able to express during a worship service. The songs we choose for worship assist our congregation in carrying their praise, individually and corporately, to God.
God bless you as you seek to make your selections for worship both thoughtfully and prayerfully.