New Year, New Songs

Another year has arrived.  Resolutions and planning abound.  As we make plans and resolutions for the new year, it can be easy to forget our role in ministry as we resolve, plan, and dream.  This week, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what I want to do better this year as a music minister.
There are goals that address needed improvements in the technological issues of the worship service.  Many of these have already begun to be implemented….and I’ll keep you updated on those in a future post.  I also want to improve the offerings for involvement in the music ministry by a larger segment of the congregation.  As a result, I plan to present an Easter cantata this year after several years of hiatus.
The goal that will prove to be most challenging for me is including more “new” music in the worship service.  Just the idea of adding “new” music is riddled with challenges.  How does one find the best new music in the enormous praise and worship market?  While there is something to be said for finding out what other churches are singing, it is important to remember that each congregation has a unique DNA.  Just because a song is a stirring anthem for one worship setting does not mean it will fit another church’s needs.  There is no easy way to plow through the music to find the one that will speak to the local body of believers while successfully blending with the current musical landscape of the group.
Once you finally find the song, then comes the process of either finding the scores (which can be more difficult that you might imagine) or creating an original chord chart.  That leads us to teaching the choir and/or praise team the song before introducing it to the congregation.  It’s a never-ending process…..daunting, yes;  but also rewarding and what we are called to do as ministers of music.
My senior pastor is planning on preaching sermon series throughout the year that will last roughly 4-5 weeks.  What an opportunity to assist his ministry by including a new song that is relevant to each series!  That is my goal for the year 2012.  The challenges I face are getting a handle on his plans far enough in advance to research songs, get music, and teach it to everyone involved.  The rewards……are beyond anything I can imagine.  This is where hearing the voice of God as I seek His will in all aspects of the ministry will be crucial.  Pray for me as I begin this journey.
What’s the last new song you taught your congregation?  I’m always looking for ideas…..

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