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Song Rotation

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  • Song Rotation

    Hello everyone,

    For those of you who have a rotation of 50-60 songs, how did you go about building that list?


  • #2
    Hi David,

    Welcome! Your question is quite broad, so I'll answer broadly, but please feel free to ask further clarifying questions!

    It depends on your ministry set-up. Usually those in leadership over the worship ministry make decisions about songs that can be added to the song rotation. In a small band, probably the worship pastor/MD would make those decisions. In a larger band, say, of 100 people, a small group fo 2-3 core band people or worship leaders might meet regularly to discuss potential new songs and to select new ones.

    In our church, we've had both systems at play. Anyone in band can make song suggestions, though. The song has to meet certain criteria in terms of playability and doctrinal soundness, and our church generally prefers a more contemporary sound (though it's not mandatory). We also like to introduce songs that speak to where our church is at or where we sense God is wanting to lead us next. Songs get added gradually so as not to overwhelm the band or congregation. In this way, it takes quite a while to build up a list - a few years even - but it helps everyone to learn the songs well.

    At 50-60 songs, it can get a bit much IMO, and sometimes the band needs to strip back to about 20 and keep it simple for a while!

    Does that answer the question?



    • #3
      check out Spotify or YouTube. search for worship. there's tons in there! Just check out songs that you like and adapt them to something your congregation can sing! That's fun! A suggestion to start could be "Alive in You" by Jesus Culture. I lead worship in a small southern church and they like it!


      • #4
        Always, always, always build on the past. Build on the songs the people know. Build on the songs that had become standards over years, even decades. Build on the hymns. Build on the children's songs. Build on the "moldie oldies." BUT.....

        After you have crafted a thorough, deep, full list, THEN.... [deep breath]... open up Excel or some other spreadsheet program and log on
        1. the song title.
        2. the tempo.
        3. the preferred key (you might want to consider the highest and lowest notes too, just to confirm it is in a singable range).
        4. the time signature.
        5. If it is North, South, East or West. (ahem, if it is "To God", "From God", "To Believers" or "To Unbelievers").
        6. Make note if it is a "special" song (Christmas, Easter, Baptism, etc.)
        7. Make note if it has specific words that are noteworthy, if your denomination cares (e.g.: Alleluia/Hallelujah is forbidden during the season of Lent in liturgical churches, but ought be overemphasized during the season of Easter).
        8. Make note if the song is a Learning Song, a Humility Song, an Action Song, or a Just Wade-in-the-Presence Song. (As a guitarist, I find the first two are perfect in the keys/forms of C or D, the third is perfect in the keys/forms of E or G, and the last is perfect in the key/form of A).

        NOW... once you have done this... sort the list by tempo, time sig and key first, and examine the results.

        You will find that you may have an overabundance of songs in one key, and a lack of songs in another.
        Or that you have an overabundance of songs in one theme, and a lack of songs in another.
        Or that you have songs from different generations that can medley extremely easily from one song to another, even though they come from different generations, different forms, different styles, different song resources.

        And once you have this level of handle on your current repertoire, be on the lookout for songs that can fill the gap, so to speak, of what you currently have, while you may want to pare down the songs that are too much in another area.
        Nick Alexander
        Host, The Prayer Meeting Podcast
        Worship that is Contemporary, Traditional, Charismatic, Contemplative, Spontaneous, based on the Church calendar, play it whenever you want.
        Find out what Nick Alexander can do for your conference, retreat or workshop.