Over the past couple of years I have had the privelidge of learning to play the guitar, and also leading worship in my home group and at the CU occasionally. I am the first to admit that I am very poor at this, my guitar playing is weak at best, and I don’t think I am great at leading worship. One of the areas I struggle with the most though is not the actual leading, but preparing before, especially choosing which songs to use.
In my Church we have a folder currently with a little over 30 songs in it, which we are steadily expanding. The worship team was only put together recently and is still very much a work in progress, but Mark who has taken charge is doing a great job. This makes life much easier in some ways, and much more difficult in others. Having a specific set of songs to choose from certainly makes the preparation much quicker, not having to trawl through song books and decide between two songs which deal with the same subject in the same tone is nice. It is also much more difficult because 30 songs is quite restrictive, and I am looking forward to that number increasing.
The CU context however is a completely different story. I am free to pick any song at all, and so the selection process is generally longer. I also try to pick a range of styles and tones of music to cater for the diversity in the CU. The biggest problem I have then is in ensuring that the music makes sense. It would be easy to pick out my favourites, or more likely the ones that are easiest to play. This generally results in a mish mash of worship songs with such differing themes that the worship doesn’t really make sense, there is no flow.
If you lead worship, how do you pick your songs? Is your main focus on the skill involved in playing and leading, or the songs themselves and how the worship will flow (not just within the songs, but in the context of the rest of the meeting as well).