We try to teach about 1 song every month at Kings – truth is they tend to come in fits and starts and we particularly like to teach new songs near the start of a term. I think it’s important to keep adding in new songs in to the singing diet of the church, it just helps to keep things fresh and interesting.
Basically I will listen to as many worship albums as possible from as many different types of churches – I am very happy to borrow songs from anywhere if I feel they fit theologically and work musically – truth be told there are a lot of average songs out there so you have to be fairly discerning as to which ones you pick.
The other challenge about new songs is trying to work out whether a song which may sound great on a CD will actually translate “live” – sometimes I cannot quite tell that until you actually try it in a rehearsal. At that point you tend to “hear” whether this going to fly or not. That said there are still occasions when we will teach a new song and for whatever reason, even after a few tries, it never really takes – that point you probably need to leave it and move on.
Note to worship leaders – if you are going to teach a new song, you need to make sure you really do know if well – its amazing how you can think you know a song until you actually stand up in front of people and discover there are certain melody lines that you are not quite as clear on as you thought when you sang a long to it in the car earlier. You need to teach it right so the church can learn it right!
Last thing – we don’t tend to teach every new song – if they are really simple more reflective songs we just tend to use them in a worship time and hope the church will pick them up on the go – and when it comes to “teaching”, truth is I am using the phrase “teaching “pretty loosely. Normal practice for us is simply to tell the church right at the start of the meeting that we would like to teach them a new song – we might play and sing it once through and then very quickly as them to stand and join in. it feels more natural doing that rather than breaking the song down as if it was more of a music lesson – generally they seem to pick it up fine Also interestingly it tends to really help people start to engage before the actual worship time begins. What are the new songs at Kings?
We quite often get asked where we get the songs from and where people can get hold of them so here goes; We have taught 4 home grown new songs over the past few months – they are; “Meet with us”, “worthy is the Lamb of God”, “When my heart is heavy” and “I could search (there is none like you)” – most of them are up on the website (a rough guide) as very basic acoustic version. We have also used a couple of songs from further a field – they are; “”Our God” – the best version I know of this is off the passion album “awakening” – it’s a great song and a very strong album – worth getting if you like Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman. “You are good” – this is written by Israel Houghton and features on the “We speak to nations” album – a totally fab song and a great worship leader/song writer – worth listening to his stuff if you get a chance – note however his songs do come with a health warning when it comes to being able to play and sing them (he hits notes that few others even know exist)
Ok – hope that is helpful. Cheers