set list

The Benefits of a Shorter Set List

Kade Young explains why he uses fewer songs in worship:

I recently attended a night of worship and it made me think about the amount of songs in a worship set list. The band did about 9 songs that night and I found it to be a bit tiring by the end – and I wasn’t even part of the worship team. If I felt this way as a worship leader, I wonder how non-musicians feel about a longer set list.

In the Worship Leaders + Facebook group, worship leaders often post their set list for the upcoming Sunday. The number of songs range from 3 to 7. Although I don’t believe there is a ‘perfect’ amount of songs for a worship set list, I have been using 3 for the past several years and it works really well.

There was a time when I would always plan a 4-5 song set list. My reasoning was because other worship leaders were doing the same. Then, my worship team absorbed a slew of new members all at once and I noticed they were struggling to pull together the songs every week. They were fighting their way through the set and didn’t seem to be enjoying it at all. Something needed to change.

A shorter set list helps the worship team relax.

It is important that the worship team enjoy what they are doing, whether they are paid or not. Otherwise, the team culture is a nightmare and the congregation can sense it. Playing 4+ songs each week may not be a big deal for your veteran team member (because they have already played the songs over and over), but what about the new guy?

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