worship song

What Makes a Song Congregational?

Joshua Watts offers a worship checklist.

So, what makes a song “congregational”?
  • Is the content of the song applicable to a majority of your church?

Make sure that the theme of the songs you select are broad enough to apply to a variety of individuals from many different walks of life. For example, instead of doing a song that specifically deals with the recent death of a loved one (which would minister only to a small, select few), I might do the hymn “It is Well,” as it is broad enough to minister to numerous needs. Make sense?

  • Are the lyrics understandable?

Some songs are just too poetic for their own good and might cause confusion. Creatives may interpret the poetry just fine, but what about blue-collar Joe the Plumber who is trying to join in? It’s important that the song remains lyrically clever and poignant but can still be easily understood by your church.

  • Does the song’s point of view make sense to the one singing it?

There is no doubt that many songs sung from God’s point of view, like Bethel’s “Come to Me” or “I am the God That Healeth Thee,” are inspiring, powerful, and anointed. Such songs definitely minister to many… but may I suggest that does not mean it is appropriate to do in a congregational, worship context. Perhaps such songs would serve best in someone’s private worship experience or as a special number in a different part of the service.

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