118- Bring New Life to an Old Song

I love an old song as much as anyone, but I especially love reworking it to make it super special.

And an Old Song can Sound New!

Loads of the old classic songs and hymns are being reworked by Christian artists worldwide at the moment, and in your church you have the incredible opportunity to do this every week.

An old song can sound completely new if we rework the arrangement.

So tune in for this podcast and learn how to take those old songs, be they hymns or worship songs, and how you can make them new and special again…

I Love Hymns: The Old and the Beautiful

I Love Hymns

I Love HymnsRemember that TV show The Bold and the Beautiful?  I never actually watched it, finding neither bold nor beautiful, but the phrase stuck in my mind, and gives rise to today’s post.  I Love Hymns, but they can be both old and beautiful, or they can be old and stuffy, boring and put everyone to sleep!

I have recently produced an album of hymns, and they are going CRAZY out there.  I have prepared a special presentation, that Erick and I will be sharing in various churches around our area, but I have done this presentation 3 times already in 2 countries, and have been amazed by the response.  Without even preaching I have seen people crying, worshiping, on their knees and blown away by songs which are hundreds of years old!!!

Why I LOVE Hymns!

OK, true confessions… I LOVE Hymns! Hymns are great. They are majestic, and many contain more theology than the average sermon these days. Old folk love them, conservative folk love them, but many younger ones have thrown them out along with everything before 2000. Gee, they even think the Beatles are uncool (such ignorance!).

Somewhere in the middle cries the voice of reason. Now granted, some hymns are funeral marches, long, slow, boring and brain-numbing. Some contain rubbish theology and some are just plain irrelevant in both use of language and subject matter. Some are practically unsingable, except to 13th century monks! However, in amongst these types of hymns are some of the greatest ever songs!

Now, if you are young, and don’t believe me, check a few of them out. Hymns like, “And Can It Be,” “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” and “How Great Thou Art” are awesome.

My preference, both personal and of my church, is that we sing at least one hymn every Sunday service. If you are creative and musical you can play it in such a way that it is exciting and awesome, and you can venture into the very presence of God using these old songs. On top of that, the old folk in the church will be thrilled. So you win either way. Trust me, guys; there are some great songs you cannot live without in the hymns section!

But if you are going to do a hymn, don’t make it into a funeral march! The older folks will love hymns done in a new and a fresh way, so pray and ask God for some innovative ideas to make the hymn into a modern masterpiece. Then watch God unite all ages as they worship Him using this old but new song!

Some hymns hat I loveI Love Hymns Because…

I love hymns because they are the best of the best. Now loving hymns doesn’t mean you hate modern songs (which is what many younger, modern worship leaders think), it means that you are open to both.  Accept modern stuff, sure, but don’t turn your back as many people do on the centuries of tradition and heritage that hymns represent!

They are, after all this time, the best of the best.  When a modern song is brought out, how do you know it is going to become a classic?  The answer is you don’t, and most modern songs are not even played after a few months or a year at most.  The only true way to discover if a song is going to become a classic is to wait ten years.  If it is still popular then, you have a classic on your hands.

But hymns have proven their popularity and stood the test of time.  Charles Wesley wrote 7,000 hymns, and Fanny Crosby write 9,000, but we only sing a few of them.  That’s because they are the best of the best, and that’s what you get with hymns… you know which ones are the classics because time is the great revealer.

I Love Hymns, But…

One word of caution, especially to the conservative evangelical denominations. There is a huge tendency to have the worship songs, with the modern beat and instruments, and then insert the token hymn for the oldies, doing this with only an organ or a piano, played in a traditional yet boring style. I strongly caution you against this, because this only promotes the “us verses them” scenario, the “your music verses our music” polarizing we see in churches.

The best way is to just roll from the worship into the hymn, seamlessly, and using a similar modern style.   The majority of older folk will appreciate the fact that you are including their song preference, and making it your own, and trying as hard to make it special as if it were your own style of song. Thus, you can use well played hymns to join hearts in worship, rather than having the separate song for the oldies.

So come on guys, don’t overlook the grand old hymns!  They might just be the surprise package of your worship leading, and they may just become the means to using worship music to  join your congregation together rather than music driving them apart.

Hymns are awesome, still relevant, still valid and have incredible, powerful lyrics.  And people LOVE them!  Why wouldn’t you use them to worship together?


Worship Leader Podcast 114- Praise Hymns Make a Comeback!

praise hymnsWe are dealing with praise hymns in this worship leader podcast, and we will reveal all about how you can use them as part of your church worship.


Hymns were once considered old, boring, dull and sounding like a funeral march!  They are often separated from the main worship music of the church, where you have praise and worship music and them the hymns during the main part of the service.  This sees praise hymns as a way to divide, not unite your church.  Our pod team can show you how to use hymns to unite your church, whether it is a conservative or an ultra-modern congregation.


So settle back and grab a coffee, turn on the speakers and turn it up loud as we share everything you need to know about praise hymns, but were afraid to ask!

[simpleazon-image align=”center” asin=”B00000429C” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Cd85ZH1FL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]And don’t forget, you’ll be able to download plenty of pods without spending a dime either from this site, or it is possible to download without spending a dime from iTunes, or subscribe to it so that you don’t miss any episode ever!  Nearly every week there’s a special edition of the pod coming at you, so subscribe on iTunes and be a part of our worship leader community.  And if you like us, and I hope the majority of you do, PLEASE LEAVE A REVIEW so iTunes knows that we’re helping you along!   Whether you’re driving to work, mowing the lawn or just chilling out (maybe with a pleasant cup of tea!), let us teach you, brighten up your entire day and maximize the use of the time you have got for the Lord!


Click Here to Subscribe to your Worship Leader Podcast Now and Learn More about Praise Hymns!

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OK, it will take you some time, but you will certainly get some ideas about all aspects of worship leading, how to help your voice, manage your band, and a whole host of other things (and also have quite a few laughs).  Or, save yourself the trouble and buy the Worship in a Nutshell package, so you can get the very best information ready to apply right now with your church.  It costs a bit, but boy it saves you quite a lot of time learning!!!




How to Lead Praise and Worship in a Traditional Church

As I sit here thinking about how to lead praise and worship in a traditional church I am returning from a ministry trip to Sri Lanka.  Many of the churches we ministered to there were traditional churches struggling to try and find a blend between the older people in the church who love tradition and the younger ones who want to sing modern praise and worship music.  If you are in the church that is struggling with the same issues, it is important that you learn how to lead praise and worship in a way that satisfies both sides of the equation, and does so with sensitivity and true godliness.

How To Lead Praise and Worship That Satisfies Almost Everyone

You may consider that it is impossible to lead worship that satisfies almost  everyone, but I can tell you from experience it is achievable.  The most important thing is that you strive always to lead in a way that unites people rather than divides people.

Division is common among God’s people, especially when it comes to the area of music and worship.  On one side, you usually have the older congregation members who want to sing the hymns that they have been familiar with for decades, playing in the way that they have always been played with an organ, and that the more temperate volume.  On the other side you have the young people and increasingly the middle-aged, who wants to worship the Lord in a way that fits with their culture using music that represents their generation.

Trying to blend both sides of the worship spectrum may seem like an impossible dream, but after many years and many mistakes I believe that I found the right solution.

How To Lead Praise and Worship With Sensitivity

how to lead praise and worshipThe first thing to think about when you consider worship leading is sensitivity… to both sides of the generation gap.  If you produce loud, contemporary worship you are saying to the older generation, “you have no value anymore.”  If you play hymns exclusively, you are conveying to the younger people that their opinions and culture is unimportant.

A wise worship leader is one who can cater for both sides of the church, exhibiting a spirit of love and understanding for both the old and the young.  Part of learning how to effectively lead praise and worship is dealing with conflict as a leader and you need to make sure that both protagonists feel that their opinions are heard, even though you may not act upon these opinions.  This means that any complaints about the music being too loud, too rocky, too old or too boring must be listened to and considered when you are deciding how to lead praise and worship with sensitivity.

Leading Worship For Unity

Worship music can be a powerful force for unity or an amazingly destructive force within the church, especially within a more traditional congregation.  I have often witnessed angry words and even people leaving the church because of dissatisfaction with the worship service, and we must do our best as worship leaders to make sure that this never happens.

Many churches try to satisfy the opposing sides by having a period of contemporary worship at the start of the service, led by the young people using drums, electric guitars and so on, while reserving songs for worship within the service for hymns played on an organ.  While this may be an attempt to appease both sides, what it is really doing is creating a spirit of disunity, with each side recognizing ‘our music and their music’!

I believe that the best way to unite the old and the young, the traditionalists and the modernists, is to have the worship band incorporate hymns into both the contemporary worship time in the service and throughout the entire service.

One worship leader asked me if the elderly reacted badly to the suggestion, offended that their music is not being played on an organ.  My experience is that this is not the case but rather the opposite occurs, where the older people see the younger ones embracing their teams and their type of music and making it their own.  Most often this brings great joy to the more traditional believers, so you can learn how to lead praise and worship as a source of unity in the church rather than using music to polarize church members.

So, worship leaders, it is possible to unite both the traditionalists and the more modern members of your congregation!  The most important thing is that you learn how to lead praise and worship with sensitivity while promoting unity across all age groups in your church.