Worship Leader Podcast

196- How to Learn New Songs Properly

Learning new songs is a part of worship leading, but today the pod team discusses how you to learn new songs properly, so your team get it, your congregation love it and you see genuine worship, even with these new songs (and yes, it is possible if you do it right!).

If you are teaching new songs to your people, you might find quite a bit of resistance, especially among the older ones.  OK, sometimes it is the type of songs you are choosing, and the sheer numbers you are introducing, but sometimes it is the way you are introducing them.

We have discovered that, after years of working with new and old songs, new and old congregations, that there are ways you can introduce new material where people love it so much, they forget that they are being “forced” to learn new songs and just embrace them.

Who wouldn’t want that for their congregation?

So, don’t just go throwing new songs at people and expecting them to like it!  Listen to today’s podcast and be wise and smart about how to learn new songs in your church…

Learn How to Learn New Songs the Right Way!



Worship Leader Podcast

140- How to Introduce New Songs

new songs photoThere are tons of new songs around in worship today, and many worship leaders get all excited and want to introduce them to their congregations.  The big question is, “How can you introduce new songs without upsetting everyone?”

While there are never any blanket answers to this question, today’s worship leader podcast is talking about how you can introduce new material with sensitivity, consistency and in a way that does not upset your congregation.  We look at a sensible pace at which you can introduce new songs, and the methods you can employ to make them not only attractive but also help the new songs you love to become classics in your church.

Every Worship Leader Needs to Listen to This Worship Leader Podcast…

Plus, we investigate this and many other issues in greater depth in our special Praise and Worship Leader University.  You can check it our for only $1.00, and we have just released even more teaching videos on the trial, closely examining how you can use performance techniques in your worship, while still maintaining your integrity and putting worship above the actual performance.


Photo by 140- How to Introduce New Songs

Photo by 140- How to Introduce New Songs

Worship Leading Tips

How to Introduce New Worship Songs Successfully

new worship songsHere is a “holy cow” I just cannot keep away from… How do you introduce new worship songs successfully, for both you and your congregation?   Most worship leaders have an insatiable, obsessive, almost crazy lust for new worship songs, and I am telling you now, the congregation HATES IT!!!!

The question arises, what is a new song? You see, from the congregation’s point of view, a new song is any song introduced in the last 3-4 months. The band thinks a new song is one played for the first time, so the second time you do it, the band doesn’t think it is new any more, mainly because they have playing it a hundred times at practice during the week. Here is a basic conflict of interest.

For any service, I believe 80%+ of your songs must be well known to the people. Add too many new songs, and they will not relax and enjoy worship, and your job description is not to teach people new songs, but to lead them into meaningful worship. Given the choice, most people in the congregation would prefer to just sing the old songs they are familiar with, so you must win their trust by carefully and lovingly introducing new songs.

Now, I know you want to be cutting edge and do the latest material!   We need to be introducing new songs, lest we be left behind forever (not a bad thing some would say). However, this does not mean you are under compulsion to do every song on the latest Worship album! Be thoughtful, be prayerful and be smart!   Here are a few thoughts on new songs, and their introduction to your repertoire.

  1. Pick the best: You don’t have to do every song on a new release album! Some you mightn’t like, some are not where your people are at. Some might be too hard, complex, difficult to sing or theologically suspect. Choose wisely, carefully and prayerfully, introducing new songs to church sparingly.
  2. Don’t introduce too many, too quickly: I usually only ever introduce one song in a service. Any more than that means people are not worshiping, they are trying to learn. I might introduce 2 songs across a couple of services. Take it slow and steady, and remember, when you hate the song and are sick of it, the congregation has just about learned it and it is no longer a new song to them.
  3. Do it every other week for 6 weeks: Do it each week, or 2 weeks and the people will begin to be familiar with the song. A classic mistake for worship leaders is to introduce a song, consider that people now know it, and move on to introduce another new song a week later. The audience hates it, and feels pressured by such actions. Take your time! That’s why you should only introduce the very best ones!
  4. Have a coordinated approach: The Music director must control the introduction of all new songs. Otherwise, every worship leader you have in the church introduces new songs, and the people are inundated to the point of overload by new songs. Get all of worship leaders to introduce the same songs, and take it slow. If you have 4 worship leaders in a month, and each introduces a new song (their own choice), then the people don’t hear it again for another 4 weeks. So, their learning is never reinforced, and every song sounds new each time they hear it. Don’t laugh, I have lived through this very scenario, and the congregation hates it!
  5. One or two at a time: Worship is not supposed to be a memory test. The more new songs you introduce, the more people will be READING off the overhead instead of WORSHIPING. So, keep them worshiping by limiting the number of new songs being introduced.
  6. Try introducing new songs initially as an item: A really pleasant way to introduce new material is as a feature item, sung by one or two of the worship team. This decreases the pressure people feel that they have to learn the song, and allows them to relax, absorb the words and what the song is saying, and fall in love with the song, just as you probably have. They will always find it easier to learn a song they love already!
  7. Your Own Songs: I believe every fellowship should be using some songs written by local church members. Now they should not use only these, because then the people miss out on the best that is on offer across the world, and when churches get together for combined meetings they don’t know any of the songs! But your people and perhaps you yourself may have a song that is from the Lord, fresh for your congregation! Ask Him and see!

introducing new worship songsSO, worship leaders, HERE’S THE BAD NEWS…

Follow this through with me. Consider this wise advice…

  1. For the congregation to really accept a new song, they should sing it at least 2 weeks in a row, miss the third week, and sing it again in the fourth.
  2. You should not try to teach more than one song at one time.

Therefore: According to the parameters listed above, if you can only introduce one song a month that the congregation will effectively learn (and that is pretty much the way it is), guess how many new songs you can introduce in a year??

12… maybe 14 or 15 if you are lucky!

I recognize that most worship leaders are introducing new songs by the truck load, and the really crazy thing is that they throw most of them out after a few weeks, never to be heard again!

new worship songsNow, come on worship leaders, who is guilty on this count? I have to confess, I was doing this (like most other worship leaders I know) for many years, until the futility and, indeed, utter stupidity of the situation struck me. I was hammering my people with new song after new song, many of which were tossed aside a month or two down the track.

So, according to what we have seen, we can only effectively introduce around one new song a month, so that the people learn it and are comfortable with it.

Therefore, when our team looks at new songs, we ask each other, “Is this song worthy of being one of the chosen 12?”   Think of it this way: when you know you can only get to introduce 12 new songs a year, you find that you are very, very particular about the new ones that get through. You watch the words, and the tunes, and the feels, and narrow the field so that you get something your church is really up for.

After all, this whole process is NOT about you, it is about your Pastor and your people, and the level that they can cope with.

So, introduce new worship songs wisely, carefully and sensitively, and at a pace that your church can happily cope with.

Worship Leading Tips

Worship Leading Techniques That Work

Worship Leading Techniques are important if you are going to lead effective praise and worship.  Like it or not, you will use a variety of worship leading techniques that you have learned along the way and these will most often add to your abilities rather than provide a refined yet less than inspire performance.

Why We Avoid Learning Worship Leading Techniques

Worship Leading Techniques in churchAs leaders of worship many of us are hesitant about obtaining training because we fear that the worship leading techniques we learn will detract rather than add to our overall ministry for the Lord.  In fact, the opposite is true!  Learning the right worship leading techniques actually allows us to explode into a realm of freedom in the Spirit because we can concentrate on Him as we minister rather than on the basic music and singing disciplines.

It’s a bit like driving a car.  When you first started there was so much to learn that you wondered if you would ever be able to drive, but once you learned the basic techniques and were able to do them on autopilot, you can then drive a car, talk to a friend, listen to the radio and sometimes text (illegally) all at once.

So learning worship leading techniques is better for your power, flow and anointing when you are leading worship!

The Top 5 Worship Leading Techniques

With this in mind here are my Top 5 worship leading techniques that you can apply quickly and effectively, starting this Sunday!

Avoiding excessive talking:  This includes praying, anecdotes and calls for people to do things like stand, kneel or raise hands.  You will be more effective if you let God deal with this rather than filling every gap with your own voice (John 3:30)

Choose songs people know:  A classic mistake is choosing songs you like and teaching people new songs constantly.  Throw in a few songs they don’t know and watch people relax and enjoy worship.

Flow songs together:  Flowing songs together is one of the best worship leading techniques I know, making the worship time a continuum rather than a stop-start affair.  This gives people a smooth experience and allows the Lord to move in their hearts.

Go up keys:  Raising the key of a song part way through is another one of my favourite worship leading techniques.  Going up a key makes everyone stretch a little more and can lift a worship meeting very effectively.

Voices Only:  Stopping instruments and using vocals alone is another brilliant idea!  If done well this can have a huge impact on the entire praise and worship service.

Learn More Worship Leading Techniques

For more information on these and other worship leading techniques please feel free to check out the rest of the website.  We have great training where you can learn loads of worship leading techniques like these easily be able to use them, starting this Sunday!

Worship Leading Tips

Top 5 Worship Leading Tips- Plus a Few More

If you are involved in church worship then chances are you are searching for some worship leading tips to help you do a better job.  While a few worship leading tips here and there will not replace a full worship training course.

The Top 5 Worship Leading Tips

5. Don’t Overcomplicate Arrangements- Some of the best and most loved songs of all time are simple, yet many modern praise and worship songs are so incredibly complex!  Try to keep your arrangements simple and you will find your musicians able to play them, and your congregation able to sing them!

4. Choose Songs that are Well Known- Your role is not to teach new songs.  This is one of the best worship leading tips you will hear: use songs that your congregation know and love.  Worship will be easier, more powerful (because they will not need to read the words) and you can still introduce new material, preferably slowly.

Worship Leading Tips3. Blend the Songs Together- You want the worship experience to be a continuous, wonderful experience, not a stop-start, clunking experience.

2. Go Up Keys to Go Up in Intensity- Modulating up a key in a song makes everyone stretch, sing louder and raises the intensity of the meeting, so do not be afraid to go up a key.  Of all the worship leading tips I am offering here, this one is the most practical for seeing an immediate effect in your worship leading.

1. Head Towards Higher Praise and Worship- I always try and start with songs about ourselves and our feelings, needs, desires, etc.  As I head through the worship time I try and culminate with a song focused on the Lord and solely on worshipping Him!

Worship Leading Tips Don’t Replace the Right Heart

Remember, these worship leading tips are not an alternative to having a right heart and a right attitude before the Lord.  They are techniques, yes, but they are most effective when coupled with a humble and serving heart.  As a leader you need to be open to not only the leading of the Holy Spirit, but also to correction from your pastor and great ideas from your team.  Use the worship leading tips but don’t forget to keep your heart right!

The King of All Worship Leading Tips

The ultimate of all of the worship leading tips I could share with you (along with keeping your walk right with the Lord) is to get some training, whether you are experienced or not.  I have been leading worship for years, yet I always try and remain open and humbly teachable so that my journey does not plateau or peter out but continues to grow in strength and power.

I am sure you want to become the very best praise and worship leader you can be.  Stay humble, stay open and stay close to the Lord.  Get some training as often as you can and apply  these worship leading tips to better your chosen and anointed gifting.