Jubilee College of Music

Always Singing...Dr. Smoak

The Worship Leader and Song Selection

The concept is quite simple. Some individual or some group of individuals select worship songs for the Sunday worship service. Most often this is accomplished by an individual called the worship leader.

But the task of getting this done is not always simple. In fact, sometimes it is a struggle. Sometimes the process is filled with indecision. Such was the case last week. Each Wednesday morning I spend time planning the order of worship for our two Sunday morning worship services. A major part of this planning is selecting worship songs. On this particular day I was very unsettled about my selections; none of them seemed or felt right. I struggled particularly with one new song that I had introduced to the congregation the previous Sunday. This wrestling continued over the next several days, even though the songs were already printed in the worship folder for Sunday and the Power Point of the words had been prepared. On Sunday morning I woke up early and decided to change one of the songs. While driving to church I decided to not make this change. I was still wondering if I had made the right song selections as I began to lead the people in singing songs of worship.

As we began to sing God’s presence was awesome. God visually and audibly confirmed that He had led me to select the appropriate worship songs for this specific time of worship. God knew who would be there and what they needed to sing. He knew what words and melodies would bring Him the most praise. My very being was filled with mysterious joy as I realized that these worship songs were specifically for me. I needed to sing them. I needed to express my love for God using these specific words and melodies. God had planned a private time of worship for me within the context of my community of faith worshiping together. I worshiped!

Why had God let me struggle with the worship-song selection? To be honest with you, I really do not need the answer to this question. When we sing in worship it is all about God. Nothing else matters. Worship songs are selected ahead of time for a specific time of worship. But only God can know what will be appropriate for that specific time of worship. Only God will know the hearts and minds of the people coming to worship Him. It is all about God from the selection of the worship songs to the singing of these songs in the worship service. God works through our struggles and questions and He alone is to be praised.

Prayer: Dear God, please guide your worship leaders around the world as they select worship songs for this coming Sunday. You alone know the worship songs that your people need to sing. You alone know what worship songs that will bring you the most praise. Thank you for allowing us to sing your songs of praise. Amen!