Choosing the Right Song
by Molly Shorter
You've been scheduled to sing for the upcoming church service. What song will you sing? You wade through the sea of great songs out there to choose the one that's right for you. As you look at all the songs available, you may feel overwhelmed. So, how do you choose the right song to sing? Do you choose by lyrics, sound, style or popularity?
The Lord has definitely blessed the Christian music ministry. There are so many great songs that have been written under the guidance of the Holy Spirit - songs that speak truth and are musically beautiful. There are songs for every voice type and every style preference. Selections are plentiful. But that can make choosing a song difficult simply because there are so many to choose from. I don't think there's a right or wrong way to approach this. But here's how I choose a song. Maybe this could be your guide too.
First, ask the Lord to guide your thoughts and direct you to the song He wants you to sing. Proverbs 3:6 says, "In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths." (ESV) He promises to direct our steps when we ask.
Second, look for a song you connect with - a song that ministers to you and one that fits the style you sing best. If the message of the song speaks directly to you, then you will sing it with conviction and passion. And, if the style fits your voice, you will be able to sing it with confidence. Most accompaniment tracks include two or three key options for lower and higher vocals. Choose the option that will fit your vocal range the best.
Third, make sure that the song fits the type service you'll be singing in. If it's a traditional service, pick a more traditional type song. If it's a contemporary service, choose a more contemporary song. Always check the lyrics. Make sure they speak truth. Sometimes lyrics can be so vague or lofty that the audience won't understand exactly what the song is about. So, choose a song that the audience will be able to understand and they can connect with.
It's always fun to learn a new song - one that's newly released and no one else has performed at your church. But don't limit yourself to just the newly released songs. It's nice to pull out the older songs too. For some, it will be the first time they have heard it, and for others, it will be refreshing to hear again. Most of all, follow the Lord's leading. Ask Him to help you choose the right song. He will guide you straight to it!
Molly Shorter is full-time musician and worship leader in the service of her Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. She works with church musicians, giving them opportunities to develop and use their God-given musical gifts for His honor and glory.
Along with leading a large worship team, she is also a teacher to budding musicians, a playwright and theater director, a composer, and the writer of your enouragement here at Christwill Music.