I know we have access to theme indexes in songbooks and worship planning software, but I suspect the job of song selection will continue to be primarily a human task, divinely rather than digitally inspired! So, how do we do it? And...how should we do it?
Recently, I was planning an event with the help of a few people and the songs they chose were simply the ones they liked! How often do we fall into that way of choosing songs? Although it's a plus to play songs you like, it is not really the best way. This can lead to a narrow and predictable song list and not take into account the season, subject or people group you are serving! At another event I was aware that the songs selected failed to have a journey running through them, and so they were very singular and non-connecting and did not really guide or lead people through any systematic encounter.
I am of the opinion that the songs we choose for worship environments are very important. They can add substantial colours to the theological canvas; they can inspire and release thankfulness; they can convey emotion and pathos and they can articulate prayers and laments so very eloquently. As song-selectors we should not merely be guided by our own 'favourite playlist' but conscious of the importance of the gathered musical expression, we should aim to deliver a diet that is theological, varied, divinely-inspired, life-applicable, educational and with a hint of transcendence. In fact, a feast so full of nutrients, enabling us all to grow in faith, freedom and community.
More will follow...............