To kick off the New Church Year I have launched our Music Ministry's new six-month song repertoire. There are a few reasons why I have narrowed down our song list to thirty songs. First of all, the common church-goer is simply not able to handle a ridiculous amount of songs. Therefore, as a courtesy to the congregation (who is really the song leader) we should stick to fewer songs in the regular rotation. Secondly, the band is part of the singing congregation, too. We should be freed up to not have to focus too intently on the music. The way this is accomplished for most musicians is for us to have fewer songs to learn and master. Thirdly, song selection is much easier with a smaller list of songs to choose from.

In addition to the thirty song repertoire, I have a running "B" list of songs that is made up of over a hundred songs the congregation is quite familiar with. I can pull from the "B" list at any time, especially if a song fits a given Sunday's topic, but otherwise minimally. At the start of each new repertoire season, I move the overused songs to the "B" list, keep the working songs on the "A" list, and add five or six new songs to the repertoire. I will then introduce those new songs over the next three months, and hopefully the congregation will have them down by the end of the six months. I will repeat the same thing six months from now to kick off the next repertoire season.

How do I choose the songs for the repertoire? Well, for one, I like to have a good balance of fast and slow songs. For some reason good fast songs are hard to come by these days. Perhaps it's because they are harder to write than slow songs. At any rate, with my repertoire system I can control the number of fast and slow regulars by gearing the new songs to be introduced one way or the other. This time around most of the new songs will be fast. Another thing I look for is a good mixture of thematic content amongst the songs: Creation songs, Cross songs, Heaven songs, etc. Personally, I prefer singing songs that are communal (we/us/our), because we are trying to combat the culture of narcissism that unfortunately carries over into our songs. That means less of the songs we sing are in first person singular (I/me/my). I also include a handful of original songs, and I would highly recommend using original songs in your church. Congregational connectedness skyrockets when good original songs are put into the rotation, particularly because the songs were more than likely written as an expression of what the Holy Spirit has done or is currently doing among the local body.

These are mere guidelines generally adhered to. There is always room to, say, add a new song if one arises in the middle of a repertoire season. Oh, and in addition to the "B" list, we have a list of about twenty great hymns and a handful of Advent/Christmas songs that we draw from. We typically sing five songs every Sunday Celebration. Usually at least four of the songs are from the thirty song repertoire. Okay, here's the list of songs with their authors. I would also love to know the songs you guys are singing in your churches.

  1. All I Have by Brennan & Dobbelmann
  2. Beautiful One by Tim Hughes
  3. Bless His Name by Tony Sanchez
  4. Cannons by Phil Wickham (new)
  5. Center by Hall & Redman
  6. Center of It All by Tim Hughes (new)
  7. Christ Is Exalted by Ryan Flanigan
  8. Communion with the Trinity by Ryan Flanigan (new)
  9. Everything by Tim Hughes
  10. Glory by Reuben Morgan
  11. Holding Nothing Back by Tim Hughes (new)
  12. Holy by Brenton Brown
  13. Hosanna (Praise Is Rising) by Baloche & Brown
  14. In Christ Alone by Getty & Townend
  15. Jesus' Name by Ryan Delmore
  16. Lift High by Fee & Kirkland (new)
  17. Light of the World Arise by Carter & Flanigan
  18. Living for Your Glory by Tim Hughes
  19. Nothing But the Blood by Matt Redman
  20. O Praise Him by David Crowder
  21. Sing Sing Sing by Chris Tomlin (new)
  22. Stand in Awe by Jeremy Riddle
  23. Take My Life (Here Am I) by Havergal/Tomlin & Giglio
  24. That I Might Sing (Woe Is Me) by Ryan Flanigan
  25. The Lord Is Gracious and Compassionate by Graham Ord
  26. There's No One Like Our God by Beeching & Mitchinson
  27. Unchanging by Chris Tomlin
  28. Up From the Fall by Ryan Flanigan
  29. You Came by Ryan Flanigan
  30. You Never Let Go by Beth & Matt Redman

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