A few years ago I was sitting in the basement of a church in Houston, Texas, embracing one of the most beautiful church services I have ever participated in. As a worship leader, I can sometimes get caught up in judging how well a worship set is designed, but in this space I was held captive by something beautiful taking place—the worship set was designed around the story of the gospel. I’m not sure if anyone else noticed the way the story of the gospel transpired through the music, but I know that the gospel message in the music was powerful and that it was felt by the people present.
It’s easy for worship leaders to get caught up in what songs to pick based on things like tempo—I’m guilty of this. We play fast songs to begin the service, slower songs right before the sermon, and we reverse that order at the end—slower songs leading to faster songs to commission everyone out (genius, right?). I’ve followed this template because this is what was taught to me. But might there be deeper, theological reasons for pursuing another way of choosing songs?