Selecting just the right worship songs and hymns that create a dynamic and meaningful worship flow centering around the day’s themes can quite a challenge for today’s worship planner. Also, once you have selected the songs and hymns the next challenge is how you connect the songs musically as you transition from one key to another. With the right musical selections and seamless transitions the worship team and leader may then provide a seamless flow for the worshippers.
Granted, a seamless flow of worship is not what causes the move of the Holy Spirit. But, the lack of seamless flow can easily become a roadblock to Spirit enlivened worship. Starts and stops in worship can create awkward silence (the kind that is not a holy moment) which become roadblocks that can hinder the focus of the worshippers on the Lord. Good worship planning means that the planner is adept at getting all of those types of roadblocks out of the way for the worshippers. Worship flow matters!
Don Chapman from WorshipIdeas identifies the lack of flow as one of the three mistakes made in contemporary worship.
“Mistake #2: Stopping between songs. If praise songs are prayers, then think of your praise sets as prayer meetings! The traditional service order of separate event after separate event (song, announcement, song, testimony, song, reading, etc.) breaks up contemporary worship flow. George Barna states in his book “The Habits of Highly Effective Churches” that successful churches have at least twenty minutes of uninterrupted worship.
Think of it this way: people need time to settle in and focus on God. They’ve had a stressful week and probably have yelled at their kids on the way to church. It will take five minutes of music before most people’s minds are cleared and they can even start worshiping.
If an extended praise set is new to your church, don’t try 20 minutes of worship right off the bat – work up to it. Start with two or three songs in a row and gradually build up to five or six when you sense the congregation starts to “get it” and begins hungering for more worship.” (Don Chapman, www.donchapman.name) Taken from Don Chapman’s document entitled “The Top Three Mistakes in Contemporary Worship”
Creating just one really good solid dynamic musical flow for worship is not nearly as difficult as trying to create one week after week and year after year as a worship planner. Fortunately, there are recourses that are available online which are helpful in creating musical transitions to help with worship flow. You might want to consider using them as you face what at times can be a daunting task Sunday after Sunday.
One such resource is www.WorshipFlow.com which Don Chapman has created. He has made a way to help you create seamless key changes between songs and/or hymns. For a small six month subscription or annual subscription fee you are able to plug in the needed key transition and you will be able to download a written out for your keyboardist and/or the transition in chords for your guitarist. This is perfect for musicians who are not well versed in smoothly transitioning between musical keys. Don provides some fresh and modern sounding transitions.
Also, part of the subscription to WorshipIdeas will also provide you with underscoring (for example: the music to play under a Scripture reading or prayer between two songs). This is especially great for keyboardists who do not improvise!
Here’s a three minute video tour of Worship Flow:
This is a resource that is well worth the subscription! I encourage you to check it out!
Gripped by Grace,
J. Paul Davidson