Nine Key Components to Introduce a New Song, Part 3
By Jon Nicol
5. The Anticipation
Let me ask you this:
How excited is your congregation to learn a new song?
If you and I gave our churches a list of 20 things that could occur on a Sunday and asked them to rank them in order from most favorite to least favorite, do you think “learning a new song” would land in the top 5?
Top 10? Still doubtful.
I’m not sure “learning a new song” has a decent shot at scoring higher than “announcements” in many of our churches.
Why is that? Why would people rather hear someone drone on about a bake sale fundraiser than learn a new song of worship? It’s almost as if new music is an anathema for many of our people.
I think there are three reasons:
1. People don't like change.
2. We don’t have a critical mass of true worshipers.
3. We haven’t taken the time to create a culture that loves learning new songs.
Unfortunately, dealing with these reasons indepth are beyond the scope of this post. But I think we need to consider a few things.
First, the whole "hate change" excuse. It's crap. If people didn't like new things movie theaters would still be showing Rebel Without a Cause and Top 40 Radio would still be spinning Love Me Do. So let's move on to the next two excuses. I think they're the real reasons.
You can address the third reason without dealing with the second one.
In other words, we can create a culture of people who LOVE to sing worship songs. That doesn’t make them people who are truly Christ-worshipers.
If you have true worshipers, it will be much easier to create a culture that anticipates new songs.
People who have an earnest hunger and thirst for Jesus will want to find more ways to express that love.
So where do we start building anticipation for a new song?
It starts with us - the leaders and the team. In fact, when it comes to giving a gift, often times the anticipation is greater for the giver than the receiver.
I could barely hold back from giving the iPad to Shannon. I was certainly more excited than she was (at least until she knew what she was opening).
Does your team get excited about a new song and look forward to presenting it to your church? If not, why would your congregation be excited? So that’s where you need to start. That kind of enthusiasm is contagious.
What else can we do to build anticipation among the congregation?
When I think about someone experiencing anticipation for a gift, I think of the kid looking at a pile of presents under the tree on Christmas morning. He’s about to wet his Avengers pajamas because the anticipation’s so great.
Can we really build anticipation for a new song in our worship gatherings (maybe without the bladder control issue)? I think we can. And I’ll be talking more about this in the book working on - SongCycle: A System for Introducing, Rotating and Retiring Your Songs.*
And each time we build anticipation for one new song, we take another step towards becoming a church that values and expects new music.
Questions for dialogue: Do you intentionally build anticipation for a new song? If so, how? If not, what are some ways you think would work in your church?
December 4, 2012Tweet