5 reasons why worship leaders need to repeat songs

I will start by saying there is never a concrete rule when it comes to being a worship leader. The minute you decide you have a formula that makes it all work perfectly, God tends to come in and shake things up a bit. Don't look at this post as a concrete rule.

1. Repetition builds confidence.
Most congregations like hearing new songs. But, they will only stand and listen to the great new song, unless they have been given an opportunity to learn it over a few weeks/months. Only then will they be confident enough to clap, sing , and shout.

2. Repetition builds trust.
Playing a song in the same structure (something like V1 C V2 C B C C) each time you lead it helps a congregation greatly. No one wants to be the guy who shouts out the bridge at the top of his lungs, while the band has gone back to Verse 1 unexpectedly and reverently. The congregation learns to trust that a worship leader won't set them up for embarrassment.

3. Repetition makes a band play better.
Think of how many times U2 or Dave Matthews has to play the same tunes over and over again. This makes the band passionate, accurate, and tight. Why wouldn't you want your worship band to feel the same way? Don't throw so much new music at them that they can't play with excellence.

4. Repetition makes you lead better
New songs are intimidating for everyone. Doing a song you have led within the last 2 months is good for every worship leader. It makes you sing and play with passion and excitement rather than fear and trembling, because you have a good idea how the congregation will react to different parts of the song.

5. Repetition is necessary for recognition
A congregation will never be able to grasp the theology behind a song before they know the song. Typically a worship leader will have listened to a song 20-25 times before they lead it. This means they have a good grasp on how the song ties into the Pastor's message that day, or why it thematically should follow the previous song. However a congregation will not be able to follow your reasoning as a worship leader for how you prepared a set list, until they know and recognize a song and its lyrics.

Obviously new songs in worship are a must. However, don't get caught putting out so much new stuff that your congregation can't keep up. They are your focus. They are who you are leading into worship. Don't leave them behind. Don't be the leader who forges on ahead only to turn around and realize there isn't anyone behind you anymore...


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