Planning the hardest worship service ever...

As a worship leader, one of the hardest things for me to do is to pick only 2-3 songs. Typically I plan to have 6 songs a week during the service, so honing it in to 1/2 that is hard for me. There are thousands of great hymns and praise songs, like there are thousands of great verses in scripture. How can 2-3 songs encompass everything you want to say? Well, they can't. No more than 2-3 verses can encompass the entire Bible.

So, I have to think about worship planning like a pastor preaching a 5 minute sermon. A 5 minute sermon does not allow for a long sermon outline covering an entire book. A 5 minute sermon must be direct and to the point, with life application that can be easily remembered at lunch an hour later. So the question I have to keep in mind, is: what is the one thing I want people to take away from their time of worship.

As many of you know from reading our story over at , our beautiful son Josiah passed away at 8 months old of a rare congenital heart defect. In planning his memorial service, I felt very strongly that I needed to lead the music for the service. Why? We really wanted a time of worship and celebration that would have a lasting impact, rather than just a few good songs to move the memorial service along. I felt this would be difficult for anyone to do without having personally known Josiah. So, I needed to pick 2-3 songs.

After a ton of wrestling back and forth, the 3 songs I landed on were.

It Is Well - Horatio Spafford
Never Let Go - Matt Redman
Everything Glorious - Crowder

Can you see the 1 sermon application point I wanted to leave people with?

It Is Well
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Never Let Go
And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We'll live to know You here on the earth

Everything Glorious
The day is brighter here with You
The night is lighter than its hue
Would lead me to believe
Which leads me to believe
You make everything glorious

So, here is the one point I wanted to share in honor of Josiah, if I can put it together for you.

Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well,
And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
You make everything glorious

In all that we have been through, God has taught us to hold on to him, and He will be glorified.

Worship Leaders: Take the time to reduce your worship set to 1 statement. Pastors who are making a lasting impact do it all the time. Worship leader, what if YOU did it all the time? What if your 1 statement is the same as the 1 statement your pastor is making?


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