Why Those Songs?!
by Keum Hwang
Being in music ministry for over 13 years I’ve heard:
“Why do we sing _____ song(s)?!” or
“Why can’t we sing _______ song(s)?” or
“Why are we not singing ________ song(s)?” or
“We haven’t sung ______ song(s)!”
Some may have wondered why their favorite song has not been sung in church lately.
Some have approached me with great questions on “why” and had wonderful suggestions with “we should…”
Many times, my answers are the same, “We’ll sing them as soon as the scripture calls for them.”
So, I thought I would share with you, the thought process on selecting hymns (both traditional and praise) for worship.
- Read bible for upcoming Sundays scripture, theme, message
- Narrow down the songs with these things in mind: scripture, theology, tunes, inclusive language, familiarity and sing-ability
- Refine the song list down to reflect theology through prayer, meditation and the Holy Spirit
- Criteria: Can this song be used by God to transform people’s lives?
- Criteria: Will this song invoke questions, challenges and strengthen to our belief/faith in God?
- After narrowing down to 3-5 songs;
Practice! Over and over again till I get the pronunciation right, feels right in the voice and in my hands.
- Finalize the selections
- Practice! To emphasize the key words and phrases to reflect scripture and theology.