All of us here at Worshipflow know you work tirelessly every week to bring the message of the Word to your congregations. We know it’s not an easy task and that many in your congregation may not even fully appreciate the amount of effort and emotion that goes into leading worship each Sunday.
One of the biggest challenges worship leaders face is limited time to plan their songs and setlists. For some, the theme of the sermon isn’t determined until midweek, which leaves little time to plan and practice. This creates a vicious cycle: not enough time to plan, not enough time to practice, and Sunday morning becomes the only opportunity to rehearse.
Here’s the truth – your worship team needs more lead time to be ready to lead worship. If you don’t know the theme of the message until Monday, Tuesday, or even Wednesday, it’s tough to get the music out to your team to practice. And every musician, no matter how skilled, still needs to prepare.
We want to challenge you to think about this – is it really necessary for all songs to connect to the message? Can’t we lead a meaningful time of worship through music, scripture, and prayer that prepares the congregation’s hearts to be open to the Holy Spirit, rather than just their minds to be receptive to a theme? Just imagine the impact a well-planned journey of worship, led by a well-prepared leader and team, could have on the message time. This is more important than having songs with similar key words and ideas.
Here are a few reasons why having a message-themed setlist might not be the best approach:
- Songs might fit lyrically, but they don’t flow musically.
- The worship leader might choose unfamiliar songs to fit the theme.
- People in the congregation might not even notice the connection between the song and message.
So, what can you do to try a different approach?
- Trust the Holy Spirit – often, the music you plan ahead of time without knowing the message will still tie in with what’s being preached.
- Prepare hearts, not a thematic set-up – worship through music is its own space to meet God, not just a preparatory piece for the message.
- Create a compromise – have some connection to the message’s theme, but not at the expense of the quality of worship.
At the end of the day, our goal as worship leaders is to create an environment where people can connect with God and be moved by His presence. By taking a step back from the need for every song to fit the sermon, and by giving our worship teams more preparation time, we can create a more meaningful and impactful worship experience for our congregations. Let’s trust in the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us as we strive to prepare hearts, not just thematic setlists.