BACKSTAGE PASS: The How’s And Why’s Behind The Curtain, Part 1

Part 1 of 3

                                                      Music Sheets by David.

I am a “what happened behind the scenes?” kind of guy. I love it. I’d rather watch a movie commentary than a movie. I can listen to the crew of a film talk for three hours about a film that put me to sleep in three minutes. Just tell me how the screenwriter got the idea! Why were those actors chosen? Were there others who turned the roles down? Why? Did the studio step in and wreck the film by trying to mainstream it? How different is it from the book?

Just in case you like to know what goes on behind the scenes too, I’m pulling back the curtain (as if I have any curtains) on how we choose the songs we play on Sunday morning. We have a bit over 100 songs we rotate in and out of the set depending on what we believe God is telling us to emphasize and depending on the season we feel like our people are in. As we rotate them and add to them, we try to meet three basic desires:

1. The Desire To Keep Sunday Worship Music Fresh.

I try to make sure that you don’t feel like you’re singing the same song every time you show up. In fact, if you do feel that way, it’s probably because you only show up every six weeks or so (most of our songs don’t get repeated more than once every 2 months). The challenge for me is to keep the music from feeling stale without introducing so many new songs that people get overwhelmed and become unfamiliar with them.

So how do you add a new song without making the church learn a new song? Well, you can’t of course, but you kind of can. This year we began adding songs to Sunday morning that you have very likely heard before, but probably not for a long time. That way there is a sense of novelty to them, but you’re not required to do any learning. One week, over half the set was from the 90s era, one week it was from Appalachia and featured a banjo, and many other times we played one shot blasts from the past. Sometimes (but not all times) these are even songs we got tired of long ago or stopped playing because we decided they are cheesy, but... on the right day, with the right message, and not having heard them for a while, they are smashing!

Songs is this category:

  • How Majestic Is Your Name
  • Shine Jesus Shine
  • Lord, I Lift Your Name On High
  • As The Deer
  • Celebrate Jesus Celebrate
  • Father I Adore You
  • I Saw The Light
  • Do Lord

*Keep in mind, if you love some of these songs, then they aren’t the cheesy ones, they are the good ones :)

Check back next Wednesday to find out our next desire...

David Barton

David is the Worship Director at Maple Grove.