Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


Fire the Song Leader

  • Jim Townsley
  • Jul 16, 2015
Music is an important part of the church service. The music director and especially the song leader have an key role in the service. Therefore I would encourage you not fire the song leader, but to fire him up and train him to be a spiritual and enthusiastic leader of the congregational singing.  Music will set the tone of the service and it can create an atmosphere that is evangelistic. Also, a spirited music program will prepare the congregation for the preaching and eventually the invitation. Since a significant portion of the service may consist of the congregational singing and special music, planning and preparing the music of the new church must be given significant consideration.
Other than the pastor, the most visible person in the church service will be the song leader. Initially it may be necessary for the pastor to lead the singing, but whoever leads it needs to keep the service lively and moving. The tempo should be upbeat and enthusiastic while encouraging the congregation to sing enthusiastically. Obviously it will be helpful if the song leader has had training, but if not, it is especially important to obtain training for him. Song leading is an important and visible part of the service, so fire up the song leader.
Some key elements of song leading are:
1. Announce the congregational number clearly, loudly, and repeat the number a second time.
2. Use your arms to beat the pattern and keep the congregation and the accompanists together. Even if the pattern is not technically correct using your arms will help keep everyone together.
3. Start the song loudly where all can hear and then lower your voice to allow the congregation to join in. It is not             necessary to be the loudest voice in the building.
4. Begin each verse keeping with the proper timing. Usually people tend to be slow in beginning the following verses.
5. Smile and express meaning so that the service does not become routine.
6. Periodically encourage the accompanist to drop out on the chorus and sing acapella.
7. Prepare an order of service and distribute it to everyone involved in that particular service.
8. Do not talk about each song before it is sung. Leave the preaching to the pastor. Occasionally this technique may be effective but it should not be done every service.
9. Dress appropriately. Keep your hair trimmed, your clothes pressed, and wear a tie. Remember you are representing the church and the Lord.
10. Choose the old hymns and gospel songs that have spiritual depth to them. People will learn to love what you teach them. Why not teach them the best?
11. Bathe the service in prayer. It is no coincidence when the song service mirrors the preacher's message.
12. Choose songs that are pleasing to God and appropriate for each particular Sunday giving consideration for special days and holidays.
12. You can't please everyone so determine to please God.
13. The congregation should be stretched from time to time to learn new songs. Most song books have between three hundred and five hundred selections but often the church tends to sing the same ones.
Music is of great importance to a new church. Make developing your music program a priority. There may be music workshops available for all of your music leaders. It will be worth your time and money to take them to these special seminars. Remember that your song service will have a great impression on everyone attending so "fire up your song leader."