Do you ever feel like your praise team is kinda missing something in their delivery of worship? You’ve seen those praise teams that just have this “flow” in their service. Things just naturally move from one song to another in a kind of organic way. Sadly though, for many younger, newly established praise teams it’s more like “and now for our next number”.
I referred to it in the subject line as the A&B selection mentality. I realize that I have readers from many backgrounds, nationalities and even a few different countries who might have NO CLUE what I’m talking about there, so let me briefly explain. The term “an A & a B selection” is an old term that has been used for many years in the black church. You’d hear the emcee announce “And now the choir will come to us with an A & a B selection”. It simply meant that the choir would be singing 2 songs (I’m speaking as if this term isn’t still being used, lol!). The two songs don’t necessarily have anything in common with each other besides the fact that they’re both Gospel songs.
This is fine for a choir, group or ensemble. For a praise team though, it’s not the ideal way to go. A praise team’s job is to help set an atmosphere that encourages corporate praise and/or worship. We want everyone to be in a place where they are communing with God in a very personal way. As such a praise team must seek to do more than just simply sing two praise team songs. Many praise teams, for example, feel that because it’s “praise and worship” we must sing a fast song (for the praise) and a slow song (for the worship). There’s not much thought put into it beyond that though.
As a result, many praise teams find that even when the audience is enjoying their selections, they fall short of creating that atmosphere of worship. It ends up a lot like a mini version of the choir. So in order to really be effective a praise team has to break out of this “one song, then another song” way of ministering. Here are 3 ways you can help your praise team develop that natural, organic worship style where worship seems to just kind of evolve from one stage to the next.
1. Look for songs of similar subject matter.
Find songs that have similar lyrical content. These songs will feel more natural when you sing them back to back because one will feel like a continuation of the same thought or message.
2. Try doing songs with similar tempo/feel
Don’t get too locked into thinking you have to do a fast song and a slow song. Think instead about songs that have a similar tempo or feel. I.e, two up-tempo songs rather than one really up-tempo song and then a very slow worship song with totally different subject matter.
3. Try to avoid the “dead stop” between songs
Even if the tempo of the next song is dramatically different than the one before, the most effective praise teams find ways to make the transition between the two feel natural and smooth. Your musician(s) (can be an integral part of helping make this happen). Try to avoid ending a song and completely stopping down. Instead look for ways to connect and transition out of one song and into the next. Here’s one example we did recently using two songs with totally different tempos but very similar lyrical content.
We sang VaShawn Mitchel’s “Chasing After You” and transitioned out of that into a very slow song, More, More, More by Joan Rosario. The two are very different as far as feel and tempo, but they worked great together because “Chasing After You” ends with the lyrics repeating “more and more”. We simply came out of that and into the chorus of More, More, More.
Get the idea? This is not only a very effective way to help take your praise team’s ministry to new heights, but it’s really fun to do and you’ll get into it once you get started. In fact, let’s start now! Leave me a comment below and tell me two praise and/or worship songs that would be great together back to back.
If you found this article helpful and would like more information like this for your praise/worship team you can get 12 more just like it in my new e-book Praise Team 101.