Each Sunday Like A Wedding
There is a time-honored wedding tradition in which the bride is supposed to bring to the wedding “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”. I like that. It reminds me of something Jesus once said:
…“every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” (Matthew 13:52, ESV)
When we prepare to lead the church in Sunday morning worship, I really believe that it is helpful and beneficial to treat that moment like practice for the wedding that is to come. One day Christ will return for his bride – the church! Oh what a day that will be! Until that day, we can practice.
As we continually practice for the wedding, I think it is appropriate for the bride (us) to bring each Sunday something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
What do I mean by that? I am actually referring to our song selection as Worship Leaders. How do you select your songs for each Sunday morning? Are you just using the songs that are most popular today? Do you depend heavily on older songs? Are you singing new, original, unique songs to the LORD? Is there a place for lamentations in your song service?
Personally, I like the approach of treating each Sunday like a wedding. Practically speaking, this is what I mean…
Something Old: I always try to include a hymn in my Sunday morning set list. It is good to be reminded of the fact that the God we sing about today is the same God who has been sung about for generation after generation! We stand on the shoulders of giants when we sing songs about our never-changing, faithful God. Older members of the congregation will appreciate these songs, but it is not just for them. It is also (maybe especially) for the youth.
Something New: In saying “something new,” I am referring to a song that is fresh, original, and unique to your specific congregation or context. It is biblical to sing a new song unto the LORD (see Isaiah 42:10, Psalm 33:3, and Revelation 14:3 for example, though there are many others). I always try to include a song that was written by myself or someone within the congregation or local community when I craft a Sunday morning set list.
Something Borrowed: The bulk of my Sunday morning set list falls into this category. In saying “something borrowed,” I am referring to the current most popular and relevant church songs of today. The CCLI Top 100 is a great place to find songs to “borrow”.
Something Blue: When you read though the Psalms (Israel’s original songbook), you will notice that there were many different expressions of worship for the people of Israel. One of those expressions was that of lamentation. The reality is that life is not always good or fun. Sometimes life is really hard. Sometimes life is noticeably not fair. If all we ever do during a Sunday morning is celebrate life’s victories, we will alienate a large portion of our congregations, namely that portion who do not currently feel joyful or victorious. It is good and right to give a voice to their situation on a Sunday morning, as well. I always try to include something “blue” in my Sunday morning set list as a way of reminding one another that God is still good even when things are bad.
By applying the old adage, and treating each Sunday like a wedding, you can be sure to have a well-rounded approach that will edify the largest amount of people, and in so doing you will be like the scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven like Jesus spoke of.
* For a printable version of this article, click here.
Artwork provided by my good friend, Brooke Gehman, an authentic and wonderful man of God, devoted follower of Christ, and an amazing husband and father. Brooke is a gifted Worship Leader, an incredible artist, and a Potter by trade (check out his website).