How Often To Introduce New Worship Songs In Your Church

How Often Should I Introduce New Worship Songs In My Church? (Podcast Ep. 18)

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Here’s a question I get a lot. Many people wonder “how much is too much” when introducing new songs at their church.

You want to keep current with modern worship and do new songs but you’re not sure how much your church can learn.

Today we’ll talk about the different aspects of introducing new songs and how to go about that.


  • First of all, why introduce new songs?
    • This is biblical
    • Psalm 96 1-3 says Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.
    • Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.
    • Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
    • It keeps people engaged with worship
    • If you sang the same 10 songs for 2 years, eventually people would start skipping the musical worship time and just come for the sermon
    • Keeping things fresh in your ministry is a key component to having successful worship times week after week over the long run
  • But that being said, we can’t overdo it.
    • As worship leaders, we might like to introduce new songs all the time
      • We keep current on new worship music that comes out
      • We hear about other churches doing songs
      • We see the CCLI top 100 and feel behind the times if we’re not doing a popular song
    • But I think most worship leaders realize that we can only introduce songs at a certain level, otherwise we’ll start losing people
    • Have you ever visited a church and you didn’t know any of the songs?
      • You feel a bit lost and you have a hard time engaging, even if the band is great and the words are on the wall
      • That’s how your congregation might feel if you’re overdoing it with new songs.
    • The congregation can’t learn a new song every week
      • You have to look at it from a non-musician’s point of view
        • Most of the people in the congregation probably won’t learn the song as fast as you would
      • Also they are not actively learning the song like you are
        • You intentionally listen to the song, practice singing and playing it on your instrument
        • By the time you introduce it for the first time, you already know it really well. By the time you’ve sung it 2-3 times, you’re almost tired of it. But the congregation is just starting to learn it.
      • Another thing to consider is church attendance.
        • In your church, everyone might come every week
        • But the norm is for people to show up 1-2, maybe 3 Sundays per month.
        • If some people aren’t there when you do the song, that’s another reason they won’t learn it quickly

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  • So, we were talking about how it’s much more difficult for your congregation to learn songs than you probably think
  • So how often should you introduce new songs?
  • We introduce 1 song per month
    • This might vary depending on church attendance, how musical your congregation is, and even the age of your congregation
    • For example, a youth group might be able to learn 2-3 new songs per month, but an older church may only be able to handle 1 new song per quarter.
  • Either way, have a plan on how you’ll introduce
    • We introduce a new song on a 4-week cycle
      • 2 weeks in a row, skip a week, then again on the 4th
      • Then we add that to the regular rotation
    • So we end up introducing one song per month
      • That usually equates to 10-11 songs per year if you remove December when you’re doing Christmas songs and maybe only 1 song over the summer when people are on vacation.
    • So this ends up being a good rhythm. But I’m always still surprised when we’ve been playing a song for 6 months and someone comes up and asks what that new song was. That’s just going to happen, no matter how much thought you put into introducing new songs
  • So let me end with a thought about new worship songs
    • They are great, but introduce songs to your church that will help your church grow in their knowledge of God and worship
    • It’s tempting to do songs because big churches are doing them or wrote them
    • But they might not be good songs for your church.
    • Don’t get FOMO or fear of missing out. Go ahead and “miss out”. Purposely decide NOT to do some songs because they don’t fit your church
    • What matters is not that you’re doing the latest and greatest songs, but the right songs
    • That might be a 150 year old hymn or it might be the song Hillsong or Bethel released yesterday
    • Whatever the case, make sure it fits with your church. Check out Episode 7 for more about how to choose worship songs.

The Bottom Line

Here are 5 ways serving on another worship team makes you a better worship leader.

  1. It’s important to introduce new songs, but not too many too fast
  2. We introduce about 1 song per month which ends up being 10-12 songs per year.
  3. You might introduce songs more often if your church attendance is good or you lead a youth group

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