Thinking Out Loud

March 24, 2009

Enjoy the Worship at 66 Different Churches in One Hour

Filed under: Church, music, worship — Tags: , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:40 pm

I’m convinced that regardless of anyone else’s good intentions, the person who gets the most out of the Sunday worship in most churches are the worship leaders; technical concerns notwithstanding.     These are the people who are most able to immerse themselves in true worship, while at the same time drawing others into the presence of God.

So even though I no longer lead on a regular basis, I’m trying to get into the habit of reading through “The Sunday Setlists” at Fred McKinnon’s blog.   The way it works is that worship leaders — 66 so far this week — post their worship song list on their blogs, and then link to Fred’s blog, which acts as a clearing house (or aggregator) for the other musicians.

and-on-the-7th-daySome of the stories are of people truly thrilled with the opportunity that presents itself each week.    One tells of a man who went forward and prayed for salvation with an enthusiasm that must rival the angels who rejoice at a soul saved.    But Fred also calls them “worship confessionals” such as the one leader who confesses to have forgotten to wear deodorant.   Way too much information.

But that’s what things are like on the other side of the platform; the other side of the microphone.     Mostly, The Sunday Setlist gives you an opportunity to see what praise and worship songs are in use in different places.   If you know the songs, you can hear the worship in your head as you read.   If you see a song you don’t know appearing on several different lists, you know that’s a song you want to check out.

Most noticable trend on The Sunday Setlist:   Opening and closing the service with the same song.   Is this a good idea “bookending” the service with the same chorus, or is the “reprise” too reminiscent of a “show?”


  1. I’ve turned to the family unit in the pew every weekend for the past nine years and said, as if I were a bouncer, “Show’s over! Go home!”

    Thing is, I mean it.

    Comment by Jim — March 24, 2009 @ 9:23 pm

  2. I am somewhat conflicted. On one hand a badly led incoherent worship session is distracting. On the other, if it is too polished it does come off like a show, with no room for God to lead. Our worship leader last Sunday said it always strikes him funny when someone says “I hear they have great worship at that church” But worship is what the individual does in the is the heart by heart decision to open up to God that morning and drink in and respond to His presence! But the site you discussed is pretty innovative…

    Comment by Cynthia — March 25, 2009 @ 12:00 am

  3. […] mentioned a few weeks ago that I enjoy reading the worship sets that people file at Fred McKinnon’s blog as part of […]

    Pingback by The Growing Easter Worship Void: A Last Look at 2009 « Thinking Out Loud — April 29, 2009 @ 10:27 pm

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