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How Often to Introduce New Songs at Church

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You want worship music to be engaging and reflective of your church’s culture. Every church will have a unique selection of songs that fit their congregation best. However, while sticking to your roots is smart, that doesn’t mean you need to leave your congregation singing the songs over and over. In fact, if you are frustrated that your congregation is not involved and engaged in worship as much as you’d like to see, it may be because the songs have grown stale from overplaying them.

How Often to Introduce New Songs at Church

You should be looking to find a healthy balance of familiarity and new songs. Obviously you don’t want the “new” to remain unfamiliar, so you’ll need to be strategic regarding how often you play new songs to get the congregation engaged and excited about new songs. Here are a few tips on how often to introduce new songs at church:

Initial Frequency for a New Song

When you are introducing a new song to your church, you’ll need to be intentional with how frequently you play in within the first month. People generally learn through repetition, so for new songs, it’s a great idea to introduce it and play it back-to-back two weeks in a row (as opposed to spacing it out throughout the month). This gives people a chance to be exposed to it, and then reaffirm it in their minds.

Taking a Break

Playing a new song two weeks in a row is great to get everyone comfortable with it, but playing it three weeks in a row will be pushing it with the congregation. After you initially introduce a song, take a break for a couple weeks and only play familiar songs.

You have to remember – it’s part of the culture of most churches for congregation members to miss Sunday’s. Worship leaders will often be asked what the “new” song was even though they’ve played it 3-4 times over the past couple months. Take breaks after a couple weeks of repetition to keep it from going stale, but don’t be afraid to cycle back to the song on and off every 2-3 weeks until it becomes familiar to everyone.

Frequency of Song Introductions

Now comes the question, “How often should I introduce brand new songs to the congregation?” Knowing how to handle a new song once it’s been played is one thing, but figuring out how sensitive your congregation is to frequently introducing new songs is another.

If you’re following a “2 weeks on, 1 week off, 1 week on” schedule like mentioned above, it should be relatively easy to introduce upwards of 12-20 songs depending on how adaptable your congregation is. However, there are tons of factors that play into your church’s willingness to take on that many songs. The frequency and rate at which you teach your congregation a new song should largely dictate how often you introduce them.

Conclusion

There’s no official “formula” to answer the question. Every church is going to be different, and your church’s general demographics and past experience with the church’s worship culture are going to dictate how often they will want to hear new music.

However, there are a few general guidelines that can be helpful. Usually, a congregation needs to be exposed to a new song a couple times before feeling comfortable, but you don’t want them to get worn out with it. Try playing a new song back-to-back for 2 weeks in a row, drop it for a week, and re-introduce it the next week. That gives them a chance to hear it, learn it, get a break, and feel confident on it the next time around. With that kind of approach, you should be able to introduce anywhere between 12-20 songs per year depending on your church’s response to the new practice!

Chris Fleming, Author

About the Author

Chris Fleming is a professional musician from Minneapolis, MN who has played with artists such as TAYA, Big Daddy Weave, and Jason Gray. He is actively involved with the worship music scene and has contributed as a drummer, music director, song writer, and producer for various worship artists and churches locally and nationally. Chris is the Motion Designer at Motion Worship, helping to create motion background collections and countdowns for our subscribers.

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