First set and the Big Bang theory

Most people start their working week on Monday. Some in our church even work all day Sunday and just knock off work in time to get to church. They are depressed about the week stretching out ahead of them. If Church is in the morning then parents have been waging a war to get o church on time. If it is the evening then most young people have been spending the day with their family. They are tired, they are tense, they are not excited.
Imagine if the first song we sang was a new slow number in a minor key - about man's depravity. This will just disengage the congregation. They already don't feel like being there. How can we use the very first thing we do to turn people's eyes and hearts heavenward? We want people to suddenly get a reality check and gain perspective about their weariness. We want people to stop wallowing in their self-pity and start loving and glorifying Jesus. How?
I choose songs that proclaim big victory ideas. Things like God being Lord of all things or Jesus being King of the world. I also choose songs that are simple lyrically so that it is easy for people to engage with them when they are feeling very disengaged. You want people to suddenly walk out of the world and come and experience something of the Big Bang theory. Their hearts should ignite and suddenly their minds see the week just gone in perspective. This process brings sudden change and evolution so that people are ready to serve one another and hear God's word. The Spirit is the only one who can bring this change and He works through the word of God. That's why I don't choose songs just because they are lively. A lively song that doesn't have biblical truth will do nothing for people's hearts. They need be engaged with God's word and his spirit working through the word.
I try and fit songs in with a theme or idea that will presented in the Bible that night. Of all times, the first set is least crucial for doing this. People will probably forget what they first sing and this time is much better for building a joyful community who love Jesus and who love praising him together.
If you are part of a church use the first set to encourage one another loudly in song. Be a servant by singing with enthusiasm even if its the last thing you feel like. Help others forget their worries and remember their savior.

Posted byDan at 8:00 AM  


David said... 2:50 PM  

hey dan.
great ideas.
good explanation of the 'why' of first up song selection.
good stuff.

can you tell us your thinking on doing 3: first 2 being big bang but then 3rd - being a bit slower etc?

i have a good idea about how that works... but keen to hear your "why"



ps - blog is looking good. good now it has direction. keep it up

Dan said... 3:50 PM  

I don't think it's always necessary to do three songs. The times when I do, I like to drop back for the third because often people are more receptive to being reflective (that sounds like a Tony Robbins saying).
The first two songs will help capture people and energise them and help shake off the tunnel-vision life in the world gives us. The third allows more reflection as well as just giving dynamics to the musical landscape of the set. This helps people concentrate.

I haven't always done this. Once or twice we have tried doing things differently and starting low-key, but this hasn't been as helpful for people. It is still good to mix it up though. We don't want to be trapped in a formula.

Andy M said... 2:54 PM  

Hey Dan. Andy here (Dave's bro).

I've enjoyed reading your reflections on church music, particularly as I have started this year leading the music at our church.

I couldn't agree with you more about the "big bang" theory, and I've been making that my aim too and there's a good handful of songs that are great tools for doing so.

Keep up the good work. I look forward to some more interactions on church + music.

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