The Importance of the Opening Song
Welcome to Worship
One hundred people enter from all walks of life. Some are struggling with addictions, some with divorce, some with a job they don’t like, some with mis-behaving children, some with family troubles, some are over-worked, some are in financial ruin, some are dealing with loss, some are looking for work, some struggle with disease, some are overwhelmed, some are near to death, some are depressed, some are insecure, some are feeling heaps of guilt from a signature sin, some are bewildered, some doubt God’s existence, some wonder if God hears their prayers, some need counseling, some are perfectionists, some are burned out, all are sinners, and some actually think they are normal and trouble-free. These are the people I worship with every Sunday. I am one of them. Welcome to worship.
“We open this morning’s worship in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.” – Your Pastor
Now that deserves a response! It is time for the opening song.
My favorite song location is the “Hymn of the Day.” It is sung right before the sermon and to the best of our ability is lyrically spot-on with his message and the scripture readings.
Next to the HOTD, my song of choice is the opening congregational piece because the Spirit can use this song to help prepare the tribe of varied worshippers with their myriad mindsets into a unified group of believers and followers with one common goal – if not only for the next hour. This is the song that the Holy Spirit can use to level the playing field. This is the song that helps to prepare our minds for worship. This is the song that delineates the worship service from the rest of the weekly grind. This is the wake up call. This is the call to worship. Reveille! This song is the trend setter for the mood of the service to follow. This song is powerful because the Spirit is present in the gathered assembly. You are in worship and your problems, troubles, concerns and thoughts are minimized in comparison to the Almighty. He can handle all of these burdens before blinking if He so desires.
How To Choose This Song
There are several hints in the preceding paragraph. It is a wake up call – it can be lively. It prepares people for worship – it should be edifying and pointing to God. It is used by the Holy Spirit – it needs to be grounded in scriptural truths. It needs to show who is in charge and it’s not you, your family, your job, your financial situation, your anything – it is Christ centered, or Gospel centered, or God centered. It’s like a compass always pointing to the truth. It is a piece that people can rely on. It is a piece that helps to carry them through the upcoming week. The song should move their heart, mind, body and soul.
Looking for a Few God Songs?
- Blessed Jesus, at Your Word
- Stand Up! Stand Up! For Jesus – try singing this one actually standing up for a change.
- God Himself is Present
- To Your Temple I Draw Near
- Now the Silence
- Gather in His Name – by Gwen Smith and Carl Cartee
- Enter This Temple – by Leland Mooring
- Here I Am Lord – Dan Schutte
- Here With Me – Bart Millard
- Here for You – by Matt Reman and Matt Maher
- Here – by Kari Jobe
- Meet Us Here – Mike Honholtz