Freedom NOT to Announce Every Song
I was talking today with a pastor friend of mine. He was telling me how his music minister used to announce the title of every song before he sang it. “Now we’re going to sing Love Lifted Me….The next song is Lord I Lift Your Name…Now we’ll sing Shout to the Lord,” and so forth and so on.
The pastor was careful to let me know that this guy had a great heart for the Lord and much ability. He was just caught in a tradition he had grown up watching and therefore doing. Even though he had come a long way and was now learning to string songs together to create a flow, he still felt compelled to say what each song was. This, of course, hindered the very flow he was trying to create.
The pastor finally sat down with his music minister and simply said, “You know you don’t have to announce every song.” Those simple words, as this pastor intimated to me, “did more good than anything else I could have said to him.” The pastor basically gave that worship leader permission not to introduce each and every song, and it set him free! He immediately stopped, and his songs flowed more freely and naturally than ever! He honed his skills to only announce song titles at strategic places in his sets.
Moral of that story: We need to carefully weigh every word we utter when we stand to lead praise. Are we speaking out of habit or out of lack of forethought of what we are going to say? Might we be uttering some things mostly out of tradition or the selfish need for attention? Why are we talking? That should be a constant thought in our mind.
If God is leading us, go for it. If it truly adds something that is needed to help the congregation better understand or prepare for singing the song, then proceed. I think this should be the rule of thumb for us: Say no more than is absolutely necessary, and if in doubt, say nothing at all!