Ask Ahead of Time

Dwayne Moore muses in a post entitled How Much Music Is Enough In a Worship Service?

How many songs are “just right” in one worship gathering? Exactly how long should the music portion of the service go?

These are great questions. Rather than prescribing a set number of songs Moore lists a 10 question diagnostic that he personally goes through when deciding how long to play.

When looking at his list I admired that fact that seeking God first is so prevalent. I’m also huge on deferring to the leadership of your Senior Pastor.

Where I disagree is that he seems to be mostly asking, “How long should I go?” in the middle of his set. There’s an emphasis on current moment.

I tend to ask myself these questions during my planing time rather than waiting until I’m on stage to figure it out. For me the number of songs and the length and order of the set should be determined way ahead of time. This doesn’t mean your not open to last minute changes like dropping a song when another aspect of the service goes too long. And it doesn’t mean you close yourself to the leading of the Holy Spirit – it simply means you ask for the Holy Spirit’s leading when you plan the service.

My advice: Don’t wait until your already on stage to ask for the Holy Spirit’s help.

Ask Ahead of Time.

6 Responses to “Ask Ahead of Time”

  1. 1 Chris December 13, 2007 at 7:49 pm


    The Holy Spirit can’t guide you in your planning time. It’s all about spontaneity, baby! 😉

  2. 2 Russ December 13, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Agreed, Billy. The older I get, the more I lean towards planning/seeking…as opposed to spontaneous/seeking.

  3. 3 Jeremy Killian December 14, 2007 at 6:35 am

    I think it would be awesome, and really freak out my bandmembers for me to simply add and subtract songs from the set on Sunday morning. I am laughing out loud right now just thinking about the pandemonium that would result!

  4. 4 Billy Chia December 14, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    I know planning is against the teachings of the Bible but sometimes you just gotta break the rules right?

    Right on, I think I was more lulled by the excitement of improv when I was younger. I still believe there’s a place for improvisation and last minute flexibility but now I couch it in terms of what’s best for the service and message being conveyed rather than just doing it becuase I think it’s cool. (In all fairness I think Dwayne Moore couches his improvisation in the same terms.)

    Jeremy – me too!

  5. 5 Dwayne Moore December 21, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    Hey guys, thanks for all the discussion! I’m glad something I wrote provokes some careful thought. Let me encourage you to order a copy of my forthcoming worship study, Praise More Powerful. It should help us find the scriptural balance of planning and spontaneity that we are all so in need of. The study is due out in the fall of 2008 by Group Publishing. Thanks so much and blessings! – Dwayne Moore

  6. 6 Billy Chia December 22, 2007 at 10:54 am

    Thanks for stopping by and exciting to hear about your new book from Group.

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