Finding uplifting, theologically sound music for worship is a complex task! We’ve had many conversations in our congregation in recent years about how to mix up our singing. Our annual fee for a copyright license (CCLI) opens up thousands of songs to us. But then we have to figure out which ones we want to learn. Who will teach the congregation new songs? Or will the song leader just sing them for us? Which ones will become beloved and familiar? Sometimes I end up writing Didn’t go over well or Don’t use in the margin of the office copy of my hymnal.
Rev. Laurie TenHave-Chapman is the pastor of the First Congregational Church of Rockford (Michigan), United Church of Christ. She strives for engaging worship that brings people into the presence of Christ through a balance of tradition and innovation. She and her congregation received a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship for 2015–2016. For her project “Walk with Me,” she spent the worship year immersed in the four gospels and drew from the arts to bring alive the story of Jesus. You may follow her at her blog, preachinglife.wordpress.com.