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Song Selection At Grace

How Do We Choose Songs Each Week?

At Grace, we want to select songs that resonate with the church body. For years, the church as a collective whole have maintained a massive collection of songs to draw from. Most of these songs find their final resting place in song books, choral books, etc and are never even sung. Because of the technology available today, we can call upon songs of the past as well as search for new songs by topic at a moment’s notice. It is our desire that we place before our congregation songs that have great value and meaning.

For some, that “great value and meaning” may be songs that are deeply grounded in history – hymns of the past. For others, it may be a fast-paced song that sings of our love for God. Still to others, it may be a slow song singing of God’s love for us. There are others that may connect with a song that was never even written for the church – a song that may be played on secular radio – but can be applied to a particular church application…or simply to get the blood pumping on a given Sunday.

We simply want to provide a good mixture of songs that bring our congregation together in song. To do this, we utilize our “Five Spoke Song Wheel”.

Our five spokes are broken down into five categories:

  1. Brand new songs
  2. New songs
  3. Old songs
  4. Evergreen songs
  5. Special purpose songs

BRAND NEW SONGS

Have you noticed that when you listen to the radio, you will hear the newest songs very frequently? In fact, those who listen to traditional FM stations and XM Radio stations will become discouraged if they listen to a station long enough and don't hear their favorite new song. After a while - they will change the station in hopes of hearing it elsewhere. If you've ever wondered why you may hear a certain song a lot in a church - this is the same concept.

We will introduce up to two songs every five weeks. The process is simple. We ask our staff, our Redemptive Arts team, and members of our congregation to submit songs to us for consideration. We put each of these songs into a private playlist for our Song Selection Team to listen to and see and hear what God speaks to them thru the filter of Grace Church with the song. Once each month - we whittle the list down to 16 songs. From there...we take the process into a very spiritual process - a bracket competition. (OK...so not as spiritual as you had hoped, right?) We will try to compare like songs with like songs (ballads with ballads, fast with fast, ect.). We will then whittle the list down to 8...then 4....then 2...then find our winner. The song that rises to the top will likely go into our rotation as a "Brand New Song".

From there, we are very specific in how the songs are introduced. You have already experienced this - and may not even realize it. We will do a "Brand New Song" the first time for two weeks in a row. This gives our members time to learn a song - but not grow bored of it. "Seriously, the same song AGAIN?" We then give it a rest for a week. The following week we bring it back. We give it a rest for two more weeks - then bring it back the next week. Essentially, we have a seven week launch in which the song is played four times. After this stretch, the song becomes a "New Song."

NEW SONGS

New Songs are songs that are between 7-12 weeks old. These songs are still very current to the church and played the most frequently. These songs may be played every 2-3 weeks until it falls into the "Old" category.

OLD SONGS

Old Songs are songs that are 12 weeks or older. These songs may "feel" new - but need to be played less frequently. At most, they should be played 3-6 times per year.

There are still two other spokes on our wheel - but I want to take a moment to talk about the total amount of songs. Keeping our song catalog fairly small helps with a few things - it keeps the content fresh - and helps the congregation to hear songs that they want to hear without wading through years of a vast song library. It also helps the teams playing the song be able to focus on a smaller library of songs - and better focus on the new songs as they are added. We try to keep this total in our current library to 40-50 songs.

EVERGREEN SONGS

These are songs are "standards". Lets face it - "Amazing Grace" isn't going to go away - and shouldn't. These are songs that are played 1-3 times per year.

SPECIAL PURPOSE SONGS

These songs are songs that you probably don't need to have in a rotation. Are you doing a special series called "Supernatural Myths" and decided to play the theme from the movie "Ghostbusters"? Yeah - I'm pretty sure that song won't be repeated again...like...ever. These are the "Special Purpose Songs".

FINAL THOUGHTS

So the next time you hear a song and think "didn't we just hear that song - we hope you will understand the reasoning. You may better understand why you hear your favorite songs on the radio as well.

Want to make a song suggestion? Use the form below to make your recommendation.

Song Suggestion

Your Name (required)

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Song Name

Where can i find this song online? (please provide link to Youtube, Spotify, etc)

What scriptural reference can you find for the song?

Why does this song resonate with you? What is your "song story"?

(Next Section ONLY if this is an original song)

Did you write this song?
YesNoNo - but I know the person who did.

Upload your original song here...

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