Sing a New Song

A couple of years ago, our senior pastor gave a message about revival. I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember where I was sitting, even. One of the things that he said that day has stuck with me:

Revival requires new songs be sung.

This was clearly a rhema word for me. In a Pentacostal tradition, rhema words are things that are spoken by the Holy Spirit to an individal, as opposed to a logos word, which is spoken by God to His church. God was trying to tell me something that day.

I remember grabbing a flyer that was in the bulletin and starting to write. Words were just flowing. "You are mercy... you are grace...." On and on. By the end of the message (and yes, I heard the rest of it, too!) I had quite a bit scribbled in the margins. Those words became a song that we would introduce at our church anniversary the next year.

We've been introducing a lot of new songs in service this year. Just off the top of my head, I can think of a dozen or more we've already done, and we have at least three in the hopper that we're working on. I'd say by the end of the year, we'll have brought close to twenty completely new songs to worship service. Thats more than one every three weeks. Just look at all the Sunday Setlists - you'll see a lot of new stuff in just the past eleven weeks.

Why this big upswing in new music, I wonder? We always try to stay fresh and relevant, but this is a new thing. I think it goes back to the pastor's words - revival requires new songs be sung. I think we are in a place where we want to keep doing new things, keep moving forward. As musicians, we are constantly striving to challenge ourselves. (Our choir, Send Judah First, has done close to thirty different songs this year, both old and new - so it's not just the worship team.)

There's always room for old, comfortable songs, of course. Sometimes we switch them up, sometimes we do them the way we have for years. I think there are songs we will never stop doing. But all this new music, in a way, has injected some new life into our worship services. As I go through the setlists that other worship leaders share each week, I am amazed at the scope and breadth of music being done in churches today. Revival is in the land.

How do you feel about new songs?

Here's the song I wrote that day, the first time we did it.


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