Build Better Worship Sets

Many worship leaders have never been taught the purpose of a worship set. Nor have they been taught HOW to build a set that flows musically and thematically toward a climactic destination of God’s glory and grandeur. If that sounds complicated, don’t worry. This episode is me teaching a group of worship leaders how to improve their worship sets by understanding a few simple frameworks. By the time you finish this episode, you’ll know how to build better worship sets. And when you strengthen your sets, you’ll strengthen your church’s response in worship. If you enjoy this episode, send it on to a friend. 
 
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Transcript

Alex |

Welcome back to another episode of the Worship Ministry Training podcast. My name is Alex and I am thrilled that you are tuning in and just investing in yourself, in your ministry, in your leadership, in your church. When you get stronger and your team gets stronger and your ministry gets stronger, your church gets stronger. And that in turn impacts the world around you. Because, honestly, worship leaders are world changers. Not because we’re anything fancy, but because God forms his people through the gathered corporate worship experience. He forms and makes disciples through what you do every single week. It’s not just leading songs, you’re forming disciples. And when you do that, and you do that well, which hopefully you are, which is why you’re listening to this, because you want to make sure you are. And good for you for that. When you do that, your church gets stronger, the people go out, they make more disciples, they bring people into the family of God. So you are a world changer by God’s grace, and we’re unworthy servants. Amen. So welcome.

 

Alex |

Glad you’re here.

 

Alex |

If it’s your first time, I’m going to encourage you to hit subscribe, whether on your podcast app or on YouTube, if you’re watching this on YouTube. And also go back and listen to the last eight years of episodes because we have tons of episodes on different topics and they are all topical and as indepth as possible and as practical as possible because I believe that theory is great, but implementing that theory so that real change happens is better.

 

Alex |

Okay?

 

Alex |

And so that’s how I’ve structured this podcast for the last eight years. This episode you’re about to hear is one of the workshops that I taught while at the Loop Community Conference in Chicago of October 2022. This specific workshop was about building better worship sets, and it’s basically my entire worship set building course, which is like a three and a half hour course. You can get it in the academy, by the way. It’s that course boiled down to like 45 minutes.

 

Alex |

Okay?

 

Alex |

So it’s like drinking from a fire hose. But I thought it was important to try to pack as much helpful info into that 45 minutes workshop as possible. So I hope you’re helped by it. If it makes you want more, I would encourage you to check out the Worship Ministry Training Academy because you can get the full course, including some examples of me actually building a set live, like on the fly for one dollars. You can try it out for 15 days. You get that course, plus nine other courses, plus live monthly training on various applicable topics to worship industry, plus weekly live coaching calls. With me, you can ask whatever question is pressing on you right now. You get the full community. So everybody from all around the world who are chatting and who are discussing different things about worship and what else, you get tons of resources like a pre built audition process and onboarding documents templates. You get weekly team DeVos for your team so you can leave them spiritually. Anyway, you get a ton of stuff in the academy. $1 to try for 15 days. Okay, so go to worshipinistrytraining.com if you want more of this type of content.

 

Alex |

If you don’t, that’s okay. Here’s a free podcast episode about how to build better sets. I hope it helps you build better sets.

 

Alex |

I am the founder of it was a podcast called Worshipman’s Training. Still is, but now I just evolved into an academy with courses and specialists. I’m also a worship pastor. Large church in La. 10,000 people, kind of like big. But I also served in 150 person churches and 450 person churches and a seven. So I have been through wherever you’re at, I’ve probably been there. I was even on the mission field in Russia for two years. The thing that I want to share is I think it’s important that we understand it’s cool to come to conferences like this. It’s cool to be wowed by the big stage and the lights and the amazing band. They were amazing. It’s really cool to be wowed by all that. But what I want to encourage you with is that God called you to your particular context and you can do an excellent job in your context. It doesn’t have to look like that. I really want you to know that. I really want you to hear that everything you’re looking at on Instagram and YouTube, that is cool to be inspired. But that is not what God called YouTube.

 

Alex |

And he’d not call you to be that either. And he just called you to be excellent where he has you. And so hopefully this lesson about building engaging songs success will show you that you can be excellent with what you have. Even if what you have is just a CAHone player and an acoustic guitar, you can still build better engaging worship success. So here’s kind of my big point, and then I’m going to explain how we do this. But the strength of your worship sets will directly impact the strength of your church’s engagement in worship. I know the Holy Spirit is involved. I’m not discounting his involvement. I know the word is important. But I’m just saying the stronger your steps can be, the stronger your people’s responses and worship can be. And I learned this firsthand in 2015, I took a break for ministry and I was visiting a bunch of different churches. I went to all the big churches. I went to some small churches. And I’m telling you, I went to this big church. It was huge. That church like, had all the lights, they had amazing sound, they had killer musicians, they were super talented, they had excellent on lock.

 

Alex |

But the people were standing and watching. The people in this church were not engaging in worship. And I don’t know about you. I don’t care about all the excellence. I want my church to engage with the Lord. That is the purpose of leading worship, is to help people commune with the Lord. And so I went to that big church. I was like, what’s going on? They’ve got everything that is supposed to work, but the sets weren’t working. The set was clunky. They executed it awesome. But no thematic flow, no musical flow. It didn’t really lead anybody to a God centered destination, which all these things we’re going to talk about today. Then the following week, I went to this tiny, predominantly African American Baptist church. Literally, they were super good musicians, like, amazing, but all they had was drums, bass, organ, and acquire with an SM 58 taped to the ceiling, the microphone. I’m telling you, they led me and worship better than anyone I’ve ever been led by. Why? Well, because their passion, first of all, I was like dang passion over performance. But secondly was also because their sets their sets were full of rich biblical hymns.

 

Alex |

I’m not saying we should all be hymns. Don’t worry, it’s not going to be how to build a Him set, but rich songs, deep theology, moving poetry, executed, excellently led, authentically. And the strength of the set made me engage with the Lord waive more than that big, fancy, cool church. So the strength of yourselves will directly influence the strength of your church’s response in worship. And I can pretty much guarantee that. And like I said, you can do that in a very small room with an acoustic guitar in a box or on a big stage with all the bells and whistles. But your set is like, you’ve got to get that right. Okay? If you don’t get that right, you will see engagement go down again. There are other factors to engagement. I have courses about that, but this is about the set. So I want to try to make this a little bit interactive. I know there’s a lot of us, and I know we only have 50 minutes, so I just want to put this set up on the screen, and I want you guys to just quickly popcorn out. What is wrong if you think there’s anything wrong with this set?

 

Alex |

If you don’t, that’s okay. What is wrong with this set if you’re just, like, looking at it and like, what’s wrong with this set? Any ideas? Yeah, I’ll talk you through some of my observations. Number one alive fun song. It’s that hillsong you. Alive, fun, lyrically weak. Okay. And we’ll talk about that later. Lyrically Weak song syncopated and I’ve interviewed the guy who wrote it, so I love to be sweet, but this song is weak. If you’re watching Alex pop up, sorry. Lyrically week, syncopatedated and rhythm. So what that means is nothing can be that’s kind of easy for us, but not for the plumber, not for the holiday and all the people that make up your church. It’s not very singable is my point. So it’s hard to sing and it has those long instrumentals. I can guarantee you no one’s going to dance. Okay. So they’re not going to dance during the instrumental. They’re going to stop and stare. So it’s going to disengage them. Okay, so that song, the second song, we have a huge drop in tempo from fast to super slow, super quiet, and there’s no ecolation, like you said, so you’re going to go from E to G, which is like, going to feel really weird.

 

Alex |

And then the speed goes back up for God’s Soul Love, which is a fun song, it’s a great song, but there’s no thematic correlation between Holy Spirit, you’re welcome here and for God so love. God so nothing at all. There’s no thought process behind that. It’s just like you picked ram songs out of the hat and this song, God so Love is not a God word song. It’s not you God, it’s he. So you’re actually singing to the congregation, come all you weary, come on. So it’s outward right? Instead of upward. So that’s a problem in worship set. I’m not saying you can’t play that song, but maybe it’s like the first song, right? So it’s in the wrong spot and then the last one. It’s a great, beautiful hymn. We all love it. Hopefully you know it. If you’re young, you should check it out. Good theology, but again, no correlation in the key. B flat to F sharp. I could show you on the guitar, but it’s just going to feel awkward. It’s not going to just flow from one to the next. And then again, no hematic tiein. And here’s the biggest problem.

 

Alex |

I think I surrender. All so your last song of Zen is eye centered instead of Godcentered. And you want to take people on a destination, on a journey to a climactic view of God’s glory and grandeur and goodness. That’s the end game. You want your whole set to flow to this point of climax of like, all they’re looking at is God. Okay, so great job, you guys nailed that. Thank you. You’re excellent student. So if you had to guess how I picked that set, what would you say? Honestly, it was random and a lot of worship leaders, they do random set picking. They’re like, I got 25 minutes to fill, I’m going to pick five songs. I like this one, she Sings that one good. Pastor likes that one and I need one that’s slow. Okay, there we go. That’s a pretty weak way to build a set. It’s not a very pastoral way and it’s not a very, I guess, caring way. My opinion is it doesn’t bring God our best. Okay, so like I said, a set like this will affect your church’s worship. When we have weak sets, we have weak worship.

 

Alex |

And the reason for this, I think it’s biblical. I think I can say that biblically is because worship biblical worship is always revelation first, then response. And so what do I mean by that? Like if you think of Isaiah I see the Lord, see it on throne exalted. What happens? He falls on his face and worships. Woe is me, I’m unworthy. When he sees God clearly he’s worshiping. And then Peter in the boat, right? He’s like the miraculous catch a fish. He realizes who Jesus is. Kind of like the blinders come off. He sees Jesus as he actually is for the first time. He falls on his knees. He’s like away from me Lord, I’m a sinful man. So as soon as you have a revelation, you have a response. And so our job in our sense is to clearly reveal Christ to our people. And when we do that, they won’t be able to not respond passionately. If your sense are vague and unclear or don’t give people a sense of God’s danger then they will just respond like trudging their shoulders disinterest, right? When we reveal Christ clearly our people will worship strongly.

 

Alex |

That’s the bottom line. And so our job guys, is not to just pick five random songs. And I don’t think anyone in here is doing that. And if you are, it’s okay. We’re all on a journey, we’re all learning, right? But our job is to reveal Christ through our sense. That is super important. Our job is to reveal Christ through the strong songs that we put together in a thoughtful cohesive way to reveal Christ to our people. And I like to say this, I still haven’t John pipe broke but I added the word. We want to help people see Savor and sing to Jesus. We want you to help them see Savor and sing to Jesus. That’s a cool phrase, God. So what does it mean? Well, I think it means this we want to help them see by learning who God is. We want to help them learn who he is. Give them something meaty to chew on in the song. Not just like random Christians like filler words, right? Help them learn about God is that helps them see. We want to help them savor by helping them love God through emotional arrangements and emotional moments in a set and even just emotional expressive lyrics of a song, right?

 

Alex |

And then we want to help them sing, which is to respond. And that’s why I said we need to pick singable songs. Because sometimes the song you like is not the song the Karination needs to sing. Just because you like it doesn’t mean they need to sing it. And that’s important. There are a lot of great songs out there on the internet but that doesn’t mean it’s a strong congregational song. So that is important. We want to help people to see, favor and sing to God. And so we’re not there to simply sing songs. And this is important. And I think you guys all know this. We’re not there to simply sing songs. We’re there to leave the room. That’s what we’re there to do. I see a lot of worship people is just get up there, they just play through the songs and they get off stage, they’re done like, no. You guys are pastors, you’re shepherds, your church leaders, and you want to view that time as time to just reveal Christ. Sometimes you’re going to use songs, sometimes you’re going to use scripture. Sometimes you’re going to use prayers. Sometimes you’re going to use the video testimony.

 

Alex |

Sometimes you might share an exhortation, but you want to use that 25 minutes to move beyond just playing through the songs. That’s not your job. Job is to leave the room. Okay, so we talk about weak songs, right? The reason why your songs are important before we even start building the set is because the songs are the fundamental building blocks of your set, okay? So if you have weak songs, you’re going to have a weak set, period. There’s no way around that. Like, if you fill your set with weak songs, you will get a week set. One plus one equals two. You make stew with rotten ingredients. You have rotten stew. I know that’s kind of gross, but you get the picture. So there’s no way around this. You have to take a look at your songs first. And I talked about why I think Alive is kind of a weak song, but I think it’s probably helpful if I share what is a strong song. And then I’m going to ask you to go home and do a song audit. And when I first got to my church, I grabbed the other two words of weirds.

 

Alex |

We looked at the whole list and we were like, cut, cut, cut, cut. We just cut, like, a bunch of songs. We had, like, 200 in too many anyway, but we cut all the weak ones, and immediately the strengths were set improved. So here are the five qualities of a strong song. I’m going to move quickly through this. I’m giving you the super condensed version of, like, a three hour course that’s in worship. So this is fast. Okay, but I think you’ll get the meat out of it. First thing we want to do is when we’re evaluating our songs, is it biblical? That’s important. So you don’t want to teach a church heresy. I just found out about this thing. Yeah. Okay. You guys, by the way, your teacher is more than the pastor. I’m just going to say that the pastor can be mad at any later, but you guys are actually helping people remember biblical truth more than the pastor, because nobody I’m sorry, any pastors here, nobody remembers the pastor’s sermon after lunch. They’re forgotten, but they’re singing that song. But they’re singing the song at the end of service all week long or on somebody’s deathbed or when they lose a child or when they’re going through divorce, they’re singing the songs that you put on their lips.

 

Alex |

I just feel the weight of that. Okay, yeah. So biblical, you want to have biblical songs. So I found out about this thing in Westminster training academy. Somebody posted it yesterday. I was like, whoa. She said there’s a thing called the Korean test.com. I don’t know if you Google it, but basically you can evaluate the lyrics of a song. Biblically, they do it for you. So check it out. Korean test. Okay, so biblical, clear meaning is not vague. It’s not Christianity, it’s not filler. You want it to mean something. Here’s how you know a good sermon and you know a good song. It says one thing. Well, okay, so man of Sorrows by Hill song Such a good song. It says, Jesus suffered for our sins. That’s it. Whereas something like, oh, I’m going into your song. It says like, 85,000 things. You’re like, I don’t even know what the song is about, but it feels good. But that’s not clear. Find clear songs. Okay. And then we want to find a singable song. We talked about that for, like, 10,000 reasons. Sally the homemaker can sing that. Paul the Plumber can sing that. And then God centered we talked about you want to sing to God, not about God.

 

Alex |

And then the last thing is necessary for my church, maybe you have 100 songs about the cross. You don’t need to add the new one that came out. So those are the ways you can assess the strength of a song. And again, your goal is before you even build a set, make sure you have strong songs and go home from this conference and go do a song audit. If you have planning fair, open your song library and just like, really think through the songs with these in mind and be like, you know, they just kind of stare at us when we play that one because it’s like so many electronic instrumentals over there. So archive it. Okay? Archive the super unclear one and archive just do a song about it. I promise it’ll help your test to get better. Okay, that’s a thumb. Now we’re going to move into the steps. So here we’re going to talk about the set billing process that I use. And I’m not saying my way is right. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned. Okay? So the first thing I do before I start building a set, can anybody guess what it might be?

 

Alex |

You’re so smart. I don’t always do it. Do you guys always pray before you take a pet? No. You try to, but you don’t always do. I know. So God help us. Please help us to remember to pray. And why do you guys think that it would be important to pray at the top? Yeah, being willing to let God interrupt your plans through praying. I was thinking this, but he’s thinking like, let’s start with an old hymn. Who knows? Also God knows the heart of every congregation member that’s going to come on Sunday. And he knows what they need to sing, right? He also knows what your pastor is planning to preach on. And God even knows that your pastor is going to change his mind in the middle of the sermon and say something else. And he knows that you need to sing a song at the end of the service, right? So that’s why we pray, okay? Once we pray, there’s two other things we need to do before we start picking songs, and these are very important and some people don’t think about them. So the two things you want to do before you pick a song is to determine your theme.

 

Alex |

One of you mentioned that already and assess your band. So determine your theme. Let’s start with that. Determine your theme. The best worship steps follow a coherent theme. It’s like a good conversation. You don’t talk about 18 different things in different directions. Like a good conversation starts here, meanders through some commonality and common themes, and it lands somewhere else, right? So you don’t want to have like schizophrenic songs where like, one song you’re singing about God’s wrath, and the next song you’re singing about God’s love, and the next song you’re singing about the Holy Spirit, and the next song you think about Jesus is coming back soon. Those are all great things. I’m not saying not important to think about those things, I’m just saying I think we could do better. Let’s take them on a journey, right? We want to have instead of five random thoughts that are completely unconnected, we want to have the songs build upon each other, amplify one another, and just like, unfold towards a climatic destination of God’s character and work. And whether that means the set is based around the righteousness of Christ or the holiness of God or our need for a savior or simply just his name, you could build a whole set around his name.

 

Alex |

I could think of like 18 songs right now. Let it be your Name, tremor, Jesus, you make the darkness like all these songs, right? It’s not like every song has to perfectly match the theme, but you want to let them tie together. And I’ll show you that in a minute. I’ll demonstrate that for you. I personally like to try to match the themes of the songs about with what my pastor is preaching on. So I would encourage you to have a cadence of communication with your pastor. What are you teaching on this week or at my church? The pastor knows for the next eight weeks, like, you’re in the sermon passages. So what I will do is I’ll go read the passage, I’ll look for the key themes in the passage. They’ll be confused by keywords. Sometimes people see like, the word grace and they’re like how to think all about grace, but the passages paul is just saying grace and truth is greeting, right? So you want to look for what does this task really mean? And then you want to be able to just find that core, boil it down. Is it about surrender?

 

Alex |

Okay, then we’re going to pick songs about surrender. Is it about holiness? We’re going to think about us surrendering to God so that we become a holy or is it about his holiness? We’re going to sing songs about how great he is, how great is our God worthy or whatever. So you want to determine the theme. That’s the first thing before you even pick your song, because what that’s going to do is it’s going to limit the amount of songs you can choose from. And sometimes many times limitations are helpful. If you have so many choices, you’re like, I don’t know what to do, but if you’re like, oh, it’s narrowing me down to focus on this. Okay, I only have 18 songs from about that, so it makes it easier. So second thing you want to do is to assess your band so you want to assess your band for two areas. One is talent and the other is texture. You want to look at your band’s talent, and you want to look at the textures available to you. So let’s just talk about talent. Basically your goal. Every musician has their own set of strengths and weaknesses.

 

Alex |

You all know that I have a set of strengths and weaknesses. This Sunday, I played at a church out here in Chicago, and I had to play a bunch of gospel songs, and I was like, this is hard. I’m just like, give me the strength of you. Your band has strengths and weaknesses, and you want to play to their strengths and minimize their weaknesses by picking songs that they can succeed in. Okay, so you want to set your band up for success. Like I said, is a drummer like a rock drummer? Then pick lion. And the lamb. Is he like a groovy pocket drummer? Then pick, I don’t know, like an Israel Looping song or something? What are they good at? You want to try to pick songs? Like, if I have an elite guitar player who’s pretty new and struggling, I’m not going to give him some song with a hard riff because I may challenge him like four weeks in advance. He practice, practice, practice, practice. But I’m not just going to be like, oh, I’m actually going to think about it. Can he succeed in this? Can she succeed in this? Think about your vocalist strength.

 

Alex |

Like, is Sally have a soft voice good for an intimate song or like, a big vocalist for a powerful song? So think about your musicians before you even pick your songs. That’s the first thing is assessing their talents. And the second thing is just simple, like simply assessing the textures available to you. So if you have a huge band, great. Pick some huge songs. Pick great. I am. You guys are some great im. It’s like this epic anthem. You have two guitars, great. Play that, but don’t play it with a box. And like an acoustic it’s going to be so lame. So you want to look at your team and go, what textures are available to me? If it’s just acoustic, guitar, shaker and box, then you’re going to want to play like Jesus, we love you. Something really simple, something pretty. Your name is like honey. It’s something that could just be super, like, stripped back and it works. Okay, so now thank you, guys. Now we can build a set. Okay. We’re going to pick songs. So we want to pick songs around a theme. So we’re going to do this together. Okay.

 

Alex |

So we’re going to build a set together based on some of these things we talked about. And then we’re going to get the songs in and then we’re going to polish it up, work on our transition and add some additional elements. And we’re going to have an awesome set that you can use this Sunday if you want. All right, so let’s get some songs down. Let’s build a set around the cross. Topic of the cross. So what are some songs about the cross? Anyone? That’s a beautiful song. Yes, it is. What key do you use that in? C? Yeah. And these keys, by the way, this is what you’re going to do when you’re actually building your set. You’re going to ignore your keys because you can move your keys up and down a half step or even a whole step to better build flow and better build, like, key relations between songs. And I’m going to show you how to do that’s. Making me think of we flow down. So sometimes when you’re flowing and you’re thinking of song, we remind you another song and you put it in your list. The goal of Orange right now is we’re going to make a huge list and then we’re going to cut most of them.

 

Alex |

Okay. That’s how I do it. Again, this is how you it’s not how you have to do it, but this is what helps me. I used to do that. EF. Okay. Anyone else? Any other songs? What are we missing right now? We’re missing something. Yeah, Jesus paid it all. And last thing I would say, we’re missing at least one fast song. Love changes everything. I’m going to say also because I know the line in the land talks about your land. That was flame. Your blood breaks the chains. Something else about sin, whatever. I’m just going to put that so the cool thing about all these songs is they could be either male ed or female ed. So that’s going to also help you build musical flow because if it’s too high for you, it’s not too high for. A girl, like, if I’m a man. Anyway, you get my point. He just ran into something that happens to me all the time. We’ve got this nice long list, and I saw your brain going, where’s some past ones? Yeah, where are some past ones on this? Yeah, I wasn’t planning on talking about this, but let me just share one small tip.

 

Alex |

Basically, in planning center, you can create tags. So what I did is I went through all my songs and I said, good first song tag. And I called a good first song, good second song tag. Good third song tag. Then when I’m sitting here like, dad, I need a good fast one, I will put the tag on, and then I have my list right there. So you can do that as opposed to another day. Okay, so we’ve got that list, but now we need to work to find flow. And what we’re going to do is we’re going to come back to that list, god willing, I finish some time, and we’re going to finish this up. So you want to build two things, thematic flow and musical flow. We’ve talked about kind of all of this, but I’m going to show you what that means. Thematic flow is you’re tying the thoughts of songs together. You’re tying the thoughts of songs together so you’re not just random all over the place. So an example would be if we’re thinking about the name of Jesus, what a beautiful name is. The name of Jesus. Your name is honey on my lips So you got name and name, and you tie them right there together, and you maybe cut an outro and you cut an intro so that they’re more prominent in people’s minds.

 

Alex |

And then when you get to your name, it’s like if you get to him to that, it’s like, Jesus, Jesus, I love you. I love you. Jesus, we love you how we love you. So you see how it makes sense. It’s one thing that just is getting amplified. That’s what you want to do with thematic flow. Look at the last or the key center point of the song or the last lines that you’re singing and think, what song needs to go here? So that the words and the thoughts match or are amplified or are more nuanced and expanded. That’s the goal. Not Holy Spirit and then God’s the love of the world. That’s not helping anymore. Okay, so thematic flow, at the same time you want to be thinking about musical flow. Two ways to think about musical flow. I’m going to say something. It’s very we all know it, and I’m not saying it’s right, but like, tempo and key are kind of the two ways you build musical flow. And this is the thing I’m going to say to you guys. So the thing I’m gonna say is tempo mostly, it makes sense to start with a bad song.

 

Alex |

I know it’s a photo song. Okay? I’m just like I know that’s lame. I know that’s obvious. I know it’s maybe even like what’s the word? Cliche. Cliche. Thank you. Thank you guys. So I get it, but honestly, it really does usually work. They did it in there today, right? House of the Lord. And then second song was mid tempo and then we closed with a big Godcentered song, right? So usually you want to build your sense, one fast tempo, two mid tempo, one slower, epic, Godcentered king of kings type song, okay? That is not always the case. Sometimes God may say, I want you to start super slow. I want you to start with a chorus and reckless love and just loop it. If he says that, do it, okay? Because he probably knows better. And like David said, a rut is a bad way to lead worship. So sometimes if it’s always the same, start with a fast. Sometimes you need to break your cargo’s brain. Then you’re like way, what is happening here? And then they pay attention and they lean in. Okay? So sometimes you’re going to be like, we’re starting slow and we’re ending fast or we’re doing all slow.

 

Alex |

One time I did an ALLHIM Sunday with just piano and it was pretty interesting. So tempo usually again, usually it helps and here’s why. Because like, upbeat fast gets their bodies moving and we’re fully integrated human beings. So our bodies and our spirits are tied together in our minds. It’s all one thing. We’re one human, right? So when you’re moving with your body or when you raise your hands, all you nation show the God algorithm. You raising your hands. It’s doing something in your spirit too. So those up temple ones are helpful. Okay, so usually fast to flow. Okay, I know I’m moving really fast, guys. I want to make sure we finish on that. Okay, so the second way though is to correlate your keys. This is really big. I see a lot of work leaders not to do this. If we go back to our bad example of the first song alive, that’s the key of D, right? And then the second song will be G. And then the third song was weird, and then the last one was so be fun. So I don’t know if those feel weird, but it would feel weird if I played the whole song and then switch right away to the next one.

 

Alex |

What you want to do is you want to correlate your keys using relative keys and I’m going to show you how to do that. So relative keys are on the screen. You can take a picture. I think I’m going to also give you a QR code so that you can get that. But basically I’m not a music theory guru. No one has to be a music theory guru to be a great worship leader, I’ll just tell you that. But there’s usually three ways you can go at the end of a song, the one, which is the root, the four, which is I’ll show you and then the 5145. And all of those represent the one, four, five in the kind of commons, worship leading key. Okay? So basically one, I’ll show you. One to one means you stay in the same key. So you go from G and the next song is in G. Okay, so I didn’t change keys. That’s the one to the one. The other way to do it is one to the four. So one to the four would be like lion and lamb. The outro. If I stop right there, see, I’m on the floor and I can now set up my next song.

 

Alex |

So instead of playing all the way through and landing on Dana, instead of going back to the one, I can land it early, have my band crashes out on the four. So it’ll be like, shh. And then you just go like, I went from G to C and you didn’t really feel it, right? It’s kind of like we just ended song on the C and then we started the next song on the QC. Is this new to anybody or you guys are like, duh. Anybody. Okay. Sounds like duh. All right. And the last one is like Your Love Never Failed from G to D, the one to the five. Is this confusing? No, it’s helpful. Okay, so I ended that song on the D, the five chord. So anyway, you see how relating your keys will make your transition smooth. That’s my point. You never want to break the moment because you work to build the moment. Keep them in the moment. Don’t just like stop dead silence, change your capo, press your tutor. And we’re going to talk about transitions in a minute. You can get this and a whole bunch of other free resources at worshipment.

 

Alex |

Comresources. And there’s that and a bunch of other stuff. Okay? The important thing about building flow is we’re supposed to take them somewhere. And where we’re taking them is to a clear and climactic vision of God. Because remember, revelation leads to response. You want to make the flow, take them to a clear picture of God. And I like to say you want to end with vertical songs, songs to God, not songs about God, big songs that paint the glories and grandeur and goodness of God in vivid imagery. Songs where they can just get lost and just sing. Here’s a list of songs that you probably have thought of that match. That how great they are. Revelation song. You’re a great name. We fall down any song that they’re holy, holy, holy or worthy, worthy, worthy. The angels are singing it. We’re probably good to join in. Okay. Hi, Exalty. I love Tagging. It on your end. What a beautiful name. King of Kings is the new one. So that is how we want to end our song. Now what I want to do just though quickly is just talk about the importance of transitions because once you build your set that’s great, but that’s just a good set.

 

Alex |

You can take it to a great set by polishing into perfection through transitions and through additional elements and transitions. You want like some of those related keys will help your transitions be smoother. Also lots of symbols on top of between sections of songs. Transitions be smoother. So it’s pro tip if you didn’t know that, just have your drummer go while you switch to the next song. I haven’t keep doing it until the downbeat of the one. That will help a lot. But yeah, I will skip transitions. But the point is to practice them. Practice your transitions. I spent as much time practicing the songs with my team on transitions as the actual songs themselves. So you want to get those right because you want to keep people in the flow. The more immersive, the better your transitions are, the more immersive your sets will be because you’re not going to break people’s attention. The job of a worship leader is to point people to Jesus and remove as many distractions as humanly possible. Okay? So I’ll say that again in case you want right now the job of the worship leader is to point people to Jesus and remove as many distractions as humanly possible.

 

Alex |

And good transitions will help you do that. Transitions help turn five individual songs into one unbroken time of praise. And one pro tip about this that I’ll tell you is cutting the intros and outros of songs. If you have a long outro and a long intro, you have people standing and staring and doing nothing for a long period of time. So cuts, you don’t need to do the full outro or the full intro. Okay? So that’s transitions. And then lastly additional elements would be things like calls to worship. So reminding people why they’re there, telling them why they’re there. You guys got out of bed today. You guys are at the Worship Innovators conference because you’re amazing and because you want to learn. I just affirm something in you that is actually true and you’re telling me that your truth is the same thing through Call to worship. You’re here because you got out of bed. You could have done a million other things, but you chose to come worship. And then you read a psalm or a part of psalm call to worship. Prayer exhortations might be like before. It will be my joy to say your way.

 

Alex |

You could have the band vamp on that bridge before you start to sing and say like, hey guys, there might be something in your life that you need to lay down and idle a sin. You just need to let it go right now. I want you to just let it go as we sing this next part. You took 15 seconds you passed with your people, and then you made them. The lyrics mean something. Okay? So that’s what I mean by expectations. Scriptures on screen read, whether you read them upfront or you do a corporate reading or what I like to do little pro tip if there’s a long instrumental, put a scripture on the screen. Let them do something. While they’re waiting for your guitar player to finish jam, let them engage. Okay? And then testimonies if you want to share, like, what this all means to you or team members, you guys, videos and tags. So I don’t have time to go through all this, because you would have to be in your next one in five minutes. I wanted to say, like I said, this was a 50 minutes version of a three hour course in worship ministry training.

 

Alex |

If you want to get Richmond’s training has we have ten courses. Ten courses live. Monthly trainings, exclusive podcast, interviews live that you can ask questions to people like Brandon Lakes, Andy Rodsier, like people that you probably want to talk to. You can be there to ask questions live, and it’s one dollars, 15 days. After that, it’s $29 a month. And I actually have cards that will take 30% off for life. Anyway, I hope this was helpful. I’d love to meet you in the academy or challenge you after or hang out here if you want to meet your next one.

 

Alex |

All right, I hope this episode was helpful to you, and I pray that you do take your set building process seriously, that you really do try to be pastoral about it, and that you try to point people to give them a clear view of God, his goodness, and his glory, because when they see God clearly, they will worship Him passionately. So hope this episode helped. Send it on to someone else who you think would help. And feel free to jump into the academy. Again, one dollars for 15 days, full access. Or if you’re like, you know what? I don’t want full access, but I would love the community, or I’d love to ask questions about this episode. There is a free tier to the academy, which is just the community chat and some free sample courses. So you can jump into that by going to worship ministrytraining.com free. And I’ll see you in the academy, whether the free tier or the full access tier. But God bless you guys. I’ll see you next month for another helpful episode.