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5 Steps To A Successful Church Singing Devotional

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

Ephesian 5:18b-21 NET ...but be filled by the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for each other in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

  1. PRE-SELECT SONG LIST Select 12-18 songs (for a 90 minute devotional) that include simple, known songs that can be sung easily and that are loved by your church. Also include a few you want to introduce and one or two you want to teach.

  2. SING A LOT / TALK LITTLE People come to a singing devotional to sing, not to hear a lot of lessons, talking, and other things. The more focused you are on the songs and actually singing and teaching the parts, the more enjoyable the evening is. A good goal is 80% singing, 20% ALL other talking (or better).

  3. SIMPLE SETUP It’s not necessary to use a band if the goal is singing and to teach some songs. If you aren’t trying to teach and learn voice parts and new songs and you’re goal is to have a time of worship and praise, then certainly use whatever instruments you want. If you ARE teaching parts or introducing some new songs or you just want simple accompaniment, use a piano/keyboard or acoustic guitar to help as you teach.

  4. DIVIDE INTO VOCAL PARTS (optional, but suggested) During the first part of the evening, people can sit in any area and with whom they wish. When you move into the time to teach parts, it’s best to have everyone divide up and sit with others who sing their same vocal part. I realize most people say they don’t know what part they can or should sing; so here is a good way to describe 4 part singing and how to choose what voice to sing: SOPRANO - Woman’s voice. Tends to sings higher than lower pitches. ALTO - Woman’s voice. Tends to sing lower than higher pitches. TENOR - Man’s voice. Tends to sing higher than lower pitches. BASS - Man’s voice. Tends to sing lower than higher pitches. Another way to describe the 4 voices in a cappella singing: There are 2 female parts & 2 male parts. Each has a higher voice and a lower voice. Then as you look at the music in a typical hymn, there are two lines of music (staffs) on top of each other - the upper line (staff) is sung by female voices and the lower line (staff) is sung by male voices. Each line (staff) has two notes on top of each other. Soprano is the note on top with note stems pointing up. Alto is the note on bottom with note stems pointing down. The lower line (staff) is for male voices. Tenor is the note on top with note stems pointing up. Bass is the note on bottom with note stems pointing down.

  5. ADD NEWLY LEARNED SONGS TO SUNDAY WORSHIP This may seem obvious but it’s important to sing these songs on the following Sunday and mid-weeks. Spaced repetition helps what you taught to stick. Remind the church when they’re about to sing one of the songs you taught the vocal parts to. Consider having your part leaders or chorus sing the first verse & chorus without the church singing just to help them remember their parts. Please come back and share with us what has helped you have successful congregational singing devotionals. And please share this post and In the Key of Praise worship blog with your worship ministries.

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