Five Step Process For Creating a Worship Music List

Let’s say that you have been given the task of selecting songs for the weekly worship service at your church. How do you go about selecting the right songs? In this article I want to share some basic insights into how to create a music list for a Christian worship service.

I will cover these five steps. Beginning with the first step where you will pray for guidance. Next you will want to consult with the bible study teacher. Then you will need to find the songs that work for the sermon. Once you have the songs you will need to organize them in a coherent orderly list. Finally, you will then consolidate the list and finalize the results.

Pray for guidance and direction.

When you are given the task of making song selections for a worship service, you should pray. This is always an advisable thing to do. You need to ask God for direction and guidance. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you.

Consult with church leadership.

You will want to talk to your pastor or bible study leader. By doing this you will understand what direction they are going. In your conversation you will want to find out what the general topic of the sermon will be. Let’s say that the general topic is “Hope in Jesus”. This will give you some guidance as to what kind of songs to select. In this case you will want to finds songs that deal with the topic of “Hope in Jesus”. In addition to getting the general topic, you will also want to know if there are any specific scripture that will be used in the sermon. By know what scriptures are being considered will help you in finding appropriate songs. Often times you will find scripture references in most song books. Sometimes you will find a scripture song matches the verse or verses selected by the bible study teacher. Also, the bible study leader may have some songs they would like to include. You need to be open to that possibility.

Research the songs.

Hopefully you have a decent music library. If not, you need to build one. There are literally thousands of song books and hymnals that you can use to find the right songs for the worship service. Another alternative that is popular is to use the Internet to find songs. Just use your favorite search engine and enter the subject, or verse with the main subject of the sermon. Now get a piece of paper and write down all the possible songs that will fit the direction of the sermon. It is a good idea to select more than you think you will need.

Organize and Select the best songs

Now that you know what the sermon topic is and you’ve selected several possible songs, you will need to narrow down your selection of songs. In this step you will want to create a worship flow. Here you need to use your musical experience to make sure that the songs fit well together. You will need to consider things like the key, tempo, similarity.

To start the worship service you will need to select a song that will get the people’s attention. This will probably be an upbeat song. Once you have their attention you will need to bring a song that will help the people focus. Then once they are focus on worship you will need to present songs or praise, worship and celebration. Then the music can flow into the offering. This can be followed by special music. This can be one of the most powerful moments in the service. And if at all possible should reinforce and prepare the church for the sermon.

Finalize your selections.

Now that you have prayed, consulted, researched, organized, it is time to finalize your song list. This may require the approval of the church leadership and others in your team.


John Pape from El Cajon California, an independent, self-managed Christian songwriter who creates worship and praise music for seekers and believers in the church. His music ministry mission is to create songs that will encourage a closer relationship to Jesus. The songs are crafted to encourage Christians in their daily walk. The songs provide a positive soundtrack for people’s lives. John’s songwriting drive is to honor God though words and music. His experience has grown over several years of honing the art of songwriting. In addition to writing songs, John also uses his musical gifts to lead worship in local churches. Currently John is working on a project to release several new Praise and Worship songs that were written to build and encourage Christians in their daily walk. John has loved music all his life. His first musical experience was playing the violin at the Bostonia Elementary School Orchestra and singing in the Glee Club. During high school John got a guitar. This began a new venture that has continued to this day. Learning all he could about the guitar and music John became a very competent musician. The enthusiasm for this instrument led him to become involved with various rock bands. At first these groups played popular cover tunes. Eventually, John’s desire to express more artistic creativity led him to collaborate with others to write original music. Out of this a home recording studio was created and at the same time the songs were being performed with a music group. Most of the venues were at local San Diego establishments. John is also author of the book “Building a House of Worship”. The book was written as a guide to Christian church worship leaders to better minister to the people they serve as they use their gift of music. “Music is a wonderful thing.” says John, “It has the unique ability to invoke emotions without any words. Add Lyrics and the words meanings are enhanced tenfold.” John continued to say, “Music is such an integral part of life. I love the creation of a new song.”

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