How to Create a Praise and Worship List for Your Upcoming Church Service

One of the duties that you have as a worship leader is to select songs for the church worship service.  I will cover a few tips that will help guide you through the process of making a praise and worship list.

I am a firm believer that the music and the message should support each other.

With that in mind, I suggest that you first consult with your head pastor.  As the leader of the church it is his job to guide the congregation.  The pastor should reveal the message topic to you.   This will give you the opportunity to discover what the upcoming sermon topic will be so you can plan accordingly. As you consult with the head pastor you will get a sense and feel for the direction the church is going.  The pastor may even suggest some songs that he feels would be appropriate.

Let’s say for example that the upcoming message topic his “Humility” and the key scripture is James 4:6-10.   This will give you a starting point in your song selection.   With this bit of information you can now move on to the next item.

Once you know what the message is about it is a good idea to take some time a pray.  As you pray let the Holy Spirit guide and direct you.  Let God speak to you and reveal His will for you concerning the song selections.  While you are praying you may get ideas as to what songs will be useful to the worship service.   When you have direction from God you can now proceed to the next item in creating a praise and worship list.

Now that you know what the sermon topic is and you have fully prayed for God’s guidance, you can now search for songs that fit the situation.   What you need to do is look through your music library and other resources to find songs.  Your library may consist of several resources.  These resources can include music compilation book, hymnals, music cd, and individual sheet music.   Get out a sheet of paper and start creating a list of songs that relate the upcoming sermon.   Make any notes that will be helpful to you

Once you have your list of potential songs you will need to organize them for the church worship service.  This will create a flow of songs.

The following chart gives you an example of how to create song flow during a worship service.  Use this chart to help you plan the songs you will use in your church’s service.  Please note that this is a simple outline to follow.  It will help you get started.  But ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit that will guide you though this process.

Song Flow Blueprint

Attention: you will start the service by presenting a song that will get the “attention” of the congregation.  This is a call to worship.

Focus: Once you have the attention of the congregation then you offer a song that will help the people start to “focus” on God.

Praise or Worship  – Once the congregation is now focus on God you can either go into a song of “praise” or a song of “worship”

Celebration – In addition to Praise and Worship you have the option of flowing into a song of “celebration”   The main portion of the service will fall into these three types of songs – praise, worship and celebration. Move freely between each of these three types of songs.

Offering – This is the time where the church performs it act of giving.  Once the offering song is complete you continue by presenting “special music”.

Special Music – This could be a guest artist or it could be a song that reinforces the message of the entire service.

Song that leads into message – By this time the church should be prepared to receive God’s word.  As with all the songs used in the service this one needs to lead into the message topic.

As you move through Your Service, your goal is to prepare the people you serve to enter into a place where they not only experience the presence of God, but also prepare their minds to receive the Bible study message.

Taking the outline of the Song Flow Blueprint you can now create a praise and worship list. Place each song in order.  Get all your recourses together.   Now you want to communicate with your singers and musician the songs they need to learn and know.  You will need to schedule a rehearsal to go over the song selections.  Make sure that each member knows their part.


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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