A few days ago I talked about the need for more uptempo songs, and that brought to mind the construction of worship set flows in general. In a great worship set, we have all experienced what I call “heart songs” – these are songs that really connect with your particular congregation. In the majority of cases, these are “power ballads” – slower songs that build and build, especially in the bridge section. They are the songs that have the deepest emotional impact in a worship set.
So, the obvious question: If the power ballads are so effective, why do uptempo, or any other kind of worship songs? Why not just write power ballads about whatever aspect of God or our relationship with Him that you want to get across [which is, in fact, what seems to be happening in many churches]? It’s the same reason that a story doesn’t jump directly to ending. Effective worship sets take people on a journey, just like a good story. Stories set the scene and then build from there – they take the reader through a variety of situations and emotions, always moving towards a pivotal moment. Trying to have that pivotal moment in a story or movie over and over just doesn’t work – imagine Luke simply fighting Darth Vader for the entirety of the original three Star Wars movies. More definitely does not equal better in a case like that – the same thing is true for a worship set.