Why We Use New Songs.
Let's put it to rest... Singing new songs of worship is biblical. More than that... singing songs that come only from your soul are biblical too. (Ie. spontaneous worship from your soul that no one else might be able to follow.) David sees the joy of being rescued by the Lord and declares in Psalm 40:3, "He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God." Psalm 96:1 commands, "Sing to the Lord a new song. Sing to the Lord all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name!" New songs show a fresh love for God.
New songs also allow newer believers (and even true seekers) to relate and integrate into our worship since newer music is more similar to what is in the culture of the world. (Note: We are not OF this world, but we are IN it. We can use that for godly purposes like Paul did as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.) New songs allow newer people to feel they are on an even playing field with people who have been in the church for decades and know all the other music.
Check out this excerpt from gotquestions.org:
Spiritual Songs & New Songs.
The term spiritual songs can have a wider meaning. A “spiritual song” could refer to any song with a spiritual theme, such as a modern praise chorus or a song of personal testimony. A spiritual song might express the joy of one’s salvation, revel in the grace of Christ, exalt the greatness and power of God—in short, a spiritual song can communicate a wide variety of sacred themes. A spiritual song could also be what Scripture elsewhere calls a “new song.” From Psalms to Revelation, the Bible encourages us to “sing a new song to the Lord” (Psalm 96:1; 144:9; Isaiah 42:10; Revelation 5:9; 14:3). Psalm 40:3 says, “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.”
A new song is one that arises from the spirit of a person whose heart overflows with adoration for God. Paul’s instruction to the Ephesians about music is preceded by the command to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). When we are filled with the Spirit, then psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are the natural expression of our hearts. A Spirit-filled person is a singing person. One clear indication that a person is filled with the Holy Spirit is a natural desire to sing and praise God. Musical ability has little to do with it. God created us to find great spiritual expression through music (Psalm 135:3; Judges 5:3). Scripture is filled with music, and God delights when we use what He created to worship Him (Deuteronomy 31:19; Psalm 33:2; 149:3). [end excerpt]
Choosing New Music.
Select new music because, first and foremost, it contains the truth of God. Then consider how catchy and singable it is, how it fits within the church, and how it fits within the current repertoire. We had to add missional songs, because we had but a few. And we are a "missional" church, so our songs need to reflect that! We recently have been adding more upbeat songs because we noticed we were lacking in that area. So balance out your repertoire with new songs.
Rate of Learning New Music.
Keep in mind that for every one time a congregant sings a song in church the worship team has heard the recording a few times, practiced at home a few times (hopefully), practiced with the team a few times, and played and sung through the song a few times on Sunday morning. So for every 9-12 times the worship team members has used a song, the congregation may have used it once. By the time the team has used the song 50 times the congregation has only sung it 4-5 times! They have only just learned it and are beginning to worship with it freely when the worship team begins feeling like the song is "old". Worship team: dig into those lyrics and keep the song fresh for the Lord! Even songs that have been sung 50 times need to come from a fresh place as a "new song from your mouth".
Never use more than two brand new songs in one service. And try avoiding using both a new song and a song for only it's second time in the same service. It's too much for the average person to learn. As a result, mathematically, you'll see that this works out to not having more than 26 new songs each year. Even churches like Hillsong (who are big "worshiping" churches) don't use more than 26 new songs a year. Most churches would be better using 12-20 new songs a year.
Utilizing New Music.
Tie the first time use of a song to the start of a series or a special Sunday. This helps to make it special and create a memory for the song. To help the church learn a new song, don't use it once and wait too long to come back to it. Some leaders introduce a new song and don't use it again for a few months. People will never learn it that way and as a result won't worship with it.
Use a new song at least 2 Sundays in a row and frequently the first 2 months. Our worship department follows a general guideline for new songs: Use it week one, week two, then week three and a couple more times within the next month. This way the congregation hears the song about 5 times in two months. It greatly increases the chances of them learning the song. Which increases the chance that they can freely worship with it.
When introducing a new song, TEACH IT! Don't just sing it. There's nothing wrong with letting people know it is a new song. Sing the chorus once for them. Then have them join you. Then add a bridge. Stop and start. Encourage them. It's church. Not a concert. Teach them. We often do this for a new song as a prelude, then use the song in it's entirety later in that service. When we use the new song in the service, we put a very well known song next to it.
We also post a YouTube link of every new song to our church Facebook page the week before we use first use it so everyone in the church has the opportunity to hear it at home. I use this blog to do the same thing.
Be on the Same Page.
If you have multiple worship leaders, do your utmost to have each worship leader agree to use the song or it won't be used well by everyone and therefore the church may not worship with it well. As leaders, the worship team needs to worship with the song themselves! If they don't, they cannot lead. As I say to my team... You cannot lead someone to a place you have not been yourself. This goes for new and newer songs.
Bottom Line: New songs are good to use. They are even biblical. Choose them and utilize them strategically so your church can worship well!
worship Him 24/7...