At BCC, our music has always been a large part of our identity. For example, you might think that the BCC worship service created a need for a music ministry. In reality, it was a group of students coming together to worship in the way they knew, forming Gospel Soul Innovators, that gave rise to a local church.
Our music has changed a lot since then, but some things have remained the same: a heart to please God and to give voice to a multicultural church’s worship. With that in mind, here are some factors we use in selecting songs and preparing music for our worship services.
1. Make His praise glorious.
Psalm 66:1-2 reads,
Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious.
At BCC, we take this to mean that we are going to bring it: voices, instruments, technology, and everything we have to make God’s praise fit for a king.
2. Songs that serve a purpose.
We choose songs that play different roles in revealing Christ and expressing our worship. Most of our songs fit into one of these categories.
Exhortation – encouraging others to praise. Example: Again I Say Rejoice
Prayer – Example: Open Up
Confession – this includes confessing our sinfulness as well as making confessions of our faith. An example of the latter would be Say So.
3. New songs.
Many times the Psalms exhort us to “sing a new song!” This doesn’t mean that we should neglect older songs. The Christian tradition is obviously rich with hymns and songs that have been passed down from those who have preceded us. However, without rejecting established songs, we at BCC seem to have a bent toward what’s new.
4. Original songs and arrangements.
At BCC, we value creativity, and for years, we have expressed it through original songwriting. We have hosted songwriting sessions and retreats for our music team members, allowing the creativity and heart of BCC to come through in the songs we write. You can sample and download many of our original songs at GSI’s music site.
We also take songs with the right lyrics and melody and give them a style that fits ours. For example, you have to check out the original recording of this song – it’s much different than how we do it!
5. Songs that feel like “us.”
Throughout the years, we’ve sung many really good songs that for some reason just didn’t connect with our congregation. I think it was because the music just didn’t feel like us. Either the style of the music didn’t fit, or the way the lyrics were expressed didn’t seem natural for us.
Ultimately, we’re after songs that we can play and sing with complete conviction, holding nothing back. We connect with those songs that seem to take the words right out of our hearts and put them in a setting that we can enjoy.
We’d love to hear what you’re listening to. Do you have a song that you love to worship to?