You know what I’m talking about; in between songs, the bass player hits a couple of notes to adjust his tone or the singer leans back to take a long swig of water. And it happens with bands big and small.
In an entertainment culture, this is normal. The band finishes a big number, we clap and they take a minute and a half to get the next song ready. Because that’s what we’re all there for – to hear them play their songs.
But that ain’t church.
What you do in between songs matters a great deal. I’m concerned that we’ve let the concert environment filter into our churches and now think the the point of what we do is to nail those songs perfectly – to make people feel that excitement of the band getting armed up for the next hit.
If you think transitions are fake or just filler, you couldn’t be more wrong. Three reasons why transitions matter:
PEOPLE NEED TO BE TAUGHT
Worship leaders need to teach their people and model what this worship thing is. We probably all would agree that it’s more than songs, but do we plan our sets like that?
What you say or pray or read as a congregation before and after your songs will have an immediate effect on a congregation. They didn’t show up an hour early to get ready for worship…they just got here and they need a pastor who love them and teach them why singing and praying and the Sacraments are important.
PEOPLE NEED TO BE LED
I believe that having transitions in between songs is the single-most powerful way of making people feel at home in your service. Your people want to know you – they want to follow your lead, but how can they if you never speak? How can they tell you’re present if all you do is bang out the hits every Sunday? When you lead worship, you need to be as comfortable and invested as possible and transitions will help this become reality.
PEOPLE NEED PREPARATION
Imagine going to a seminar for work. What if you showed up at the convention center and there was no signage telling you where the meeting was? What if the name tag table only had a few tags and a some used water bottles? You’d might be a little skeptical, right? These folks didn’t even show up in time to get ready for the class? Transitions are tremendous sign of respect to your people. It tells them that you and your time have prepared for this – that worship is a big deal.
We’ll end the post with a little quiz. In the comments below, list off as many different “types” of transitions you can think of.