“Have you heard the new Matt Redman release?”
“Matt Redman…you know, the guy who wrote ‘Blessed Be Your Name’ that we sing at church?”
Granted, as a Worship Pastor/Minister of Music/Music Director/Song Leader, time may not be on your side to site and learn new worship songs o rkeep up with the newest releases. So, I’ve developed a list of ten ways to keep up with current worship releases in the church today…check it out and add some of your own in the comment section.
1. Online/TV Video Broadcasts – There are many churches who broadcast their services on TV and/or the Internet. Find a church with similiar worship tendencies as yours and tivo, DVR, or look it up online each week. This will keep you current, and allow you to critique, give you ideas, and have a time of personal worship. WARNING – don’t copy the orders of service or copy things directly from the other church for your setlist. Just because they worked at that church, doesn’t mean God is wanting you to use it within your set.
2. Artist/Church YouTube Channels – Several churched and Christian musicians have offical YouTube channels where they will release special videos of their concerts, music, and even behind the scenes stories about their songs. Well worth the time to check some of these out.
3. Artist Websites – One of the best ways to stay current is viewing the websites of the artists who compose the modern worship music. You will get info on upcoming releases, tour dates, etc. These sites usually have links to their social media sites as well.
4. iTunes – For you iPhone/iPad/Apple folks, iTunes uses the “Top 10” format in albums and songs sold in that particular week. This is a neat way to see what the world is purchasing…keeps your hand on the pulse of what the world is listening to. You can also preview songs and purchase them, usually for around a dollar.
5. Brochures from Christian Outlets – Christian retailers like LifeWay, Family Christian, etc, typically mail out catalogs with new releases and sale items…this is a great way to stay on top of the current music. More times than not, it’s mailed right to your front door. It will take just a few seconds to skim through the mailing.
6. Blogs/Websites – Internet blogs (like us) will typically share songs you need to hear, song spotlights, and CD reviews of new worship music. Keep your eye on the site (or subscribe by email on the home page) for up-to-date info. Special websites like New Release Tuesday keeps you current on all the major releases each week…er…on Tuesdays.
7. Social Media – Artists, publishers, distributors, etc, all have either a twitter or facebook account that you can follow. Many send out coupons or free materials on these streams. This is an easy (but possibly addicting) way to keep track of the new songs. Zach, Jason and I are also on twitter…follow us too ( dennisccook_hbc – zsrice – revjclogan31 ) for pictures of chili, children, and random UK basketball facts!
8. Networking – Networking with fellow ministers of music through facebook, communicty choirs, associations, conventions, etc is a great way to share ideas and songs. Start a group on facebook for your ministry peers to share links to articles, songs, etc that you feel are worthy of sharing.
9. Radio – Simple, yet profound. Listening to the local Christiasn radio station will greatly increase yoru worship song spectrum…quickly. Many large-market Christian stations also have “listen live” links online if you don’t get a decent station in your area. Many stations will have speical interviews with artists, giveaways, etc…
10. Your Team – Listen to your people…your instrumentalists are listening to music. Your church staff, volunteers, and music team listen to new music often…and would be ready to share! Ask them what new music is on their iPod!