The grocery store cereal aisle overwhelms me. As a kid I only had a handful of choices when it came to selecting the cereal I wanted for breakfast. Now, I stand in the aisle for minutes, comparing new cereals to the old faithful ones. After deliberating for what seems like hours over these choices, I usually walk away with the same old cereal that I have always purchased. Psychologist Barry Schwartz calls the situation I find myself in the Paradox of Choice.
One would think that a plethora of choices would lead to freedom. The opposite is true. We are overwhelmed with choices. Being overwhelmed by choice makes us more likely to settle for what we know.
I feel this paradox of choice when trying to find songs for worship, and I’m sure you do as well. I hear a similar question from worship pastors in my work, “Where do I find new songs to sing on Sundays?” My initial response is to go to your close friend and mine, Google.
If you Google “worship music” you will have over 84 MILLION web pages to choose from. Much like me on the cereal aisle, you can be overwhelmed by the choices when it comes to finding songs that can be useful for Sunday morning worship. We become so paralyzed by these overwhelming choices that we often go back to the same source of worship songs over and over again.
I want to share a few places that might help you in this sea of choice.
Praise Charts is a great place to download arrangements for worship songs, but for this discussion is also a great place to find new songs. There is a section called “What’s New” on Praise Charts. New songs are uploaded consistently in this section as well as previews of the music. This is a great way to see what has just been released and get a taste to see if you might want to explore the music further. Another useful element is the “Themes” section, which can assist you in finding new songs for different seasons in the church or for different themes.
You can also use Spotify to find new music. If you like one artists music, and use their music frequently, you can search for related artists in Spotify. This is also a great way to find artists that have a similar instrumentation and sound that is somewhat consistent.
3) Ask a Worship Pastor
Never underestimate the generosity of others in the ministry. Send an email to a worship pastor that you admire and ask them what songs they are using in their church that connect well with their people. This is also a great way to establish a relationship with a worship pastor you admire, which can prove beneficial when you have other leadership questions.
There are obviously 84 MILLION places for you to go to find worship music. These suggestions, hopefully, will be a new box of cereal for you to try out.
What are places you go to find new music?