Fast Songs vs. Slow Songs

As a worship leader, I get comments like, “We do too many fast songs” and “We do too many slow songs.” Is there a balance?

The best overall solution is to get people to set aside their preferences and focus on worshiping God instead of being focused on musical types and styles. When Christians have the Lord as the center of their attention, things like style and tempo become far less important. Teaching can help cause this to happen, at least in some measure. However, to expect everyone to completely set aside all of their ideas and preferences is unrealistic.

I frequently tell people to not attempt to make everyone happy. You’ll never do it. Everyone on the planet has an opinion on music whether they know anything about it or not. It is impossible to please everyone, all the time. I have found that if I am hearing both sides of the argument in roughly equal numbers (i.e., “We do too many hymns,” “We don’t do enough hymns”; “We do too many slow songs,” “We do too many fast songs”; “It’s too loud,” “It’s too quiet”) then we are probably pretty close to where we need to be for our congregation. You need to work at striking a balance that is right for your church’s culture and area. Each congregation is different and what is “right” for another congregation may not be right for yours. You might even consider surveying the congregation to get a feel of what they think. (see Survey)

At the same time, though, please don’t ever totally ignore the comments. These are the people God is allowing you the privilege of leading in worship. Their thoughts on how you are doing are important.

If you hear several comments that seem one-sided, it might be good to discuss these with your pastor. Ask what he thinks about that particular topic. Maybe ask other church leadership what they think about it. This can give you a much different perspective on the situation than just your own view. It will also take it out of the realm of your opinion vs. the opinion of the outspoken critic. If the pastor (and even other church leadership) agree or disagree with you, then there is a more solid basis for changing what you’re doing or leaving things as they are.

If you do decide that a change is in order, set a goal as to how to implement it. Ask your pastor to observe and offer feedback on how the changes are going. This gives you some accountability in bringing about the necessary alteration.