THE “SMALL MUSICAL SADNESSES” QUIZ | Grant Norsworthy
Despite your best efforts:
Does your congregation seem less than
sadnesses”, I’ve come up with a quiz!
impossible for a regular congregation to
Removing melody octave jumps (they’re
follow!) It’s simple. Answer each of the following five
Do you sense they could and should sing • Using harmony vocals sparingly questions honestly by giving yourself a score out
with more volume? • Simplifying and solidifying instrumental of 10 for each. The truer that statement is for you
Would you like to see them participating accompaniment so it better supports, but in your setting, the higher the score you should
more passionately? never clutters the vocal melody. give yourself. At the end of the five questions,
Are you seeing dreary faces with lips that
are hardly moving?
add your scores together to get a total out of 50.
In short, I am suggesting that we resist the I hope the math isn’t too difficult! Now, multiply
“cover band urge”. Instead of trying to copy your score by 2 to get a percentage - a score
If your answer is “yes” to one or more of these the original pro artists’ hit versions of songs, out of 100.
questions, you might need to absorb some we ought to intentionally craft versions of songs “small musical sadnesses” in order to experience that distinctly invite the vocal participation of That percentage will give you an indication of
the higher joy of a fully engaged congregation, our congregations. Renditions that warmly say how far you need to lean away from concert-
worshiping God through songs. to Joe and Jill Congregant, “Here’s how the like
song goes - as simply and cleanly as we can participation - how often, how deeply and
In my most recent WM article titled Be inspired. communicate it. Join us! We’re inviting you to how many of the “small musical sadnesses”
Be motivated. But be yourself! (February 2020 sing with us, not just watch us!” you’ll need to integrate in order to experience
issue), I suggested that some of the musical
the higher joy of your congregation’s vocal
elements that we hear from our favorite pro But as I stated in the February article: “worship artists” on YouTube, Spotify or Christian No two church congregations are the same. Radio may actually hinder vocal participation by Some congregations are more like the Hillsong But please understand that this is intended to be
your congregation in your setting. What works Conference crowd than others! The "Small a bit of fun. This is NOT supposed to be some
for them in their ideal environment may not work Musical Sadnesses for a Higher Joy” concept earnest, definitive test. Yes, I am trying to make
for us “weekend warriors”: (most likely) mainly is not “one-size-fits-all”. Some congregations a point, but these questions are only half serious,
amateur/volunteer singers, may participate fully without all of the changes I okay?
suggest. Some may not need any of them!
So here goes:
Certainly, the “small musical sadnesses” are
I have found that - in order for a church not for the pro artists that do such a great job #1 Your congregation is naturally and rapturously
congregation to fully find their “voice” - we may of showing us the way forward and inspiring us. passionate to worship God through songs.
have to make potentially unpopular musical I would not ever dream of telling Phil Wickham Your Score : __/10
choices that include: that he should sing “This Is Amazing Grace” in
values the key of E like I suggest to the music teams #2 The congregation you lead is considered very
congregational familiarity and participation I work with. No way would I ask Cory Asbury large.
over doing the coolest, newest songs that to remove the octave jump from the bridge of Your Score : __/10
we (in the band) like “Reckless Love”. Don’t think for a moment that Choosing song keys for the congregation I believe Hillsong should not add too many new #3 Your “worship leader” is considered to be a
rather than the leading vocalist songs to their set. And maybe there’s no need celebrity vocalist to your congregation.
Utilizing male and female, dual lead vocals for you to absorb any of the “small musical Your Score : __/10
simultaneously most of the time sadnesses” either.
#4 During the week, your congregation listens
melodies But in the hope of helping you (the reader) to and enjoys the original artists’ versions of the
Resisting solo, performance-style vocal decide whether or not you’ll need to make any songs you lead on Sunday.
embellishment of the choices that may induce “small musical Your Score : __/10
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