First, brainstorm songs.
Here are some resources to find appropriate songs that link with the theme of the sermon/service:
- CyberHymnal can search by topics or scriptural allusions
- Hymnary.org has similar search capabilities
- Songs4Sermons.com – “Scripture-Linked Hymns, Choruses, & Songs by Topic and Key”
- List of digital / online hymnals [added 8/11/2011]
- WordtoWorship is particularly helpful if you follow a lectionary. [added 11/15/2016]
- The Gettys have generously released music for their top five songs here.
- Bob Kauflin’s suggestions for Easter.
RainCity Hymnal – “A fresh approach to 12 ancient hymns.”
- Page CXVI – Making hymns accessible again. [added 4/28/2010]
- Indelible Grace site and hymnbook [added 3/11/2011]
- Cardiphonia has rich resources [added 4/16/2011]
- Communion songs [added 10/21/2011]
- Songs for Lent [added 03/06/2012]
Second, run ideas through the following grid:
- What does this song say about:
- How we relate to God, namely, the Gospel
- Is it cohesive?
- Is it comprehensible?
- Does it encourage congregational participation?
- Have we sung it recently?
- [these are drawn from Marva Dawn and my worship class notes]