Every worship leader knows about "transitions."
We hear about them all the time - when we go to worship conferences, on YouTube, in magazines, etc. That's because what you do in between songs is important. For two reasons.
One of the downsides of all this transition-talk is that it makes what happens in the service into a gimmick. Lots of leaders seek out transition ideas not because they want reverent non-musical elements in their service, but because they need a filler in between the songs.
Of course, transitions to help you get from one song to the other, but they also have a tremendous impact on your congregation. Transitions are both connective and formative. In the list below, you'll see why the transitions work on both levels.
Praying in between songs is an intuitive transition, but often overused. Prayer when you need to pray, not just to fill up the space!
Connective/Practical - Praying in between songs is a great tool for your musicians and technicians. It gives them a chance to tune, get ready for the next song, make changes or remind themselves of what's coming next! It also a nice breather - you don't have to fly from song to song to song!
Formative/Spiritual - Praying is pastoral. It's an opportunity for you to proclaim and declare truths about God. And that informs what your people think about God. In a lot of churches, the congregants don't pray when the worship leader prays. They listen. Praying is an awesome privilege as it models humility and reverence for God.
Reading scripture (either by the worship leader or someone else on the platform) is another great way to transition between songs.
Connective/Practical - One of the best things about scripture reading - from a practical perspective - is that it ISN'T PRAYER. Unfortunately, we all tend to fall on crutch phrases or prayer cliches. Scripture reading is a great way to stay God focused and keep yourself from just making stuff up on the fly!
Formative/Spiritual - Reading scripture helps to reinforce the truth that there's a reason for what we're doing in the congregation. We don't just gather together because we want to. We didn't invent worship. There's a source we're drawing from. There's a directive for us. Scripture reading is an awesome way to remind people that worship is God's idea.
Congregational readings (confessions) have blessed the church for hundreds of years, but a lot of churches don't do them and miss out an awesome expression of worship.
Connective/Practical - At its most basic level, corporate reading lets the people hear each other. One of by-products of sound amplification is that in most churches, there are times or spots in the room where the band's too loud. We try to avoid that, but it happens. And when it does, it becomes harder for the congregation to hear each other. Having them read something out loud and together is an opportunity for them to once again realize they're supposed to be involved in what's going on.
Formative/Spiritual - One of the biggest challenges in worship leader is getting people to focus. You have people who are distracted, arriving late, angry, hurt, etc. By inviting them to read something altogether, you effectively put truth on their tongues. God says that His Word will do what He wants it to do. It won't fail. It won't come back empty. Why not use your time to get God's Word into the mind of your congregation? Who know what wonders it might do!