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.
For this transition, the worship leader takes the congregation through a small section of the song. (Ideally, the chorus or bridge section.) He or she teaches the section of the song slowly, with one or two repetitions. One the last time through, the band can join in and transition right into the actual intro of the song.
Connective/Practical - This transition pay off in the last repeat when the band joins. Because you've slowed the tempo down and made time for the congregation to learn the song, the band entry into the piece is a nice momentum build for the people you're leading. Your people will feel like they're a "part" of the song itself.
Formative/Spiritual - There is a powerfully spiritual benefit to a congregation hearing itself sing. This is more than just something "cool" for a crowd of people. In fact, people hearing themselves sing actually creates more passionate singing. And that's the kind of formation we want!
A devotional transition is when the worship leader breaks between song to teach or encourage the congregation in a manner of spiritual/Biblical talking. This is, by far, the trickiest transition because so many worship leaders lack the ability to speak clearly and effectively. But, if you can do it, the effect is powerful.
Connective/Practical - The component of teaching is vital to corporate worship. In any room, you have people who don't understand what's going on. Why are we singing this? Why are we standing at this point? Transitioning with a devotional thought makes room for - or acknowledges - that people are at all different places in their spiritual journey. Teaching between songs is a kind, thoughtful transition.
Formative/Spiritual - Obviously, it's not your job to preach a sermon. However, tying what you've been singing to what we believe as Christ followers creates a memorable moment for your people. If they can attach a truth about God with what they've been singing, they'll be better for it!
What other transitions have worked for you?