Short Guide No 16: What are the Relative Benefits of Hymn Books, Service Sheets or Projectors?

Developments in technology have expanded the range of ways in which hymns can be presented during a service. No longer is it automatically assumed that hymn and service books will be handed out at the door. Even where they are, the time will come to replace these books—and then other options can usefully be explored. Among other possibilities, two of …

Short Guide No 14: Building a Hymn Repertoire

Even with a single hymn book, a typical congregation probably has more hymns at their disposal than they can realistically use; add a supplementary book and access to online resources, and the choice rapidly becomes unmanageable. It is, however, possible to tap into these diverse sources and construct a workable repertoire for a congregation’s use. Here are some hints and …

Short Guide No 6: What Makes A Good Hymn?

Answering this question inevitably contains a subjective element: a hymn which one person finds comforting can seem mawkish to someone else, while one believer’s treasured old favourite can sound dated to another Christian. Here, as food for thought, are five balances and five contrasts which may help to identify hymns of quality … On the one hand, the Christian faith …

Short Guide No 2: What Types of Hymns and Songs are Available?

Once, it was “hymns”. In recent years, many churches have adopted “worship songs” – sometimes alongside hymns, sometimes instead. Inevitably, however, the picture is far more complex than this. There are many different genres available for congregational use; here are a few of the main types and some of their strengths. The above labelling is by no means a comprehensive …