Song designations

Each song listed in the worship plans has a designation at the beginning of it, indicating what kind of song it is:

worship: A song designated as "worship" expresses appreciation directly to God for who he is or what he does.
• "You are the one and only Almighty God ..."
• "Your steadfast love extends to the heavens ..."
• "You are Lord of heaven and Lord of earth ..."
• "You have been given the name above all names ..."

teaching: A "teaching" song is addressed not to God but to each other. It refers to God in the 3rd person and gives information about what we believe. These songs are good for keeping what we know is true alive in our minds or for reminding ourselves of some wonderful thing we believe about God.
• "The words of the Lord are pure words..."
• "All we like sheep have gone astray ..."
• "We serve a mighty God ..."

feelings: A"feelings" song expresses how we feel about God, usually addressed directly to him. It might have nothing at all in it about him—the song is about me and how I feel. I go light on feelings songs, first of all because they're all about me—how devoted, how intense, how worshipful I am—rather than being about God; and secondly because they assume an emotional state which I may or may not have. They work nicely in spontaneous private worship, when the mood strikes and we feel like the song says we do. But in group worship the mood is more often a miss than a hit, leaving numbers of us self-focused and either flat or guilty.
• "I'm desperate for you, God ..."
• "I've never felt so happy ..."
• "I long for you ..."
• "All I ever want to do is praise you ..."

testimony: Similar to the feelings song, the "testimony" song also makes a personal statement—usually to the people around. However, the emphasis is less on me and my feelings and more about God and what he has done for me, with my finger pointing to God rather than at myself. A testimony song might assume a specific mood or doctrine that not everyone may have—and these I try to avoid in group worship. Most, however (such as the examples below) can be sung honestly by any Christian, regardless of mood.
• "My sin ... has been nailed to the cross and I bear it no more ..."
• "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand ..."
• "In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song, This cornerstone—this solid ground—firm through the fiercest drought and storm ..."

call: A "call" song is addressed not to God but to each other, specifically to tell each other to worship God. These songs are most appropriate at the beginning of a worship time, to call ourselves to attention. We can sing them to ourselves as well.
• "Stand up and bless the Lord ..."
• "Praise the Lord ..."
• "Extol the name of him who rides the heavens..."

ascription: A "may it be so" sort of song.
• "Now unto him ... be the glory and the majesty ..."
• "Praise and honor be unto our God ..."
• "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, and let the whole earth be filled with his glory ..."

use as worship: Sometimes a song that's technically a teaching or call or some other type of song is so praising of God that it can be used as if it were worship. That is, even though we might be addressing each other about God, it's easy to imagine God overhearing it as if we were singing it directly tohim. Needless to say, this designation is pretty subjective—one person might think a particular song is simply instructional, while the next person is drawn into worship singing it.
• "His name is exalted far above the earth ..."
• "Blessed be his glorious name forevermore ..."

request: The song asks God for something. Nothing wrong with that, but I've wondered if it belongs in a worship time. On the other hand, I don't feel able to worship God at all except that he is in me enabling me to worship, so it does seem appropriate to bring some asking into worship. In general, I put requests at the beginning—asking God to give me the capacity to worship him—or at the end, submitting myself before him to let him have his way with me.
• "Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me ..."
• "Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart ..."
• "Have thine own way, Lord ..."

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