Something that can add a lot of value to leading worship are to use classic hymns. For those who grew up in the church, these hymns and the memories associated with them come rushing back when singing them and you are immediately engaged and participating. For those who did not grow up with classic hymns being sung, these hymns often contain a level of lyrical depth that can reveal new understanding of God.
Using these classic hymns in a modern setting can be intimidating, because we equate hymns with organs, choirs, or simply a more traditional church setting. So we either don't feel worthy or equipped to use them! But again, they can be an enriching addition to any time of worship.
So I've compiled a list of some tips that I've found useful in reviving the classic hymns. This will be part 2 of a 3 part series.
In part 1 of this series, I proposed the following tips:
1. Simplify the arrangement
2. Simplify the instrumentation
3. Slow down the tempo.
4. Adding a modern band instrumentation- you could always drift away from the simple philosophy, and add more modern instrumentation; it usually depends on the lyrical tone and content to help determine whether to go this route. If the hymn is more a praiseworthy and exultant hymn, then usually adding a band really supports the hymn and can make for a powerful moment.
5. Combining original content with classic hymns- sometimes you might look to a classic hymn to help with finishing an original lyric that you're working on, or sometimes you might be inspired to write an original lyric to fit with a classic hymn. Maybe you have verses to a song, but can't figure out a chorus? Or you have a chorus but no verses? You can mine the hymnal and find gold! Sometimes a hymn will inspire a whole new refrain that you can tag into a song that helps bridge the gap between past and present ideals.
Stay tuned for part 3!