How Shall We Sing?

Exploring the foreign land of evangelical Christian music ministry. Reflections, tips and techniques for pastors, music leaders, musicians and the musically interested.

S.W.I.M - A Song Evaluation Framework

Posted on by James Wheller

Hi there, I thought I'd share a framework that I've recently developed that is designed to give our song selection process more transparency, objectivity and consideration. This framework is called a 'SWIM analysis', better framed in the phrase "How does it SWIM?". S.W.I.M stands for Strengths Weaknesses Intent and Matching, and helps us consider whether a new song is valuable as a congregational song and appropriate for our context. Here's a breakdown of each section. STRENGTHS: Here,...
Continue Reading

Thinking in Sets

Posted on by James Wheller

Hi everyone! Something I've been thinking about recently is how (and why) we choose certain songs each week for our services. If you're the person at your church who decides what we sing each week, this post will (hopefully) give you a framework of thinking that may help you as you choose songs. Now, I think sometimes we get too hung up on individual songs. So often I talk to Christians who say things like 'That song is great, but...
Continue Reading

Introduction and Definition

Posted on by James Wheller

How shall we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land? - Ps.137:4 Music ministry in the contemporary church can, for many of us, feel like an increasingly strange and foreign land. Those of us who are called to serve our churches and communities through music find ourselves in a musical culture that often stands opposed to the worldly perception of success. Instead of music being a form of self-promotion and expression, our music seeks to make Jesus...
Continue Reading