5 Great Intro Songs For Worship Services

We can sometimes get into a rut in our worship services singing the same old songs over and over again, and it can be difficult to find music for various parts of the service. So we’ve decided to help you out with some suggestions - here’s our pick of 5 intro songs you can learn & teach in your church’s worship services to invite the presence of the Lord in. Let us know how they work out and if you have any other suggestions - we’d love to hear them!

1) Enter In - Joe Pace

Tip:

This song is really easy to sing congregationally. Get them to repeat the chorus after you.

Enter in, enter in

All God's

People

Enter in

Enter in, enter in

All God's

People

Enter in

Let us worship in

This holy place

Enter in, enter in

Let us bow before

This throne of grace

Oh, enter in, enter in

Oh, enter in, enter in (vamp)(x3)


2) Surely - Israel & New Breed

Tip:

It's possible to omit the verse in the middle of the song for a congregational setting and just repeat the chorus.

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place
Surely You won't forsake the ones who seek Your face
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place


Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place
Surely You won't forsake the ones who seek Your face
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place


In Your presence there is fullness of joy and laughter
He rejoices over us with singing and we are changed
As we welcome the heart of the Master
And the heavenlies are ringing out with praise in one accord
Praise to the Lord


Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place
Surely You won't forsake the ones who seek Your face
Surely the presence of the Lord is
Surely the presence of the Lord is
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place
This place, this place, this place, this place


3) The Glory Of The Lord - Richard Smallwood Singers

When the glory of the Lord fills His holy temple,
He will lift us high.

And on angels' wings we'll rise to the pure and holy, when His spirit fills this place.
When His glory, (3x) fills this place.
When His glory, (3x) fills this place.

Let the glory of the Lord fill His holy temple,
Let Him lift us high.

And on angels' wings we'll rise to the pure and holy, when His spirit fills this place.
Let Thy glory, (3x) fill this place.
Let Thy glory, (3x) fill this place.


4) Let Your Glory Fill This House - Tonya Baker

Let your glory fill this house 
Let your glory fill this house 
Let the manifest presence of the Lord, 
let it fill this house. 

Your glory, your glory, fill this house,
Your glory, your glory, fill this house.

Your presence, your presence, fill this house,
Your presence, your presence, fill this house.


Let your presence fill this house 
Let your presence fill this house 
Let the manifest presence of the Lord, 
let it fill this house. 


5) Welcome Into This Place - Gary Oliver

Welcome into this place,

welcome into this broken vessel.

You desire to abide

in the praises of Your people;

so we lift our hands,

and we lift our hearts,

as we offer up this praise unto Your name.

Artist Spotlight: Elizabeth Vincent

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Happy New Year! We are so grateful for seeing 2017 all the way through and making it to 2018! For our first blogpost of the new year today, we’re shining the spotlight on a talented singer-songwriter who performed at our Open Mic Night back in March 2017, her name is Elizabeth Vincent. 

 

Hi there Elizabeth, can you tell us a bit about yourself? 

Hey! My name is Elizabeth Vincent, I am 23 years old and I’m a Gospel/Christian artist currently studying Medicine at University.

 

Welcome to the blog and thanks for joining us today! How long have you been doing music and songwriting? How many songs have you written and do you play any instruments?

Officially, as an ‘artist’, I’ve been doing music for almost 2 years now. However, I’ve been creating music for longer than I can remember. I started singing at a really young age and I used to sing along to just about everything. (Side note: do you remember “Psalty” the TV show? Well, that was the show with all the tunes, haha). My earliest memory of singing publicly was at my school’s Christmas concert in year 6. Funnily enough, the other parents told my mum I should be doing opera; oh, how things have changed!

I play the piano and I would love to learn how to play the guitar one day as it’s much easy to carry around, haha. I write songs but the specific amount; they are too numerous to count lol!

I’ve been songwriting for several years but I always say that I think my songs ‘took shape’ when I started learning the piano. When I was younger I definitely did not think I’d be pursuing music the way I am now - thank God for the Holy Spirit’s leading. 

 

Following the Spirit's leading, that's the way to go! I do know of Psalty the singing songbook (I think that's what it's called) although can you imagine, I've never watched one show 😱 It's interesting that opera was suggested for you as I haven't gotten that vibe from your work lol. I guess your style has grown as you've grown over the years! How did you get started in music and what made you decide to become an artist?

The decision to do music officially as an artist involved a gradual process of God slowly nudging me and using individuals to encourage me to share the music He’d blessed me with. I’ll be honest, initially I was hesitant, however it truly is a blessing to see people relate to songs that I wrote from my heart. To begin, I bought equipment, software (Logic Pro X) and started to lay down arrangements for my songs in my bedroom, and here we are now!

 

Wow! It’s good that you listened & it sounds like once you decided, you were definitely very determined with getting started in music! Who would you say is your biggest influence?

I would say my mum. Apart from being an excellent role model, she has always encouraged me to pursue my interests (singing, piano, art, poetry etc) and I appreciate her so much for that.

 

That’s amazing! Ok so speaking about influences, I believe that ever artist is the sum of their individuality plus all the artists who influenced them the most. Who is your favourite Christian/gospel artist & what's your favourite album?

This is so difficult, but one of my favourites is Christon Gray as he’s an incredible vocalist, producer, and is extremely humble and authentic. As for my favourite album, at the moment I’d have to say Marvin Sapp - Close. I have listened to that album on repeat since it was released in September.


I have to check out Christon Gray, haven’t heard of him before! Also I haven’t yet heard Marvin Sapp’s New album so I’ll add that to the wish list! If there was 1 artist you could work with, who would it be and why?

There are so many artists I’d love to sing with but if I had to pick one right now I’d say Jonathan McReynolds. His heart for God, his authenticity and his talent is admirable, but also musically I think his high singing voice and my low-tenor/alto-range may sound nice together!

 

It seems like everyone I’ve interviewed wants to work with Jonathan McReynolds as well lol. Genuinely one of my favourite artists so you may have to join the queue behind me 😂

Ok so moving on, let’s find out a bit more about you as a person. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take 3 items with you, what would you take and why? Do you have personality quirks? 

 

Hmm 3 things? Probably my Bible, a lot of water and a swiss army knife for food and to make a shelter.

We’re all quirky in some way! Despite how reserved I can be, I am actually a lot more hyper than people think.

Also, I don’t know if this is weird but when I am sitting by the piano, or somewhere else, writing a song I can immediately hear what the whole band/orchestra sounds like, in my head.

 

Whoa, that sounds amazing! You’ve got that composer Beethoven thing going on. Would love to hear one of your full productions soon! If you could go back in time for 1 day/week, what year/era would you travel to and why?

Hmm, minus all the negative history, musically, I’d love to travel to the early 20th century to hear artists like Mahalia Jackson (~1930s) and Duke Ellington; OR even further back to the Classical era to meet composers like Bach and Beethoven. I love classical piano and jazz so that would be a dream for sure!

 However, the ultimate dream would be to go back to the time where Jesus walked on this Earth. I’d take all those questions I have about the Bible with me and come back to 2017 with an abundance of knowledge 🙂

 

Good answers; You’d be very much sought after for both musical and theological insight! So last year Jonathan McReynolds & Travis Greene caught some flak for their different responses to being asked to sing at the inauguration of the US President. How do you choose what to sing/where to sing? How do you decide what gigs to turn down?

I really love this question. In terms of where to sing, the moment I get an invitation somewhere I commit it to God in prayer. In the process I also assess what sort of invitation it is, logistics, and enquire further about the gig. All of this combined helps and guides me to approach the decision with wisdom. Sometimes the gigs to turn down receive a gentle “no” from the Holy Spirit, so I have to pay very close attention to not miss that.

There is also a lot that goes into picking a set list. I go through many options before I end up with the main ones for the night (+ a few back ups). Again, it starts with prayer, then I think about the type of event and “audience” demographics. However, it’s important to not let that last factor sway your decision too heavily as I have been pleasantly surprised at the songs people of different age ranges have responded to.

 

 I hear that, it’s always good to get others views on these things. Being Spirit-led & practical is so important as an artist because there’s so much choice that wisdom is necessary! Aside from music, what would you say is your biggest passion?

In all I do I just want to represent God well, whether that be through personal relationship with Him, serving others, or my studies, so I would say that is my biggest passion. Although I may not be able to speak explicitly to patients about Jesus, I try and represent Him well through my acts of love, care and dedication. Medicine truly is a career close to my heart and I am grateful to be able to study it!

 

Amen! Jesus had that way of speaking to ordinary people using ordinary things without quoting scripture (though He was grounded in it and He is the word). Sometimes we need that subtlety to reach people! So it’s a new year, what does 2018 hold for you?

2018 has just begun but let me tell you, God has been so gracious to me (as always!). I am so grateful for every person God has brought my way to support me on this journey, their encouragement has gone a long way. In 2017 I was privileged to participate and win the ‘Yamaha Gospel Star Search’ competition and my music video for ‘Father Can I Call You That’ was nominated for the JUMP Music Video Awards. All these incredible things could not have happened without the grace and mercy of God. All this to say: the rest of 2018 excites me and I cannot wait to see what else God has in store.

 

That is amazing, well deserved and hopefully more to come this year!  Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Even though I haven’t been doing music professionally for very long, I’d just like to encourage people who are considering it. I’ll tell you firsthand that the music industry can be a very daunting place. At times it is difficult to navigate and there are many things to research along the way. However, it has also taught me great lessons: be creative, rely on God alone and believe in the gifts He has given you. The saying “your gifts will make room for you” is true.

 

Also, please remember that your impact is not determined by the number of people that follow you but rather, on the individual lives you’ve touched. That is much more rewarding. Do not worry about how far you think other people have gone, as comparison is a thief of joy. Be content at every stage, your journey is not the same as the next person’s. And, more than anything, do not allow “busy-ness” to stop you from pursuing that deeper relationship with God - fight for your time!

 

Well said! Where can our readers see you singing live? Do you have any upcoming gigs/dates to share?

Alongside my degree I am working underground on my next project, so there are no confirmed dates as of yet. Nevertheless, keep an eye on my website (www.elizabethvincentmusic.com) and social media for updates.

Thank you very much One Sound Music for the interview! It really was a pleasure 🙂

 

Thank You Elizabeth, my Gospel Singer/Songwriter/Pianist/Medical Student Friend! You can catch her on her website and socials below! 

 

Website: www.elizabethvincentmusic.com

Email: elizabethvincentmusic@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/elizabethvincentmusic

Twitter: @eavincentmusic

Instagram: @elizabethvincentmusic

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The "Kirk Franklin" double-standard

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I grew up in a place called Lagos in Nigeria to a Christian family. Nevertheless, I didn't grow up listening to a lot of gospel music. In fact, I grew up listening to mostly hip-hop, some R&B and a bit of pop (I especially loved the King of Pop's dancing!). However despite my limited experience of gospel music, even back then, I knew (from observation) that there were a few certainties in life: 

 

1. Drums are evil/inappropriate for church use

2. Loud music is evil/soft music is holy

3.  Classical music is a foretaste of the angelic song in Heaven

4. Secular (or circular as some people call it) music is evil.  

5. Kirk Franklin and his music should be avoided by all good Christians. 

 

Looking back I find it funny that such an attitude was so prevalent in my experience in Nigeria. When I came to the UK and got baptised, I gave up the hip-hop, R&B & pop music, and I began to sample the delights of gospel music, primarily through the youth choir I was in. Interestingly I found a lot of the same attitudes, especially with regards to Kirk Franklin.  Although we often sang some Kirk Franklin songs, there was always a reluctance and an air of uncertainty when it came to mentioning his name in relationship to the songs we did.

 

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Why did Kirk Franklin prove to be such a controversial figure? People said his music was "worldly" and "secular". Perhaps it's because he sang songs calling for Revolutions, and songs which had hip-hop artists (Left-Eye), or because he said "booyakah". Or perhaps it was because his music videos looked like the hip-hop music videos, or because he did crossover songs with R Kelly, Mary J Blige and Bono? These things were often cited as evidence for why we should avoid his music, however the primary rationale given for this was the claim that his music was "worldly" and did not sound like gospel. 

This left me in a bit of a conundrum because the more I listened to Kirk's work, the more inspired I was and the more I loved his songwriting and his songs. I didn't love everything, but enough for him to quickly become and remain one of my favourite gospel artists. However I always felt a tinge of guilt or a bit of apprehension when I mentioned it because you could feel the judgment stirring up from people whenever his name came up. 

The more I listened to gospel and became involved in it, the more I became aware of a strange phenomenon. I'd meet or sometimes visit people who were very anti-Kirk and they'd play some of their favourite gospel music. To my absolute amazement, a lot of what I heard sounded surprisingly similar to the R&B I'd heard when growing up. The instruments used, the sound of the drums and the beats, the "wah-wah" and "muted guitar", the bassIines and the grooves, they were all used in ways similar to what I'd heard growing up. Time and time again, with artist after artist; from 'The Winans' to 'Commissioned' to 'Fred Hammond', my experience was replicated again and again: they all sounded like 90's R&B. Yet to my amazement, those who were quick to denounce Kirk for his alleged "worldliness" would be very content with bopping and singing along to these songs. Worldliness then was not the absolute standard I had been led to believe, except when it came to Kirk! That is the double standard. 

 

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It is very obvious to me that Kirk Franklin is definitely not perfect. How can he be, he's just a man! He still gets embroiled in different controversies (think of the recent 'I smile' lipstick-gate, his breakfast club interviews and his work with Kanye West). Nevertheless, we cannot write him off for any of the reasons I was given growing up. In many ways he has proved to be a positive role model to the next generation of gospel artists and uses his platform to mentor, encourage and speak some powerful words (see his blogs here: Great Divorce and here: Good is the enemy of great and check out his championing for other gospel musicians). On a personal level, he is one of the few gospel musicians of his era who is still happily married to the same woman which simply can't be taken for granted. You can tell that the older he has gotten, the wiser he has become and perhaps he would even regret some of his earlier antics in his youth.  Our ultimate role model is Christ and not man. 

Finally being able to see this double standard taught me much. It made it clear that using "worldliness" of the sound as a standard is very problematic. It's incredibly subjective, and consequently very inconsistent in it's application. If sounding worldly is the standard for judging music, then it needs to be consistently applied. If it falls down when applied consistently, we need a better standard.

This begs the obvious question, what is that standard? This is a really great question, and it's one we can talk about in one of the future blogs. Till then, stay blessed :)

Come down from the cross!

Matthew 27:  39-40 "And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross"
 

It was Easter a couple of weekends ago and I had the chance to reflect on the cross of Calvary and Jesus' sacrifice there. One of the things which came through very clearly was that Jesus was tempted in a way no one else ever was. He was fully God and fully man (the bible refers to this as the mystery of Godliness) and He was tempted both in His humanity to lash out, but also to use His divine nature to use his power to overcome Satan.  

 

You can see Satan's temptations in Jesus' final hours. They're easy to spot because they're similar to the temptations as recorded in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. They are based on the idea that Jesus wasn't really the son of God and therefore He had to prove Himself. They generally have the phrase "if thou be the son of God" in there somewhere.  However Jesus was secure in who He was and knew He didn't have to prove anything to any man or devil. 

 

In His final hours before his death, the taunt was repeatedly thrown at him, which was essentially "if you're the son of God, come down from the cross and save yourself". You can find this in Matthew 27:40-44; Mark 15:29-32 (save thyself and come down from the cross etc) and Luke 23:35-39.

 

How does that apply to us?  

Jesus told His disciples in Luke 9:23 that if they want to follow Him, they would have to deny themselves, take up their cross daily & follow Him. There's a call to daily self denial & daily dying on the cross. 

John 15:20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

As satan tempted Jesus to come down from the cross, he also gives us the same temptation. We submit ourselves to God and go on that cross. But as the day goes by, various situations arise which try to bring the flesh back to life. They call and cajole and taunt and scream at us to "come down from the cross". It could be anger, lust, gossip, adultery, lying, stealing, envy, or their manifold modern manifestations. You know what that sin is which tempts you to come down from the cross and prove yourself. 

 

However Jesus has not left us without hope. He says in Revelation 3: 20 "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."

 

When the temptation to come down from your cross comes, remember that you can overcome like Jesus overcame. How did He overcome? Hebrews 12:2 tells us that because of the joy set before Him, He endured the cross. He looked past the here and now by faith and looked to the future glory of our salvation. We can do the same; looking past our current temptation and situation to the future promise of glory. Or as Paul puts it: 

 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
"For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."