Song Categories Part 6 - Closers

How do you close out the worship service musically? I’m sure there are a variety of ways. I think it is helpful to have a final reminder of what we are supposed to be doing with our lives in our walk of faith. Normally I lean towards an upbeat song, so we depart on a high note, a note of triumph.

To me being strategic here means identifying the themes I believe are important, ones the Bible emphasizes. I came up with three subcategories for closing songs: Believe/Trust, Serve/Obey, and Evangelism/Missions. These titles are pretty self explanatory. Quite often songs can fit in more than one subcategory, but I choose to place them in only one category.

We just recently scaled down the number of songs on our playlist based on the number of songs we can actually use based on a reasonable level of repetition. Our goal was six in each subcategory; a total of eighteen closers to choose from. The number of songs we had to choose from was telling:

Believe/Trust: 37 songs, we chose 7
Serve/Obey: 12 songs, we chose 6
Evangelism/Missions: 8 songs we chose 6

As I learned several years ago, if I just pick my favorite closing songs, Evangelism/Mission pretty much gets ignored and Serve/Obey gets some attention. Did you notice that those are the two action categories of the three! The Believe/Trust category was difficult to scale down because that is where all our favorite songs are.

I’m committed to balancing our attention in these areas. We recognize we need better songs in two of these areas, songs we want to sing. But in the meantime we will use the songs we have in these categories because they are songs we need to sing.

Here are five songs from our short list in each subcategory:


Go Forth
10790 Robert E. Mason ©1982 Integrity's Hosanna! Music/Sounds of Vision
Salt and Light
3470093 Jan and John L'Ecuyer ©2002 Integrity's Hosanna! Music
Is Your Life A Channel Of Blessing
Words Harper G. Smyth, 1903. This arrangement Doug Thorsvik ©1997
Just A Little
Words Rubie T. Weyburn , 1905, arrangement by Doug Thorsvik ©2007
Let The Joy Overflow
Eliza E. Hewitt, 1917, arrangement by Doug Thorsvik ©2007


Lead Me To Calvary
Jennie Evelyn Hussey ©1921, renewed ©1949 this Arr. ©1987 Hope Publishing Co
Living for Jesus
Public Domain - 1917 - Words Thomas O. Chisholm, Music C. Harold Lowden
Every Move I Make
1595726 David Ruis ©1996 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing(ASCAP)
Hark, The Voice Of Jesus Calling
Daniel March, 1868, PD. This arrangement ©1997 by Doug Thorsvik
Take Up Thy Cross And Follow Me
B.B. McKinney ©1936,1964 Broadman Press. This arrangement ©1997 Doug Thorsvik


Blessed be Your Name
3798438 Matt & Beth Redman © 2002 Thankyou Music/PRS, admin. by EMI Christian
In Christ Alone
3350395 © 2001 Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
Walk By Faith
3903041 Jeremy Camp ©2002 Thirsty Moon River Publishing Stolen Pride Music (ASCAP)
Grace Greater Than Our Sin
31690 Public Domain Words and Music by Daniel Brink Towner and Julia H. Johnston
We Believe
190689 Graham Kendrick ©1986 Thankyou Music

Note: the last three songs listed in Evangelism/Missions and the last two in Serve/Obey are my new arrangements of hymns I never knew but chose because the words are rich and hard hitting. I won’t claim great arranging skills, but they have allowed us to use some great texts with a more contemporary sound.

Know any great action oriented closers? I would love to hear about them.

This wraps up my descriptions of the song categories we are using. (Part 5 was Communion songs)


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