I'll admit it. When I first heard "Is He Worthy?" I didn't get it. How do you introduce a song in worship that begins with a question? Didn't we move on from call and response songs after "Hail hail, Lion of Judah"?
After listening through for awhile I had a change of heart. The song is different and you can use a song that doesn't follow the usual format to create a moment in your set if you lead it well. The key is to give it context. There are number of steps that you can take to introduce this tune to your community.
Use The Set
Trying to introduce a new song at the top of the set is doomed for failure. Rarely is your congregation fully engaged at the beginning. They are still closing conversations, going for a refill at the coffee counter or thinking about what they need to do after church. Wait for a few songs in before introducing something new.
Different songs lend themselves to different leading styles.
Use Your Words
The first few times you sing this song you'll want to explain the song a bit and give everyone the "why" of what you are doing. Something like, "The song we're about to do is called 'Is He Worthy?' Now your response to that title is probably 'OF COURSE HE IS!' and that's the point. Worship is both vertical and horizontal. We lift the name of Christ and we exhort one another. This song is about exhorting one another to worship Christ." You may also want to hit on a few of the biblical themes in the song and comment on where they come from.
Use Your Team
Because of the call and response nature of the song, you'll need to coach everyone on how to sing it. Start by demonstrating the verse with you singing the main line and the vocal team responding with "We do." Got through an entire verse so everyone can really distinguish the difference in the melody. Once you feel like everyone has it, start the song from the top and take it all the way through. You may want to use hand or vocal cues to continue to coach through it.
Explain the 'WHY' of what you're doing.
Use The Screen...Or Don't
Usually if someone's eyes aren't closed, they are glued to the screen. Displaying the call in normal style and the response in italics will help. You may also choose to forgo the screen altogether. If all anyone needs sing is "we do" and "He does," they probably don't need the words. What a great opportunity to remove the screen from the equation!
Different songs lend themselves to different leading styles. Don't dismiss a song just because it's unfamiliar. Be willing to listen through the words and be creative with how you lead it. You might just find that song becomes your new favorite. Oh, and if you want to learn how to play it, check out our tutuorial here.