1. “How can I lead worship if I’m not bilingual?”

  • don’t expect to be quite as spontaneous as if you were leading in your heart language.  It can still feel spontaneous, but it takes us more work ahead of time.
  • utilize the slides to ‘talk’ for you.  You can use them to provide instruction, share quotes or scripture.
  • let scripture ‘talk’ for you.  They are powerful!  And, as an added bonus for the mono-lingual person, they are already grammatically correct in their translations and you know for sure what it means.
  • let others ‘talk’ for you who speak that language.
  • plan for 2-3 times more preparation time in order to memorize as much as possible of the lyrics in the second language (We have found freedom from sheet music makes us better leaders.)

2. Sources we like for bilingual worship music

  • Hymns can effectively cross language, ethnic & denominational lines.  Good translations usually exist.  By using contemporary instruments, they can be effective at crossing generational lines as well.
  • Sovereign Grace Music (www.sovereigngracemusic.org)  Contemporary style, reformed theology, many bilingual.
  • “Classics”.  These often facilitate a more emotional engagement with the Lord.  We like Marcos Witt & Jesus Adrian Romero in this category.
  • Current popular English worship songs. There are quite a few good ones that are singable and with good theology, and they are often translated.  ccli.com / songselect.com is a great resource here.  Not only does it help us obey Romans 13 (copyright laws), but songselect.com has powerful tools for transposing music, providing chord & lyric sheets, and even has some lead sheets.
  • Hillsong united (http://hillsong.com/united.html).  Our Australian brethren have been putting out a lot of great worship songs in the recent years and there seems to be an intentional effort to release Spanish versions as well.  Many of our younger attendees connect with this style.
  • Alabanzare.com / Indelible Grace.  This is a leader in the modern hymn movement and has made a lot of rich theology more accessible for our younger generation.  They take many unknown hymns and set them to contemporary styles and instruments (sadly, not many of them could be classified as a Latin music style).  But there are 50 hymns in Spanish and two hundred in English.  A significant benefit is that they make their sheet music freely accessible (http://hymnbook.igracemusic.com/ & http://alabanzare.com/?page_id=19).