Don’t Finalize Your Easter Set List Until You Read This!


Easter is just around the corner!

By now you are starting to finalize your Easter worship set. And whether your Easter service is completely planned or you are just beginning, now is the time to go through your worship order and make sure you have selected the best worship set for your team this Easter.

Below is a 5-point checklist that we use every year at The Journey, and that will help ensure that the music of your Easter service is powerfully focused.

Here we go: 

#1 – Sing Celebration Songs

Easter is a day of celebration! When I read the story of that Easter morning my pulse quickens as I see Peter and John running to the tomb and hear the joy in Mary’s voice as she recognizes Jesus. It’s a day of celebration and our songs should reflect that.

I’m all for a quiet moment in the service, but on Easter Sunday start and end your service “BIG” (and by that I mean with upbeat songs of celebration).

#2 – Focus on the Resurrection

On the way to church this past Sunday I was teaching my kids the classic hymn, “The Old Rugged Cross”. Our worship style at The Journey is very modern, but I grew up on the classic hymns and look for ways to integrate them into our worship service as much as possible.

And while I love “The Old Rugged Cross”, we won’t be singing it on Easter Sunday.

Why? Because Easter Sunday isn’t about the cross . . . it’s about the empty tomb.

Sing about the cross the next two weeks leading up to Easter (and especially on Palm Sunday) but on Easter Sunday choose songs that celebrate the Resurrection and the new life we have in Christ because of it!

#3 – Select Songs that are Known by your Congregation

Easter Sunday is not the day to try out those 5 new songs you’ve been waiting all year to sing. Easter Sunday is a day to sing worship songs that the people in your congregation know by heart.

Why? Because your church will be filled with First Time Guests. Let me explain.

If you choose songs that your congregation already knows you will keep your congregation connected to the the worship set.

AND because the people around them are clapping and singing your First Time Guest will feel more comfortable clapping and singing as well.

On Easter, sing some of your church’s favorite songs of worship. And if you want to do a new song, teach it in the weeks leading up to Easter so your church will know it.

#4 – Select a Song that is Known by your First Time Guests

Put yourself in the shoes of a first time guest at your church on Easter. They will enter your service uncomfortable (could be the suit and tie) and unsure of what to expect. They will be asked to stand and sing songs they don’t know.

So be kind to your First Time Guests . . . choose a song that they are likely to know. Sing a hymn like “Amazing Grace”. Or you may perform a popular radio song that ties in with Easter or your message series.

However you choose to do it, help your First Time Guests experience something familiar on Easter Sunday. It will go a long way toward taking the edge off and helping them relax for the rest of the service.

#5 – Don’t do what you can’t Replicate

This is a big time mistake that some worship leaders make… and I can understand why.

Easter is a BIG DAY, so the tendency is to pull out all the stops, bring in the guest worship leader, the big lighting show, or even the guest orchestra for your Easter services.

But what happens the NEXT SUNDAY when the people that you reached on Easter Sunday come back expecting to hear the guest worship leader or orchestra but only find a guitar, piano and vocalist.

Easter is the PERFECT day to do your very best NORMAL service.

Go all out and make it great… just make sure you’re able to replicate what you do on Easter in the Sundays that follow.

Be who you are, prepare in advance and present the Gospel in the very best way that you can. And remember, the results aren’t up to us anyway.

Praying that you have the best Easter ever!

Your partner in ministry,



PS – I hope you enjoyed today’s leadership lesson. The topic actually came out of a Q&A session I did with one of my coaching networks.
Every month for ONE FULL YEAR, I personally coach a select group of Worship Pastors in a 90-minute video call. And I want you to consider joining!
The Worship Leader Coaching Network is designed to help you develop your leadership ability, double your worship team, create life-transforming services, lower your stress, maximize your time, raise new leaders, and lead your ministry at the highest level.
In fact, here is what other worship leaders have said about their experience in the network:

“We have been implementing many changes in our Sunday Service System. The result has been less stress on Sunday mornings and throughout the week, an increase in attendance and retention of new attendees, better communication between myself and the other staff and volunteers, and an easier rehearsal time.”

– Josiah, WA

“I would not be exaggerating to say that in my case this network has been life/ministry transforming. In this past year the Worship arts Department has grown more than in the last 7 years combined. This network really helped to de-stress my life and increase my effectiveness as the Worship Pastor.”

– Bode, NJ

“This network blew my mind! I wish I could have attended this network before our church exploded in growth. I would have implemented everything I learned right from the beginning. There is such much I have learned from this network. I never knew how much potential my worship ministry could have before attending this network.”

– Jeff, CA


I want to invite you to join my NEW 12-month systems-based Worship Leader Coaching Network!

You see — we all face seven common challenges as Worship Leaders. And the solution to overcoming these seven challenges is seven very powerful worship ministry systems.

The 12-Month Worship Leader Coaching Network will help you identify and overcome the Seven Challenges of a Worship Leader and build the systems necessary to lead a healthy and growing worship ministry.

I have taught these principles to thousands of churches – through books, resources and live events – and in the Coaching Network I will help you create God-honoring systems in your Worship ministry that will help you:

  • Double your worship team volunteers
  • Break the stressful week-to-week mentality of worship planning and plan your worship services months in advance
  • Develop a more fruitful working relationship with your lead pastor and “get on the same page” together
  • Maximize the financial resources in your Worship Ministry while teaching God-honoring Stewardship practices to your worship team.
  • Structure your team for health and growth
  • Get the most out of your team in rehearsal and on Sundays
  • Pray more fervently for your team and grow as a pastor and leader
  • And much, much more!

You’ll join me in 12 monthly coaching sessions that you can fully participate in anytime 24/7. You will receive both the audio and video of each session, so your experience will be identical, no matter when you log in. And the Worship Leader Coaching Network is provided in such a way that you can participate (and re-watch) at any time.

wl-coaching-web-logoAVAILABLE 24/7:

Available now via a new on-demand, online module format, where you can participate at your convenience each month. Your experience will be identical, no matter when you log in.


Led by Jason, this network is based on the Seven Challenges of a Worship Leader, and specific ministry strategies to help you overcome them. Sessions include:


  • The Seven Challenges of a Worship Leader Overview
  • The Call of a Worship Leader: Understanding and Excelling in Your Unique Calling
  • The Personal Growth Challenge: Develop Your Personal Leadership Habits
  • The Pastor Challenge: Maximize Your Relationship with the Lead Pastor
  • The Planning Challenge, part 1: Plan Your Services Months in Advance
  • The Planning Challenge, part 2: Reduce the stress of week-to-week planning.
  • The People Challenge, part 1: Structure Your Worship Team for Health and Growth
  • The People Challenge, part 2: Develop your Auditions Strategy & Double Your Team
  • The People Challenge, part 3: Leadership Strategies for a Successful Worship Ministry
  • The Provision Challenge: Budget, Sta? and Teach Stewardship to Your Team
  • The Professionalism Challenge: How to Bring Out the Best in Your Team
  • The Production Challenge: Ensure every Sunday is the BEST it Can Be

wl-coaching-blueprintsPLUS: You will receive a customized Coaching Blue Print each month that gives you specific next steps!


Everything of value in life requires an investment (just think about the instruments you own). The same is true for this Coaching Network… though we have tried to keep the investment as low as possible.

But remember, you are receiving thousands of dollars of resources, free passes to our seminars, email support and private consulting. At the same time, you are saving thousands of dollars in hotel, flight costs, rental car expenses, gas, etc.

With that said, the Worship Leader Coaching Network is only $297 a month. You’ll find that is about the same as taking 3 key team members to one of the major worship conferences this year (registration, travel, hotel, meals).

I love the big conferences too, but consider this. With the Worship Leader Coaching Network you…

  • You get 12-months of hands on personal training with systems that ACTUALLY work in churches of all shapes and sizes
  • You walk away with over $2,322.20 of FREE Resources (try doing that at the resource table at your next Worship Conference)
  • The training doesn’t end after 3 days… in addition to the 12-monthly session, you get audio MP3’s of each session, meaning you walk away with a library of over 24 hours of nuts-and-bolts practical systems to build a health and growing worship ministry and share with the key leaders in your church.
  • Personalized Q&A call-in sessions to have all of your questions answered about what we discuss in the network
  • Plus much more!


When you join the Worship Leader Coaching Network this month you will receive TWO BIG Bonuses…


#1 – Planning Worship Services for Life Transformation Workshop (a $599.00 value – FREE!)

In this live recording of the popular six-hour workshop, Jason Hatley and Nelson Searcy will teach you a proven process for planning life-transforming and creative worship services every
week while reducing your week-to-week Sunday stress!

#2 – Free Worship Leader Gold Membership (Regularly $99.00 a month – FREE!)

Worship Leader Gold is a group of passionate, cut-against-the-grain,discontent-with-average,motivated-for-ministry, what-are-we-waiting-for Worship Leaders who want to have a growing and healthy ministry and personal life. Your membership benefits include:

  • Monthly Leadership & Strategy Briefing call with me where you’ll be challenged and guided to maximize your worship ministry and personal life each month
  • Monthly Equipping Interview Call where we interview other leading authors – past interviews include Steve Stroope, Patrick Lencioni, Thom Rainer and Gary McIntosh
  • MP3 and CD recordings of both the briefing and interview calls each month – don’t worry if you can’t make the live calls, you won’t miss a thing
  • Members-Only Online Hub where you can access your files, resources and recordings at all times
  • Monthly members bonus kit mailed directly to you including recordings, transcripts, members-only opportunities, event invitations and more
  • 30% Off Discount on all Worship Leader Insights resources for the duration of your membership
  • $813.20 in immediate FREE Bonus resourceswill be waiting for you in your online hub as soon as you join
  • And much more!

PLUS – When you join the Worship Leader Coaching Network, in just the first year you’ll receive:

  1. Monthly online sessions – hands-on coaching from Jason Hatley on all Seven Challenges of the Worship Leader.
  2. Regular Group Q and A calls to ask your specific questions.
  3. Over $2,320.20 in FREE resources from Worship Leader Insights PLUS special discounts on any new resources.
  4. Unlimited email access to Jason and the WLI team.
  5. FREE attendance at (live or web) training events during your network (up to $1,249.00 value)
  6. A monthly environment where everyone is focused on a Kingdom agenda.
  7. The chance to grow and take your worship ministry to the next level!


TUESDAY MORNING INSIGHTS is Jason Hatley’s free weekly training resource specifically designed to provide you as a worship leader with proven principles, tips and practices to help you lead a healthy and thriving Worship Arts Team.