The way I see it, there are three distinctive styles of worship service flow:
1) The Stop & Go - every song is it's own separate piece of the worship gathering. Every song has a distinctive beginning and end, with a pause between each song (either dead time, another element of the gathering or some talking/praying/lead-in for the next song). The emphasis tends to be on making each song unique and memorable. You'll see/hear this style at a Bon Jovi or Casting Crowns concert.
2) The Emotional Flow - every song seams to seamlessly flow into the next using extended musical interludes between songs, as if an entire set were just one long song. It's hard to tell where one song begins and another ends. The emphasis tends to be on using individual songs to create one big emotional experience for every set of songs. You'll see/hear this style at a Coldplay or Hillsong United concert.
3) The Anti-Climax - one song leads right into another, building the energy with every song. It's easy to distinguish the individual songs (with solid beginnings and endings), but there is no musical break between...this tends to be a blend of the first two styles. The emphasis tends to be on building a huge wave of energy and emotion with each song in the set. You'll see/hear this style at a Bruce Springsteen concert or...actually, off the top of my head, I can't think of a Christian artist who really utilizes this style well.
There are positives and negatives with each style, and every band needs to determine what their preferred style is going to be based on their own preferences and their own audiences/congregations.
We've determined that our style bounces between #1 and #3 depending on several factors. #1 is definitely the easiest, #2 probably requires the most amount of talent and awareness, and #3 requires the most amount of energy and charisma.
So, what do you think? Can you identify other distinctive styles? Has your band purposely determined your preferred style, or are you still trying to find your way? Let me know.