Writing worship songs… Easy, right?
Writing worship songs… Easy, right? I've heard that said many times before. Here's what I've heard: 1. Think BASIC- Basic chords, basic melody, basic lyrics.
2. You don't need your own progression; they've all been taken already.
3. You don't need melodies that gives you chills, just make sure its catchy and easy to sing.
4. You don't even have to use your own words; just pull them from scripture (a psalm) or an old hymn (amazing grace).
5. Use phrases that make people feel good: 'God loves me, God cares about me, he saved me, he set me free,' ya know…hope, life, love… words that FEEL good.
6. Make it upbeat, uplifting, and suitable for anyone ages 8-70. Nothing depressing. Nothing too deep.
7. Get to the chorus in 30 seconds.
8. Make sure everyone can sing it after hearing it once.
DONE… You got it. Easy, right? Well, were we to approach our album like this, yes. Very easy. But, would it be worship? For us, NO. Am I saying that if you do any of the things listed above, you are not worshipping? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Words like hope, life, and love are essential to our Christian beliefs. Jesus has given us all of those incredible gifts. Plus, making a song easily replicable (basic) has its advantages, too: the average church musician can learn it, lead it, and spread the truth within it to their church body. So, how do you approach writing a worship song? What is the most important, essential ingredient? THE HEART. The motive behind it all. The reason why you are doing what you are doing? There has to be intentionality behind it. Whether you're unriddling the mysteries of life and it's just between you and God, or you're writing for the international church. From the Lord to the writer, from the writer to the musicians, from the musicians to the worshippers, from the worshippers back to the Lord. It's all about the HEART.
Jesus talks about the heart over and over in his discourses with the Pharisees. David opens his all over the Psalms. A worship song should be an overflow. The writing process should be as worshipful as the end product. Whether God reveals truth, a fresh perspective, or a message for the church, it should come out of the conversations you're having with Him (past or present). It should come from the trials and the victories we go through. The song becomes a proclamation of the truth He speaks to us. If it connects, it's because others feel the same way and have simply been searching for the right words. Hopefully, the music supports the message and doesn't distract, but draws people deeper into the words. It is there that the worshipper can communicate with the only One worthy of worship.
As we are preparing for our new record, we are longing for creativity. We are longing to push the boundaries, bring new perspectives, new melodies, and material that may or may not be suitable for everyone. But is pushing the boundaries the focus? NO. The focus is THE HEART. The motive behind it all: a passionate and genuine desire to use the gifts and talents given to us, for the glory of the One who gave them. We hope that you relate. We hope that you enjoy. We hope that the music draws you into a deeper longing and understanding of Your Creator. We hope that He speaks to you, convicts you, teaches you, breaks you, encourages you, and strengthens you through the songs. That's why we do it. That's what we want. That's what we pray for. What a wonderful endeavor!