Song Writing For The Church
What ingredients make for a good worship song? When Paul speaks to the Colossians about 'songs, hymns, and spiritual songs', he begins by saying, "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you." The core of our worship times must consist of Christ, and the songs we write must be filled ('richly!') with Him - who He is, what He's done, and where He's at (the throne!). He is the foundation of our salvation and the cornerstone of the church, therefore, He should be at the forefront of our worship.
Finding the balance
The unfortunate thing about song writing is that even if we produce lyrics of great heavenly truth that weigh heavily on our minds and bring us to a deep revelation of who God is, if unaccompanied by equally captivating melody and music, our hearts can be left standing at the starting gate with no where to run. If our songs aren't balanced equally with lyrics and melody, the experience of using them in worship can be awkward and unnatural.
On the other hand, the scary thing about the power of melody is that you can be pouring yourself out in a song emotionally, but strip away the aesthetics - the angelic harmonies, the driving kick drum, and the soaring guitar riffs - and you just might find you're singing to the clouds, not to the Creator of them. We need more lyrically and musically "rich" songs in our churches; but more importantly, we need more song writers who will hold tight to the balanced tension of lyrics and music and continuously carry the delightful burden of ushering in the people of God through song in corporate worship.
A free resource
Recently I returned from Newday (a youth event held in the UK), where I've had the joy of serving for the past 3 years. In anticipation of the live album coming out in November, we've compiled all the new songs from the week into an official "Newday Songbook". It's FREE and it includes great new songs from Simon Brading, Jules Burt, Sam Cox, and Pete Coggin. I hope you find it helpful! You can get it by clicking here.