Be a lifelong student of the Scriptures, not just for great song material, but so you can apply them to your life. True worship obeys. If you are honestly trying to live a life pleasing to God, then the fruit of your efforts will show up in your writing. Your deepest cries will become songs that other believers can identify with, and there will be an integrity to your lyrics that won’t come any other way.
Words from the Word
One way of grounding your songs in the Scriptures is, of course, to write directly from them, or even to paraphrase them. Worshipers warm quickly to songs that use the imagery and phrasing of Scripture verses that they know and love. Don’t forget the Psalms, the worship songbook of all time. You can use a modern language translation to help keep your lyrics from sounding archaic.
Pictures speak the language of the heart, so fill your imagination with biblical imagery and the wonders of creation. Study the parables that Jesus taught. Study the shadows and types found in the Old Testament that are fulfilled in the New Testament. You will better understand the heavenly scenes described in the book of Revelation, for example, if you have knowledge of the tabernacle described in Exodus.
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Over the last 30 years, Worship Leader Magazine has been blessed to have many different contributors on the editorial team - this is their archive.