“All scripture is God-breathed.” Worship songwriters and leaders Shane & Shane, who wrote the popular song You’ve Already Won, bring a word about The Word in this Worship Sound Bite as it relates to writing songs for the Church.
Songwriters for the church, what’s your approach to writing worship songs? Let’s hear from a few of our experts who’ve written on the topic in past articles.
Songwriting Q&A with Matt Redman – Matt Redman says:
I love questions about the process of songwriting. It can be so powerful and profound to see the fruit of a song in people’s lives. But I also love the front end of the process too—the creating and crafting of the song.
The band U2 said that sometimes songwriting is like a playground, and at other times it’s more like a boxing ring. I can really relate to that. There are times when everything is so enjoyable, and the song is flowing so freely, that it just feels like “play.” And at other times— and this is maybe more often the case—it’s like a boxing ring; there’s a sense of contending and fighting for the song to come into being. It’s a wrestle. And I think what your question gets into is that “wrestle”—how to write a song that has substance and weight, but at the same time isn’t overly complicated. Read more.
Imagery in Songwriting for Worship Songs – Dave Clark says:
So what is it about songs, written out in 4 parts, with somewhat archaic language, that deems them relevant in a discussion of current worship trends in some cases two and three hundred years after they were written?
For starters, I think the answer is in the question. The songs themselves are still relevant. As of the writing of this article, the current top 100 CCLI chart features 11 songs that include at least of a portion of what would be considered a classic hymn. What songwriter wouldn’t dream of that level of staying power for one of their compositions? So perhaps I should rephrase the question. What is it about these songs that keep them relevant? Read more.
Tips on Lyrical Songwriting – Andy Park says:
Avoid highly predictable rhymes, especially with often-used religious words. “I seek your face, I love your grace.” Instead of always using perfect rhymes, try various kinds of false rhymes. I find that false or near rhymes don’t sound as contrived. You avoid sounding trite by using alternatives to perfect rhyme. Read more.
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Joshua Swanson is the Editor-in-Chief of Worship Leader. He's also the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Authentic Media, Worship Leader's parent company, and the former CEO and Co-founder of the creative agency GTMA. His proudest achievement is his marriage to Rachael Joy and partnering with her in founding New Hope Children. As a performer and speaker, he’s appeared on TV networks like ABC, NBC, Lifetime, and Hallmark. His companies have worked with major brands like Sprint, Pokemon Go (he was also in a Pokemon movie), Pepsi, The Latin Grammys, the Billboard Awards, Corona and over 75 national developers. He’s narrated over a hundred audiobooks and was awarded Best YA Voice twice. His companies have been Inc. 5000 three different times.