- A worship song like What Joy Is Mine reflects what scripture says time and time again; God wants to grow us in our struggles and hardships, and in those hard times, there can be joy, great joy, the joy that surpasses all understanding.
From Messenger Music and The Halls comes a new worship song, What Joy Is Mine. Written by Galen Crew, Christen Ball, and Ryan Hall out of The Gate Church in Franklin, Tennessee, it was inspired by lessons learned during hard times. Galen Crew says that during a period of professional, personal, and health challenges. He says, “God did not immediately deliver me out of any of these circumstances. Instead, God began speaking to me about joy.”
James 1:2-3 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
This song reflects that perspective focusing on truth bared out in the lyric, “You satisfy with living water, What Joy Is Mine in Christ.”
What Joy Is Mine is an easy-to-sing-and-play worship chorus that will fit well in any worship setting. It works well with extensive accompaniment or stripped-down. The melodies work well as a slower song (as written) but also functions well if played more upbeat, giving it a great deal of range.
The melodies in this worship song are approachable for any level singer. They stay within two octaves with a rhythmic motif that is easy for a congregation to catch onto. The accompaniment, as written, is playable for most worship team levels, but also lends itself to be expanded on for more creative arrangements.
Music and Production
The first thing I noticed about What Joy Is Mine is the melody is simple, but interesting, always a tough balance to strike when writing worship songs. It has a memorable cadence that will stick in people’s minds. The chorus uses a variation of that cadence, pulling it together as a cohesive worship song.
The chord progression revolves around 4-5-6, resolving to the tonic only at the end of the phrase. This delay in resolution gives great tension and interest to the piece and shows smart song construction. The song comes in at 66 beats per minute (bpm), which makes it a slower song when being considered for set placement during worship. One small critique would be that this slower bpm causes the song to drag ever-so-slightly and may benefit from a bump-up in pace.
Informed by John 15:11, “I have told you these things that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” James 1:2-3 (quoted above), and Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to show who are called according to His purpose.” The lyrics reflect these scriptures, especially in light of Galen’s conception of the song as a response to personal hardship. This will connect with those also experiencing trials and tribulations in their own lives.
A worship song like What Joy Is Mine reflects what scripture says time and time again; God wants to grow us in our struggles and hardships, and in those hard times, there can be joy, great joy, the joy that surpasses all understanding.
An excellent worship song that is accessible for all church situations.
Could use a slightly higher pace, but still works as it is.
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Christopher Watson is an author of six books, both fiction and non-fiction. He is also a musician and composer with a B.A. in Music from Azusa Pacific University. For several years Christopher led worship at The Springs Church while attending Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas Texas. He's been involved with worship in a number of churches in California and the Pacific Northwest both as a musician and in production and technology. Now he lives and writes in Washington State with his amazing wife, wonderful daughters, and highly intelligent dog, Ellie Mae.