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Writing Worship Songs: 3 Tips To Get Started

Worship hypnotism can also be caused by bland lyrics. This goes back to know your audience – if they are reasonably intelligent, don’t challenge them with gems like,

“Lord, You are good. Oh, Lord, You are so good. Good Lord, Your goodness is so good. I will sing about Your goodness because You are so good.”

Yes, you can worship to this, but the number of people that mentally check out and the blandness of the lyrics are directly proportional.

3. A good worship song has Christ-centered lyrics.

If the lyrics aren’t focusing the attention on Christ, it’s not worship.

This doesn’t mean that you can only write songs about Jesus or that you even have to say His name in the song. It does mean that the sum total of the worship experience should be to direct admiration and adulation where it belongs – God. Even if you have written a singable and captivating song where everyone is way into it, if your lyrics are about robotic puppy helmets, you’ve defeated the whole purpose.

As for me, I’ve all but decided never to write lyrics again. I’m not that good at it anyway, plus there is a far superior source of worship material: Scripture. I’ve fallen head over heels in love with God by reading His word and hearing Him speak directly to me through it. Scripture has this magical property to it that isn’t inherently obvious in small chunks – it is God breathed. They are just words connected together like any others, but they hold up to every angle, every thought, every problem – they are Truth. If you write enough lyrics, you will eventually tell lies and blaspheme and a host of other nasty things because you are not perfect, but the scripture is. Writing worship songs with scripture for lyrics is more powerful than your lyrics ever could be.

Songs are a perfect medium for Scripture memorization as well. How many Def Leppard or Michael Jackson songs do you know by heart? Dumb, painful lyrics forever etched into your memory banks by a catchy tune. How much better if it were Proverbs or Romans?

Therefore, I recommend taking Scripture and writing worship songs from it. It can be difficult to take Scripture and put it 100% identical into your song (see the section on clumsy, awkward wording) though if you can manage it, that’s the ideal. I would not go so far as to say that the only acceptable worship song is one that is taken directly from Scripture. Instead, I say that my songs are inspired by Scripture – and that makes them more suitable for worship.

Writing worship songs is an experience that cannot be equaled. Having a song get played on the radio or MTV is all fine and good, but that music is disposable. Good worship songs tend to stick around for centuries. Some say that music is the language of the soul, and it is true that in writing worship songs something magical happens when you respond to God with your voices in song: He shows up.