I have not written a lot of original worship music, but I love writing poetry based on biblical truths. With so many worship bands and songs available, many of us struggle to determine what makes a good song. In the next couple of months, I want to talk about how solid songs are written, as well as discuss how I choose songs each week and how we can become a community of songwriters here at Koinonia Fellowship.
This month I am just going to focus on a few basic elements that make a song worthy of being sung by a congregation and led by a worship team. During this discussion, we need to understand that even our best attempts are imperfect when it comes to writing about the Creator of the world. We simply do not have the perfect words to describe all that God is and all that He does; all we can do is our best.
The most important element of solid lyrics is truth. John 4:24 states, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Without the truth of the Bible in our worship, we cannot truly praise Jesus. Ben Fielding from Hillsong states it this way: “Our words and thoughts are important, but they must be grounded in a higher authority.” Our lyrics become empty when they are not based on the Word of God.
Secondly, we must consider the sing-ability of the songs that we decide to lead in church. The reality is that not everyone is a great singer. We are all called to sing praises to God, but we do not all have gifts in the area of music. When we are determining the worthiness of a song, we must make it simple enough to follow lyrically and musically so that everyone in the congregation is able to enter into a sincere time of worship!
Thirdly, it is important to make sure that the majority of songs we sing have a strong theme. If we are unable to read the lyrics and determine the main theme of a song, the chances are that it will be confusing to the majority of the fellowship. If we are to worship with the Truth of God, our main focus should also be clear. That is not to say that some songs cannot have a few themes imbedded in the text, but we should be able to say “This song is about the attributes of God” or “This song is about salvation”, so that we are clearly representing the Word.
I am just hardly scratching the surface with these examples and guidelines. Please stick with me through the next couple of months as I take you through my personal process of choosing songs, as well as talk about the strength of a songwriting community at church. I pray that you are able to use these basic elements in your own life to determine if what you are listening to throughout the week meets these guidelines and is worthy of praise to Jesus.