ALL THE SAINTS – Live from the CentricWorship Retreat – No. 1

I don’t believe I’ve ever used by blog to promote projects that I’m working on, but this is one I’m very excited about and wanted to share with you.  Releasing March 11th!   Hope you enjoy…

In September of 2013 we invited 12 worship leaders to join us for our first ever worship retreat in the beautiful Methow Valley of Winthrop, Washington. It was to be a week of worship, refreshing and new friendships. Our retreat was filled with both tears and laughter as we dug into the Word of God each day and spent time in the presence of our Lord. By the end of the week, we had written 18 new songs and recorded 21 during our morning and evening worship times! This first EP is our way of sharing a small part of that experience with the world. Our prayer is that these new songs will assist you in your prayer and worship as you continue the journey with us, closer and closer to the heart of Jesus. – Steve Rice, Executive Producer / VP CentricWorship

mattredman Video

Songwriting Tip of the Week with Matt Redman

Award winning songwriter, Matt Redman shares a one-minute quick tip on writing melody for the congregation…

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Matt Redman has been a full-time worship leader and songwriter since he was 20 years old and his journey has taken him all over the world.  He is known for modern day classic church songs  like ‘The Heart of Worship’, ‘You Never Let Go’ and ‘Blessed Be Your Name’.  His more recent compositions include the Grammy-nominated ‘Our God’, and the double-Grammy winning ’10,000 Reasons’.  Matt is also the author of several books, including The Unquenchable WorshipperFacedownMirrorball,Blessed Be Your Name (co-authored with Beth Redman) and Indescribable (co-authored with Louie Giglio).  Visit Matt’s website at www.mattredman.com

This video is from Premier Christian Radio of London.  You can find them on the web at http://www.premier.org.uk

Principles of Songwriting with Paul Baloche

Love Paul Baloche!!   What a great guy and one of the Church’s favorite songwriters today.

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This Skype Session is part of the curriculum of “Principles of Songwriting II”, a class taught by Travis Doucette as part of the Songwriting Specialization at the Center for Worship at Liberty University. For more information please visit http://www.liberty.edu.

 

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Something To Write About

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged.  Partly due to time, but partly because I felt I didn’t have anything to write about.  And that’s exactly what I’ll be talking about today – Something to Write About.

If we’re writing Christian music, and Christianity is a complete world view, then why do we cover such narrow ground with our lyrics?  Over the last year, I’ve heard too many songs that not only sound the same, but talk about the exact same thing … mainly God’s grace and his salvation.  God’s grace is incomparable  and his salvation a blessed mystery, but there is so much more to God than just what He’s done for us.  So much more to write about!

The Almighty is worthy of worship and honor, regardless of what He does for mankind.  Consider Job … Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. (Job 13:15 KJV).  It’s not about us.  It’s about Him.  Yet, way too many of our “worship” songs are really about us, when you get right down to it.

The many attributes of God are all worthy of worship and praise …  There are a myriad of scripture verses that reveal these attributes.  In addition to being merciful, faithful and loving toward us (which is what so many of our songs are about), He is all-knowing, never-changing, ever-present, sovereign, holy, righteous, absolute-truth.  He’s ultimate ruler, decision maker, king.  He is to be feared.  He is beyond our comprehension.  Who can know the mind of God?  Who is like Him?  He said to Job, Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. (Job 38:4 KVJ);  How great is God–beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out.  (Job 36:26 NIV)

All too often our lyric writing defaults to words like “great” and “amazing” and “wonderful”.  Then we add something like, “because You saved me”, and we never go deeper.  What if we focused a worship song on one particular aspect of  God (any number of which are worthy of worship independently)?  For example, if I tell my wife that she’s beautiful, that’s good.  But if I tell her that she has the sweetest smile and the most alluring lips, then that’s better.  I’m telling her some of the ways she’s beautiful and she knows I’ve noticed and given it serious thought.

In 1 Corinthians Paul challenged the church that they had not matured enough, and he likened it to still feeding on baby’s milk.  Christian song lyrics are often milky and not meaty.  As the Church, we all need meat to grow and the pastor is not the only one feeding the Church.  Christian songwriters are feeding the Church something every Sunday!  In fact, it has been said that the Church body learns most of their doctrine from the songs they sing, rather than from the sermons they hear.  This is scary, unless our songwriters are serious students of the Word.

In addition to God’s attributes, there are many Biblical doctrines that we can share, teach or act upon in our song lyrics.  Here’s an example…

BLESSING:  The Bible is full of teaching on “Blessing”.  We often bless the Lord in our worship songs.  But do we have songs that speak blessing on each other, on those who persecute us (Romans 12:14), on our cities, our churches, our country, etc.?  Out of our mouths can come blessing or cursing.  We have the authority to bless as the body of Christ in this Earth.

There are so many things to write about!  Let’s jump into the meat of the Word and write it on our hearts.  Then, out of the abundance of our heart, our mouth (or pen) will speak!

Be blessed!