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!

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4 comments on “Something To Write About

  1. “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.”

    Where did this quote come from?

    • Antonio – Thanks for asking. That quote came from a popular writer of worship songs, as a warning to young songwriters. I’ve heard it said a number of times over the years by other folks, and I’ve discovered it to be an fairly accurate statement from my own observations. Is it factual? Who really knows (and I apologize if the way I communicated it came across as proven). However, it IS proven that it’s easier for people to commit things to memory when they are sung and also when they are repeated. For those of us who have been attending church services for years, even decades, we have most probably heard and sung repeatedly, the same lines of doctrine from hymns and songs many more times than we’ve heard the same sermon – or possibly read the same scriptures. If this is true (which is only a speculation at this point), then it certainly puts a burden of responsibility on the songwriter to be doctrinally sound with lyrics.

  2. I completely agree with you at every turn. As song writers we are also teachers. When we write songs for corporate worship we are not only putting words into mouths, we are putting them into minds, and by doing so we are helping the Holy Spirit shape hearts. As we sing together we are rehearsing what we know to be true about our God and ourselves. Our lyrics should be rich and overflowing with biblical truths but somewhere along the lines our song writers went off the tracks, turned inward, and started worshiping who we are, why we worship and how we worship, instead of the One all worship is for. The good news is that we are feeling a push in the right direction and Im really excited about the new generation of artists being called by God. Things are shifting and it is beautiful. Thank you for your blog!

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