Monday, June 10, 2013

Top 5 Essential Ingredients For A Great Worship Song

There are tons of Christian worship songs available today. Thanks to the internet, we have more access to music than ever before in the history of man! Technology has made it easier for musicians to record and distribute music, and technology has made it easier for us to acquire it.

Because of this widespread access, the worship music culture has been rapidly growing and changing. I've been involved in worship music long enough to see this happen. For example, the chords and progressions have changed over the past 10 years or so. New chords and new chord progressions have become popular. The seventh chord has bit the dust. The 'two' chord is in. The 1-4-6m-5 progression is standard. And just lately, in the last year or so, here's the new trend: first verse - sing in a low range, then later in the song, sing everything an octave higher. Seems everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. Sometimes it's amusing to see how trends like these take off.

However, occasionally, someone writes a song totally out of the box, which is refreshing. Still, a simple song could possibly be the best, and probably is the hardest to write. Song writers are influenced by a gamut of other writers and bands. And in this day and age, we are flooded with new bands and new songs. And when it comes to Christian music, it's all a good thing!

"Sing a new song, play skillfully, and shout for joy." Psalm 33:3

The availability of new music has influenced what is used in the church today. Those churches who have chosen to stay culturally relevant, musically, are choosing songs in their services that are currently popular. What you hear in these type of churches are songs that Christians are listening to during the week on their phones, mp3 players, radios, concerts, and other sources.

Since there are tons of Christian worship songs available today, the question is this: what are the components that make up a really great worship song? Of course, there's always personal preference such as style, genre, or even the performer. But in my mind, even though they play a part, none of those make my top five list then it comes to making a great worship song. So what really matters? Here's my personal top five list...

Top 5 Essential Ingredients For A Great Worship Song:

1. It honors Christ, God, or the Holy Spirit
Obviously, this is what worship is all about. In a great worship song, the lyrics must express things like reverence, awe, wonder, respect, thanksgiving, praise, or adoration. Sounds simple, but it's true and of first importance: a great worship song honors God and glorifies Him.

2. It Addresses God Directly
A worship song addresses God directly. The lyrics include words like "You" or "Your". If the song simply talks about God, like who He is or what He does, but doesn't address Him directly, then the song is a praise song, not a worship song. But when the song addresses God, it becomes a personal melodic prayer from you to Him.

3. It is Scripturally Accurate
"God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth." (John 4:24) Notice the word "truth" in that verse. If we are to worship "in truth", then a great worship song must accurately reflect the truth of the New Testament teachings - about God, about Jesus, about the Holy Spirit.

4. It Touches the Heart
The lyrics of a great worship song stir your spirit. They personally touch you and move you. As the above scripture says, God is spirit and we must worship in spirit. When the message of a song affects you spiritually, touches your emotion, opens up your heart to worship and connects you with God, that's what takes the song to another level.

5. It has a Captivating Melody
There's just something about a captivating melody. A great melody combined with great lyrics, results in a song that is powerful. Music is made up of melody, rhythm, and lyrics. When these combine into a unique, pleasing blend, something wonderful happens. The melody enhances the lyrics, and you want to hear it over and over. This is true of a great worship song. You'll want to sing it over and over again.

There are a lot of Christian songs that are powerful and effective. But to be called a worship song, these five ingredients must be in place. The real difference between a worship song and a praise song is found in item #2 above - to whom it's addressed to. A worship song is addressed to God, while a praise song is about God, but addressed to other people.

The songs I consider to be great worship songs may be different than the songs you consider to be great because of items #4 and #5. A song may touch your heart differently than it touches mine because of life's experiences or circumstances. Likewise, a great melody line for me may be different to the ear for you. When you hear a great worship song, may it prompt you to pause, listen, and worship.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there! great stuff. Thanks for sharing a very interesting and informative content, it helps me a lot and to others as well, keep it up!

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