Archives For Songwriting

Worship Tools 9.4.12

September 4, 2012


10 Tips for Co-writing from Russ Hutto

Video: Principles of Songwriting with Paul Baloche

Audio / Video

New Songs

Cardophonia recently posted their top ten opening songs. The four hymns are below, check out the retunes and modern songs here.


1. Praise to the Lord (Redemption Hill Arr.)
We love this 4/4 driving arrangement from Redemption Hill, Richmond. We don’t always use the extra bits but the overall feel is great.

2. All Creatures of Our God and King (Traditional)
A great call to worship to song reflecting the call of the psalm 117.

3. Be Thou My King (Rend Collective Arr.)
Like ‘Praise to the Lord’ above taking Be Thou Vision and giving it a driving 4/4 rhythm makes it a great opening song calling us to return our ‘vision’ to the Lord.  We keep the old words but the Rent Collective arr. inspired us.

4. O Worship the King (trad)
A clear call to worship that establishes our relationship in song.  God as our King and his people as feeble and frail needing his mercy and strength. Helps to give the song more of a rolling 6/8 feel.


The Worship Wars: An Alien’s View from @TanyaRiches

What Luke’s Two Old Men Teach Us About Worshiping Through Song from @bobbygiles


Worship Tools 8.22.12

August 22, 2012
Worship Leading

5 Tips To Engage People While Leading Worship by Peter Webb

 Lessons in Worship Leading by Chris Mitchell


Why should we study the history of Christian worship? – by Scot Aniol

Is Modern Worship Sort of Like a Cocaine Rush? from Musicademy

 Song Writing

How Moses Can Improve The Quality Of Your Church’s Worship Songs by Bobby Gilles


Stage Design: SPLASH from Church Stage Design Ideas

A Vote for Clicks and Multitracks! – from Worship Ideas

Team Building

How a Worship Arts Reception Can Help You Find New Volunteers by Jason Hatley

5 Reasons Why You Lack Good Musicians on Your Worship Team from Worship Ideas


Liturgical v. Freeform Prayer by Sandy Grant for Matthias Media

Defining God as Indefinable by Bosco Peters

Sunday Morning Liturgy For Celtic Retreat by Christine Sine


Worship Tools 8.8.12

August 8, 2012

New Songs

Worship Together is offering two new takes on classic hymns:

Savior, Like A Shepherd Lead Us (Blessed Jesus)
Free MP3 | Free Lead Sheet | New Song Cafe

Be Still My Soul
Free MP3 | Free Lead Sheet | New Song Cafe

Leading Worship

Singable Songs by Don Chapman
“Bottom Line: Choosing worship songs that are singable by normal mortals will create a more unified, participatory worship experience for your church.”

Rockstars and Worship Leading for the Rest of Us by Karl Verkade
” Because the point is, you can get people to sing almost anything. But is that really where you want to spend your time while leading worship? And is that really how you want to use up the congregation’s energy? It is usually much more expedient to choose songs that are easy for people to sing with and get into. Then you have their patience and energy at full store, when and if you need to push and prod to get them to connect with God.”


How To Build A Worship Team That Never Stops Growing by David Santistevan 

“You need to answer these two questions:

1. How am I capturing and developing the young musicians in my church?

2. How am I capturing and developing the older musicians in my church?

You need a separate strategy for both.”

Small Church/Big Worship: Five Ways a Schedule Helps Develop Your Worship Team – From Musicademy

Worship Leader Devotional “Going Deeper”: Blessing the Blessing by 

TECH – Audio / Video


Are Your Worship Songs too Ornate or Complex? by Bobby Gilles

Worship Tools 7.12.12

July 12, 2012


Ask the Expert – Recommendations on humbuckers for a modified Strat – Musicademy


Looking for Songs for All About Worship Collective Volume 4 – All About Worship

Worship Leading

Graham Kendrick on worship leading – from Musicademy
Getting Simple of Sunday Morning – from Rob Rash
Is cool music missing the mark on Sunday morning? – from Worship.Com
3 Quick Ways To Improve Your Communication, Writing or Worship Leading – from Bobby Giles


Speak to Me – from Vineyard Music Song and Chord chart – beautiful song! 
Beneath the Waters (I Will Rise) Chords and Lyrics | 
Hillsong – PraiseChords.Net


FREE Heaven’s Praise by Dwayne Moore Download – The Worship Community
“That’s right! Grab a free PDF version of Dwayne Moore’s Heaven’s Praise: Hearing God Say “Well Done” through the end of July! We’re helping spread the word because this is a PHENOMENAL resource! This, along with Pure Praise (TWC REVIEW), is a great study series to take your worship and ministry teams through and we HIGHLY recommend them both!”



Shift Worship is announcing some major upgrades to their site including no more zip files, better file sharing and editable Photoshop files

Mode – “Creative Collective has a brand new app, Mode, which features talks and interviews about the creative process via streaming video and downloadable mp3s.” – From Echo Hub


“It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God.” – A.W. Tozer

Worship Tools 6.25.12

June 25, 2012

“You cannot find excellent corporate worship until you stop trying to find excellent corporate worship and pursue God himself.”
~DA Carson

Global Worship: an interview with David Ruis

From The Creative Sunday5 Ways to Make a Stage Design Happen

From Rich KirkpatrickDeath by Comment Card: Decibel levels, worship style, and helpful suggestions

 Bob Kauflin with some suggestions if you’re looking for a piano/keyboard

From The Worship Community, Joel Klampert  shares: Self-Serving Leadership: The Platform is Not Your Throne

Worship Together is offering two brand new free songs from Bellarive:

Love Has Found Us
Free Lead Sheet // New Song Cafe

Free Lead Sheet // New Song Cafe

New Lead Sheet PLUS from Lifeway Worship: Strong God from  Desperation Band’s latest album “Center of It All,

From Worship Vanguard, thoughts on songwriting.

From Church Production News: Rash of Stage Collapses Could Prompt Changes in Insurance and Engineering Standards

An interview with Graham Kendrick:

Graham Kendrick has been described as the “Grandfather of the modern worship movement” and has been a huge influence on many of today’s worship leaders. What is Graham doing nowadays and what does he think about modern worship music?

(I posted this originally on my personal blog but felt it needed a place here as well. Comments welcomed!)
There is a sweet spot in writing worship music that keeps songs on the mark. What’s the mark? It’s the intersection of doxology and orthodoxy. It’s best described by the combination of passages in Ephesians and Colossians that speak to singing to the Lord.

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart… (Ephesians 5:18-19 ESV)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” – (Colossians 3:16 ESV)

The intersection here is one in which doxology and orthodoxy are tied to one another. The result should be songs that both point the church to God in praise while enriching the church theologically.  When we wander off this axis we end up promoting worship that can sit at the dead end of intellectual snobbery or the off road rabbit trails of romanticism. The post previous to this highlights the song “Now Why This Fear?” released by Sovereign Grace Music. It’s a great example of the intersection resulting in passionate praise that is theologically rich. It’s worship that lifts the heart and grounds the soul.

When I came across a song today that was released recently by Bethel Music, it raised some questions for me. The song is called “My Dear.” I’ve watched the video and read the lyrics several times. These people are great musicians and capture much of what’s popular from the Coldplay “whoa-ohs” to the Mumford and Sons instrumentation.  The people in the video exude the kind of joy and ardor that I’ve come to expect from those associated with Bethel Music. Here’s the question: Is the song intended as a performance or is it a song developed for the church? If it’s an artistic performance piece then I would just leave it alone. On the other hand, if it’s for the church then it deserves scrutiny. Bobby Giles of Sojourn Music recently asked, “why do pastors and theologians pick on songwriters?”  His answer was short and to the point:

“We put words in people’s mouths, which they will sing in church services as well as their homes, cars and other places throughout the week as they worship God. If you don’t feel the weight of this responsibility, you should. You must.”

So, if I am evaluating a song like this as a pastor as well as a worship leader, my conclusion is that it would not be used in our worship. Why? Because it wanders away from that sweet spot towards sentimental romanticism.  I’m not suggesting that every song has to be a theological treatise. Indeed, we need songs that allow us to focus our hearts, close our eyes, lift our hands and sing with abandon. However, there is a point in which a lyric can deteriorate into little more than romanticized words repeated ad nauseam.  It’s catchy to say the least, but referring to God as “My Dear” over and over again highlights a growing tendency towards feminizing God the Father and helping to distance an already alienated male culture within the church. The word “ravish” shows up in this song as it has in a number of others. It’s a word used once in Song of Solomon (4:9) and Proverbs (5:19), and it’s  questionable because ravish is a word more often used to describe overpowering someone sexually. (Jud. 20:5; Is. 13:16; Lam. 5:11; Zec. 14:2) It’s a kinder word than rape and that’s why it shows up in trashy romance novels quite a bit.  It’s current usage in our dictionaries is overwhelmingly negative and should at least cause us to consider our use of it.

Nice tune. Well played. Great lyrics? Useful to the church?  I’d be interested in what you think.

My Dear
Hunter Thompson
Bethel Music

I am Yours and You are mine
I am ravished by the sight
Of one glimpse into Your eyes
My lover’s coming for His bride

For there is none upon the earth
That I desire before You, Lord
For You’ve been faithful all my days
Your love endures, it’ll never fade away

I need to say what my soul is singing
I need to say what my heart is screaming
I need to say what my soul is singing
I need to say what my heart is screaming

That I love You my Dear,
That I love You my Dear, my Dear
That I love You my Dear,
That I love You my Dear, my Dear

You’re everything I ever wanted
Everything I ever needed
You’re everything I ever wanted
Everything I ever needed
You’ve ravished my heart, You’ve ravished my
You’re everything I ever wanted
Everything I ever needed
You’ve ravished my heart

That I love You my Dear,
That I love You my Dear, my Dear
That I love You my Dear,
That I love You my Dear, my Dear