Creativity in Worship Songwriting

Too many songs might say the right things, but there’s nothing that grabs you.  Nothing challenging, making you think, or bringing revelation.  There’s a balance between creativity and simple.  I prefer both.  I say keep it simple, but have a challenging phrase or two that makes you stop and go, “Hmmmm, never heard that one.”  The heavily poetic singer-songwriter song I encourage, but might work better in other settings.

One of the best examples is John Mark McMillans “How He Loves Us”.  Throughout the verses creative things are said, fresh revelation of God’s grace mentioned in new forms, and where else would ever hear “sloppy wet kiss” in a worship song?  But notice that it keeps coming back to a very singable chorus that everyone can join along with as well speaking of the love of God.

Since so many worship songs are simple and ideas are generally used over and over, it can be a challenge.  A challenge to write as well!

When writing take the usual format and try something different.  For instance you know the usual, “G, D, Em, C”, maybe switch it up with “G, D, G/B, C D” or whatever.

I personally really like the old hymns.  They might not be short and simple, but they add a lot of depth and maturity to your worship and help bring generations together.  One hymn can add a lot to a modern set.  Passion’s Hymns Ancient and Modern is one of the best and would suggest that for updated versions.

The best way to get better at writing songs is to do it and keep doing it.  Good luck writing!

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