If you ask the top worship songwriters “what is the secret to writing great songs?” almost everyone will give you the same answer: collaboration.
Just take a quick look at some of today’s most widely sung worship songs;
- “What A Beautiful Name” – 2 authors
- “Good Good Father” – 2 authors
- “The Lion And The Lamb” – 3 authors
- “O Come To The Author” – 4 authors
Now you may be looking around and thinking “I’m the only one in my church with the skill and heart to write songs.” That may be true, but I’m willing to bet there are people in your church who are ready to start collaborating.
Here are three simple ways to develop a songwriting community:
1) Cast Vision
Why should we write songs for our church? That’s the question you’ll need to answer first.
In short, here are three of the main reasons:
- The need for fresh expressions of timeless truths
- To foster community by singing specific themes important to your church family
- As an opportunity for creatives to use their unique gifts for God’s glory.
Find a time to cast this vision to your volunteer teams, & do it regularly via emails, meetings, & pre-service gatherings.
A fully formed songwriter is hard to find (& become), but many people are gifted in at least one area. Someone who isn’t musical may be a gifted lyricist. Someone who plays drums may have a knack for writing melodic hooks.
Step one is simply letting people know the door is open.
2) Schedule The Time
If you are serious about songwriting, you’ve got to make the time. Of course, time is hard to come by. Here are a few ideas.
If you are a church staff member, schedule time during your work week for songwriting. This communicates to your team that this a priority. Treat it like any other meeting.
If you already have team members gathering for a rehearsal find out if a few can come early for songwriting. Right now I have a 4:00-5:00pm songwriting session with a few team members before our 5:00pm Wednesday night rehearsal.
Lastly, there’s something special & inspiring about meeting in someone’s home. Consider hosting songwriting nights in your home on a Monday night.
3) Create Outlets
You and your team will run out of steam pretty quickly if there are never any outlets to share your songs. Not every song can be lead in a service or recorded for an album, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t outlets to share music.
At Calvary Monterey we host regular TEAM NIGHTS as a time to connect with our worship and tech volunteers. This is a time to cast vision, build community and pray together. It’s also a great time to share original songs.
What do Videos, Podcast, and Countdowns have in common? They all need music. We’ve written music for Radio buffers, sermon intro videos, Podcast outros and more. This is a great outlet for gifted instrumentalists.
Of course, an album of original music from your church is a great outlet for songwriters. This is admittedly a big project but don’t be intimidated – start small and use the resources you have.
How have you developed a songwriting community where you are?
What obstacles have you faced?
We’d love to hear. Share in the comments below!