The volume of new worship content being released every year is staggering. In our young church I will only introduce 6-10 new songs a year and with so much great content available I am often asked why we would bother writing original content. Why would we build a songwriting community in our church? Here are four key reasons I believe your church should be writing new worship songs.
1. The Gospel – The gospel is such good news that it cannot be expressed in one song, or even in one generation’s worth of songs. By continuing to write new songs we are announcing to the world that the God we worship is infinitely good, infinitely worthy of worship. If God’s mercies are really new every morning then we should never run out of fresh expressions of thanks and praise.
2. The Story – Every faith family develops their own vernacular, their own unique way of telling the gospel story. What are key phrases in your church’s vision, repeated quotes from your pastor’s sermons, scripture passages that are often repeated by your people? Also, every faith family has a unique story to tell and a unique way of telling that story. Every church faces a unique set of struggles and brings a unique set of needs into worship. What does your church NEED to be singing back to God right now? What is missing from the “balanced worship diet” of your congregation?
3. The Command – if we’re going to obey the repeated biblical command to “sing a new song to the Lord” then we must also be writing new songs. Why would this command be repeated so often in scripture (Ps. 33, 40, 96, 98, 144, 149)? Perhaps God understands our tendency to make an idol out of “the way things have always been” and so we are commanded to bring Him some fresh and personal expression of our worship. We are also practicing for eternity. Even in heaven new songs are being sung to the Lord (Rev 5:9 and 14:3). I believe someday I will sit down in eternity and work with a pencil and some paper to write a new song for the Lord. Because…
4. The Craft – The act of writing new worship songs is IN ITSELF a vital act of worship. Worship songs are not just written to be recorded or even sung in public. The solitary act of crafting a new and excellent expression of worship is ENOUGH to threaten the enemy and glorify the Father! Your church should be writing new songs SOLELY because the process of crafting something excellent to honor God brings Him pleasure. Write new worship songs because our God deserves it!
(Read James’ accompanying post, “5 Questions to ask about that Worship Song you’re Writing”, over at his blog.)
James Tealy is the worship pastor in Redemption City Church (Franklin, TN) and teaches songwriting at Belmont University. He has penned chart topping singles for Kari Jobe, Josh Wilson, Unspoken, Lauren Daigle, and more than 80 others. Redemption City Church has just released “HANDED DOWN: Songs of Redemption City” and you can get a free copy of the album HERE.