Make Your Worship Songs “Worship”

Why do many worship songs seem to fall flat? What is it about the long-lasting ones that make them connect so well to worshipers and even spread around the world to be sung by millions? And, just as importantly, how can you make your songs compelling to the point that a lot of people will want to sing them for years to come?

The truth is quite simple: Worship songs must worship.

As simple as it seems, one of the most common mistakes I’ve seen is that writers forget to make their worship songs worship. They get caught up in trying to paint a glorious picture of worship, but forget somehow to actually say worshipful things to God.

While there are times we do want to talk about praising God, as in a “call to worship,” I’m talking more about the songs that are intended to take us into a deeper awareness of God’s presence instead of just telling us we should be there, those “vertical” songs we hope will draw people in instead of leaving them on the outside of it all.

Don’t Just Describe Worshiping

Think about it this way.

There’s  a lot of difference between describing worship and actually worshiping. We can talk about worshiping God, describing it and even trying to get people to do it, but then never actually take anyone there. Maybe an example will help.

Consider this potential worship chorus:

We want to worship You, O Lord

In grace and truth, O Lord

We want to give You the highest praise

We want to worship You, O Lord

Versus this slightly altered version:

We worship You, O Lord

In grace and truth, O Lord

We give You the highest praise

We worship You, O Lord

This may seem like a slight change, but it makes a huge difference in what the worshiper feels when she’s singing it. When you sing, “We want to worship You” it actually postpones the very act of worshiping and only states a desire, leaving you only anticipating worship, at best.

When you sing, “We worship You” you actually enter the act of worship and it all becomes real, personal, intimate, and authentic, not only for you, but for all who are there to worship with you.

As you write your next worship songs, make sure they actually worship and not just talk about it.

John Chisum

John Chisum is a pioneer in the Christian music business, serving alongside people such as Bill & Gloria Gaither, Twila Paris, Paul Baloche, Don Moen, and many more. As Managing Partner of Nashville Christian Songwriters, John seeks to empower Christian songwriters worldwide to discover and fulfill their call to write.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I learned something about worship song “worship” If I wrote a worship song and I never sing that for my daily worship absolutely nobody want to sing that. It always start in my own life to be a worshipper first and from that the worship song will flow depth inside me. Thank you Lord.

  2. Thanks for the advice, I hope this helps. I look forward to using these strategies so I could right better songs in the future.

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