7 Tips for Writing Worship Songs
Writing a worship song is very similar to writing a secular song except for an important difference, your intended audience happens to include God. Praise and worship songs can be written in any genre or style, as a hymn or chorus, or even a simple Bible verse set to music. While the nuts and bolts of writing a praise and worship song may seem simple, the final result must always be a song that makes everyone want to sing along and worship God.
Tips for Writing Worship Songs
- Ask God to inspire you. Many people can write a song, but few can write lyrics that are powerful, moving and anointed. Creating a worship song requires the writer to be humble before God while basking in His majesty and glory.
- Draw on personal experience. Writing a song about personal experiences can be very powerful, but only if it brings attention to Jesus. A good praise and worship song will touch people in a way that causes them to think about how awesome God is and feel moved to praise Him.
- Use scripture and Christ-centered lyrics. Many worship songs and hymns include verses from the Bible. Using scripture encourages worshipers to memorize the Word. Use short passages that have a rhythmic quality, like those found in The Book of Psalms.
- Keep it simple and easy to sing. A worship song must be easy to learn and sing. It should be written in a key that is not too high or low. It should have a strong melody, not too many words, and simple phrasing. Everyone in the congregation should be able to sing the song easily.
- Don’t rely on memory alone. Most people forget their lyrics and melody if they are not written down or recorded. Inspiration for a worship song can come at unexpected times. Always keep a notepad and recording device around to capture new ideas.
- Listen to the song, then edit it. After you develop the chord progression, record the song to see how it flows. Listening to it a few times will help you identify awkward phrasing and chord changes that might distract from the worship experience.
- Perform it in a small worship setting. Perform the song in a small setting like a Bible study. If all goes well, add it to a mid-week or evening service before using it on Sunday morning.
The ability to write a timeless praise and worship song comes through perseverance, practice and God-given ability. Our job as worship leaders is to encourage as many people as possible to participate in worship. This includes writing songs that are not only easy to sing, but also anointed.