So, I’m pretty jacked up right now. I just returned from Thirsty ’07 over the weekend with some of the worship team from Southbrook Church. What an awesome experience. I got to see all of my worship leader heroes (Charlie Hall, Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, and Matt Redman) do what they do best. One of the highlights for me was a breakout session led by Matt Redman. Here’s some tidbits I picked up about worship song writing from Redman that might be of some benefit to someone out there in the blogosphere.
“Innovating and Excavating: Learning from the past to move into the Future”
· “Without tradition, art is a flock without a shepherd. Without innovation, art is a corpse.” – Winston Churchill
· Focus Scripture: Matthew 13:52 – He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
· Check out Cyberhymnal.org
· The worshipping church is like a building. We build on the past – the ceiling of one generation is the floor of another.
· Hymn writers were purposeful in their writing – they weren’t all over the place.
· Be conscious that your songwriting plays into people’s view of God.
· “You can have a thousand ideas, but unless you capture an emotion, it’s just an essay.” – Bono
· Bruce Springsteen could take something ordinary and write about it and make it sound extraordinary – but we often do the very opposite in our songwriting about God.
· Paint a big picture of God:
o Fanny Crosby: “healing stream”
o Isaac Watts: “thorns compose so rich a crown”
· Find a balance between being “meaty” while at the same time being digestible.
· Inhale – Exhale concept
o Inhale: Breathing in profound truth and doctrine on the verses (i.e. “He wraps Himself in light and darkness tries to hide and trembles at his voice”
o Exhale: Breathing out a simple expression of worship on the chorus (i.e. “How great is our God, sing with me, how great is our God . . .”