As you start to write worship songs for your church, you would be wise to make co-writing a regular part of your songwriting process. One decision I made early as a songwriter is that I wanted to find songwriting collaborators and not try to tackle writing worship songs completely on my own. This has helped form new friendships, allowed me to discover new creative opportunities and given me the chance to cheer on other songwriters.
When you are thinking of the kinds of people you’d like to start writing songs with, don’t jump in too early. Songwriting is a delicate process and even strong friendships can be damaged by a songwriting session gone bad. Co-writing can definitely be beneficial and one of the best places to start is by writing worship songs with other people inside your own church.
Listen very closely – don’t jump too quickly into a songwriting relationship because there are all kinds of stories of friendships which did not survive but don’t be scared of pursuing this as an option. Co-writing is not for everybody and there are lots of great worship songs which are written by individual songwriters but if your hope is to write songs which speak directly to your congregation, here are three reasons why you should consider co-writing with people from your own church –
- They know you
Don’t underestimate the power of relationship. Writing songs with strangers or new friends can be exciting and energizing but there is something special about writing songs with people you know. You share common experiences, common struggles and if you’re part of the same church you share a unique history as members of the same congregation.
Coming at a topic or a theme for a song from the perspective of relationship could be a real unique advantage for your songwriting and may give you a headstart as you write worship songs for your church.
- They know your congregation
The most direct opportunity for singing new worship songs will be within your own congregation and by co-writing with another member of your church you won’t have to go through any kind of education process on the past, present, future of your church’s congregation.
There are definitely songs which speak to universal issues for any follower of Christ and these are the songs which go global and can be sung in any church around the world. But as you write worship songs for your own congregation, remember that there are songs which will only be able to come from within your own congregation – some of those global songs just won’t capture the right words that your church needs to sing.
- They know your pastor
Remember that your relationship with your pastor is more important than whether or not one of your songs gets sung in your church. As you bring creative ideas or direction to the table for a particular song, someone from your church may be a great source of wisdom when it comes to encouraging you to purse a specific idea or to look for an alternative. Consider them your first line of defense when it comes to ideas which may be pushing the envelope.
At the same time, if you are writing a song with someone from your church and come up with a lyric which may get some resistance, you can approach your pastor together with some of your reasoning behind a particular word choice. Having someone from your church as part of the process creates trust all around.
Three reasons to write worship songs with people inside your church: they know you, they know your congregation, they know your pastor. Next up: three reasons to write worship songs with people outside your church.[This post is part of my Write Worship Songs blog series.]