Recently I reviewed several CD’s that represent a resurgence of songs in the church that are written using old hymn texts set to new tunes and/or instrumentation. It is nice to see the church finding value in the old hymn texts that have otherwise been forgotten; however, I can’t help but notice that this resurgence claims, in part, to be a reformation for a singing church that tends to gravitate toward songs with lighter weight lyrical content.
Now, if we consider that musicians who were also pastors and theologians wrote a lot of the hymns, it no surprise that these songs often reflect an understanding for the deeper issues of faith. This leads me to a few challenges for contemporary songwriters.
- Become avid students of the scriptures and theology. A deeper understanding of your faith will better equip you to capture more thoughtful content in your writing.
- Consider approaching your songwriting as if you were writing a poem. If the lyric could be published as “stand alone” poetic verses, then you are likely writing something that will engage the spirit and mind of the congregation.