How to Write a Great Worship Song

Step 1: Acknowledge that there's no 'how-to' to creativity, says modern hymn writer Keith Getty

The following originally posted at Ancient Evangelical Future:

At the recent National Worship Leaders Conference, Irish songwriter Keith Getty began his workshop by telling those who had come to learn how to write a great worship song to leave. "Because art is the expression of life, you cannot ‘how-to' creativity."

Getty collaborates with his wife Kristyn and friend Stuart Townend. "They're the words and I'm the music," he says, estimating that somewhere between 5 and 20 percent of the words of any of their songs are his. "But we both get involved on both sides."

Here are ten notable and worthwhile ideas edited and distilled from Getty's workshop comments:

1. The primary form we use is the story form. The gospel is primarily story. How do you take people who want 4-line worship songs and get them to sing 32 lines? By structuring the song as a story.

2. It is important to look at things that are harrowing and that don't necessarily make us feel happy. The central core of the Christian faith ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a CT subscriber? for full digital access.
July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Posted by:

Read These Next

close
hide this
Access The Archives

Member-Only Access

Subscribe to Christianity Today to continue reading this article from CT's digital archives.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? to continue reading.