Song Writing and the Local Church
Music and singing is part of the very heart of Christianity. Our Bible’s are full off references to singing, the playing of instruments and songs of every type. Songs of praise and adoration towards God, cries of lament for the suffering we encounter in life, songs of thanksgiving to God and hope for the day of redemption. We are commanded to sing to each other, to encourage and admonishment one another in the hope, love and words of Jesus Christ.
Yet, while music is part of the rhythm of the local church, the composition of that music in our culture today is often not. Instead much of our new music is written by “professional” hymn and praise song writers, artists both talented and accomplished who write incredible songs. While these writers may be part global they do not reflect the joys, sufferings and experiences of your local congregation.
Why not us? Why not make arrangements of all the Psalms like Isaac Watts? Why not write from personal pain like King David?
Much of the music in the history of the church was written first for a local church. Writers such as Isaac Watts and J.S. Bach amassed incredible libraries of music not by a massive work of will and strength, but by making their writing a regular part of the rhythm and habits of their local church. These days, we do not write because we do set aside a regular time for the work. Furthermore, when we do write, we often do it solo, in isolation, rather than as part of a the larger church community.
Why not us? Why not make arrangements of all the Psalms like Isaac Watts? Why not write from personal pain like King David? Why not like Bach write weekly for every type of event in the life of our church: Sunday services, funerals, weddings, births, or songs for our kids?
A church that writes rhythmically and regularly is what we hope to foster with our monthly Song Writing Workgroup. If you current lead music, play in a band, sing in a choir, or in any way participate in a Christ centered church here in Tallahassee, we invite you to join us each month for a few hours of sharing, encouraging, critiquing and growing together as a community of musicians writing songs for our local churches. Let’s rise up and give witness in song to what God is doing right here in Tallahassee. Let’s stand with communities of believers everywhere composing song for each moment and place and give rise to a new song about what God is doing in our city, in every city.