Writing and Leading Music for Worship

Back in 2010, when Keith Getty led a workshop at the National Worship Leader’s Conference, David Neff edited and distilled ten thought-provoking ideas from Getty’s workshop comments on the craft of writing and leading music for worship:

  • The primary form we use is the story form.
  • It is important to look at things that are harrowing and that don’t necessarily make us feel happy.
  • We need lament. But if you want to write lament, remember that a successful lament resolves into acknowledging that God is God.
  • To write strong melodies remember that folk melody has to be passed on orally (aurally).
  • Use pastors and theologians as resources for your writing, keeping company with them.
  • Trinitarian worship safeguards us from so many problems our worship can get into: either an overly stern view of God or a casual view of God.
  • Martin Luther is one of ten people from history I would want to have coffee with. I have looked at a lot of Luther’s hymns and emulated him. First, Luther had a high view of redemption. He also believed we live our lives in the midst of spiritual warfare. Thirdly, he had a high view of the church and a high vision of the church.
  • The congregation is the choir and it is merely the privilege of those of us who are musically gifted to help them sing.
  • Lyrics and great writing are the same thing. Lyricism is poetry.
  • Everything I write can be sung by a congregation.

-Keith Getty, http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/review-hymns-for-the-christian-life

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