By Joy Lippard, MBC Tysons Worship Leader
Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy. Psalm 33:3
Music is powerful in our culture. Often times, without realizing it, people form opinions of what they believe and how they live based on what they learn from the lyrics in popular songs! The same is true of songs in the church. People learn their theology from music. For a Christian songwriter, that means a responsibility to write truthful and doctrinally sound lyrics. Whether I’m writing a congregational worship song or a song about life or love, I use the Bible as my guide for writing solid and truthful lyrics.
Writing songs that are lyrically creative, fresh, engaging and biblically correct is a craft that has to be skillfully developed. I’ve heard it said that the art of songwriting is “re-writing.” Songwriting, contrary to most people’s assumptions, is hard work! Yes, song ideas are often a product of my emotions and feelings, but I also have to engage my mind and skills to craft those melodic and lyrical ideas into an art form (song) that is enjoyable and relatable for others.
I think this principle applies to people in different art forms and even in the workplace. We may have natural giftings that come easily to us, by God’s grace, but to develop excellence in our field/art we have to work hard! We can glorify God in whatever we do (1 Corinthians 10:31).
God is the ultimate Creator and hard worker. In the beginning He looked at all He had made and said it was good (Genesis 1:31). I believe we should look at our creative endeavors and our work as ways to exemplify our Father in Heaven who makes good things! We should also make sure to consult the Bible as our guide in whatever we undertake. Our field of expertise is an opportunity to demonstrate the excellent, beautiful and awesome God we serve.