[The importance of writing new songs in our multi-cultural worshiping communities]
When there are no words to contain the questions, the pain or the depth of experience; I find myself in a hazy moment of stillness just long enough to provoke a cry never before expressed by my own lungs or contained in my own tears. That cry becomes a prophetic tune of root taken truth and creative bursting of emotional expression into one harmonious melody. Songwriting is a way God has used to drench me in His truths while also listening to the depths of my cries. It has become the deepest place of intimacy between our creative expressions, and has set zeal in my heart for the mystery He teaches in the surrender of coming to Him through song.
Sometimes I think; what would it look like for the young and the old of every nation to write songs together of the truths they have been taught in Christ? What would it look like for people of different languages and cultures to sit down and write songs together, bringing all languages to the same moment of praise for the glory of our “God of all nations”? What would it look like for even the idea of songwriting to be common in our homes and among our children? What would it look like if people who have been through hell and back picked up a pen and paper and wrote a song to God? How would they express their cry to Him? How would they praise Him? How would they bring their pain into worship? What words would they use? What melodies would they write?
I believe that songwriting is not just people or someone sitting down and thinking up words that rhyme to say what they want them to say. Songwriting is a connection with God that allows prophetic truths to embody God-given creativity in a moment of complete surrender. Songwriting for the church allows humans to connect with God in the current status of the heart and community around them. Songwriting for the church allows the Spirit to speak through age-old truths in fresh prophetic ways to encourage and establish the church with the every lasting foundation of the Word of God. Songwriting for the church can also mean different languages/cultural expressions of praise that deepen and widen our vision of God’s very nature, character and being; making our music mirror the Kingdom of heaven rather than earthly barriers.
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:16-17)
“Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:17-20)
What is the importance of the local community of worshipers writing new songs? The importance of local songwriting is a matter of deep connection with God through one of the most blessed vessels of creativity and intimacy since the beginning of the church. If the local worshiping communities are not encouraging or participating in the cultivation of writing communities, then it may very well mean the stifling of growth for the Church in their journey to a deeper understanding of God Himself. While doing that, we may also remain stagnant in our creative expressions of communicating with God, therefore limiting our vision of His being and power to go beyond it all.
So the question remains, what can I do in my worshiping community to encourage and cultivate songwriters that inclusively live/write together for the glory of God and the building up of the Church? That is the question, and the movement forward.
“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him.” (Psalm 40:3)