Music & Lyrics

I’ve been debating the best way to use this page. Lately, I’ve been listening to a ton of worship music and finding some great songs, that really aren’t all that popular. I think it’s because we just get in a rut, and stick with artists that we’re familiar with.

So, that’s what we’re going to do here!

Each week I’ll share with you a new worship song that I’m enjoying. I’ll tell you why, I’ll share some lyrics, and the YouTube video (if there is one). And you get to hear something new (hopefully), or perhaps uncover something you heard a long time ago and have simply forgotten. So check back next Wednesday, for a new installment of Wednesday’s Worship.

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Worship Series: Song Selection

If you’ve been following for some time, you’d know that I help out with children’s worship once a month. Well, once a month we also hold a children’s worship practice, where we introduce new songs and motions to our children’s worship team. And every month I struggle with tying to figure out what new songs I’d like to add to our slowly growing list.

Now, it’s not that I don’t have songs that I love, however, everybody has their own style of worship and artists they prefer, and I’m no different. I love upbeat and energetic praise songs and I love worship, but I’m also very lyrically driven. Obviously, I’m a writer, so I tend to be drawn to songs with powerful, biblically sound lyrics. I mean, the Bible says that true worshipers will worship in spirit and in truth, and the Word is Truth (John 4:23-24).

However, when it comes to children’s worship, I can’t always choose to share or lead the same songs that I enjoy during my personal worship time, because the lyrics are sometimes too complex for children between the ages of 5-12. That’s not to say that I choose watered down songs, because that would mean I’d be underestimating the understanding of the children; and children understand much more than we often give them credit for. (That’s why Jesus said that we should be more like little children in Matthew 19, Mark 10, and Luke 18.) However, sometimes I really struggle with finding age-appropriate songs, especially because our group varies so vastly in age.

I think this is a challenge that someone leading any type of worship–adults, children, teens, etc.–faces: choosing the right songs for the particular group you’re leading. Leading adult worship, for instance, means you have to choose songs that reach a multitude of generations (unless your church has only one primary age group).

Here are three things that I started taking into consideration when choosing songs for Children’s Worship:

Tempo

Because I’m working with kids this is an important one. If we want the children to be excited about worship, we need some up-tempo songs to begin with and we have to be careful when we slow down our praise and enter into worship. Usually, I like to have a transition song, something mid-tempo, before going into worship, but sometimes it’s not always possible. Their attention span is pretty short and I’ve found that if we sing any more than one worship song, we usually lose them.

Lyrics

This is the most challenging for me. Some of my favorite worship songs are very lyric heavy. They either have a lot of lyrics or the lyrics are complex. In the days leading up to our most recent practice, for example, I went back and forth on a song that I really loved, but eventually decided against because I felt that the kids couldn’t handle it. The best songs for them tend to be those with simpler lyrics and repeating choruses, although I have found some exceptions. Songs that they are familiar with, because they hear them repeatedly on the radio, tend to do extremely well with this group! So much so, that we’ve begun to use more of such songs during worship.

Song Length

Unfortunately, we don’t have a live band for our children’s worship, so we use tracks (usually, including the lyrics). Sometimes the track we have is too long or there’s too much ad-lib going on in the track. I’ve been making notes of which songs these are, so that I don’t continue to use them or I request that a new/different version of the song be purchased. Again, I can’t lead an 8 minute worship song with this age group, since they just don’t have the attention span, and they don’t know what to do when someone is ad-libbing.

Still, even after taking these things into consideration, we just have to lead the song a few times and see how the children respond to it. Sometimes they pick it up easily and other times we end up disappointed and end up removing the song from our list.

Now I have questions for you…How do you choose which songs to use in your worship services? And how many times do you try/lead a new song before ultimately giving up on it? I’d love to hear your responses below!

Wedding Day

I’ve had this song in my head all afternoon, and felt I needed to share it with you all today.

Wedding Day

[Verse 1:]

There’s a stirring in the throne room

And all creation holds it’s breath

Waiting now to see the bride groom

Wondering how the bride will dress

And she wears white

And she knows that she’s undeserving

She bears the shame of history

But this worn and weary maiden

Is not the bride that he sees

And she wears white, head to toe

But only he could make it so

[Chorus:]

When someone dries your tears

When someone wins your heart

And says your beautiful

When you don’t know you are

And all you’ve longed to see

Is written on his face

When love has come and finally set you free

On that wedding day

On that wedding day

[Verse 2:]

She has danced in golden castles

And she has crawled through beggar’s dust

But today she stands before him

And she wears his righteousness

And she will be who he adores

This is what he made her for

[Chorus]

[Bridge:]

When the hand that bears the only scars

And heaven touch her face

And the last tears she’ll ever cry

Are finally wiped away

And the clouds roll back as he takes her hand

And walks her through the gates

Forever we will reign

[Chorus]

As you can read in the following verses, the Bible often refers to us as the bride of Christ.

    • I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)
    • Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City” or “The Desolate Land.” Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God,” for the LORD delights in you and will claim you as his bride. Your children will commit themselves to you, O Jerusalem, just as a young man commits himself to his bride. Then God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. (Isaiah 62:4-5)
    • It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. (John 3:29)
    • For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:2)
    • Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself. (Revelations 19:7)

I love this song, because it really does a great job at expressing our relationship to God. It describes how we’re so dirty and undeserving, but how He covers all that up with His righteousness. It describes how we’re worn and weary and yet we’re beautiful in His sight. And it describes how we’re able to wear white–meaning we’re clean & spotless–because His blood makes it so. He created us with a purpose and desires intimacy with us!  And this song depicts His love for us in such vivid terms that it can’t help but show my own love and adoration in return. Thank You, Lord!!

Learning to Be the Light

I’ve had this song–Learning to be the Light by NewWorldSon–in my head since I woke up this morning. Usually when that happens I post it as the “Song of the Day” on my Facebook page and let that be it. But when I went to do that this morning I wound up putting the song on repeat a few times; I was captured by the lyrics of the song…

Learning to Be the Light

When the stars came crashing down
In tiny pieces to the ground
I was all alone down here
Trapped beneath the atmosphere
Then I, thought somebody called my name
I spun around and caught a flame
I gave into a God I didn’t know
And now everything is falling into place
A brand new life is calling and I owe it all to grace

It’s so much brighter living in your world
Savior, what you did for me
You gave me something I want everyone to see
When we struggle and it all goes wrong
Only you can make it right
So I say
Oh oh oh oh oh
I’m learning to be the light
whoa, whoa
I’m learning to be the light
whoa, whoa

When a heart is cold as ice
You can’t melt it with advice
No one wants to listen to
A list of things they shouldn’t do
So I build a city on a hill
And I light a candle on the sill
Knowing you’ll be always knocking at the door
Oh God I just want to love on everyone
All I have is yours to give so let the people come

It’s so much brighter living in your world
Savior what you did for me
You gave me something I want everyone to see
When we struggle and it all goes wrong
Only you can make it right
So I say
Oh oh oh oh oh
I’m learning to be the light
whoa, whoa
I’m learning to be the light
whoa, whoa
I’m learning to be the light

that makes the shadows hide
the light that breaks the curse of pride
the light that takes the weary in it’s arms

When it all came crashing down
There was only darkness all around
But in the distance I could see
A Flame

It’s So much brighter living in your world
Savior what you did for me
You gave me something I want everyone, I mean everyone to see
When we struggle and it all goes wrong
Only you can make it right
So I say
Oh oh oh oh oh
I’m learning to be the light
whoa, whoa
I’m learning to be the light
whoa, whoa
I’m learning to be the light
whoa, whoa
I’m learning to be the light
whoa, whoa
I’m learning to be the light!!

Oh, where do I begin?! First off, it describes our walk with God. He’s constantly calling out to us and when we finally catch a glimpse of  Him and we accept His sacrifice for us…we don’t even know what we’re getting ourselves into! In order to understand Him and get to know Him we study His Word, pray, attend church, and worship Him. As we get to know Him more, we come to appreciate Him more. We find hope, love, mercy, and grace in His arms and it begins to overflow from us; and we want to share it with the world!

The line that really struck me as I listened to this song was, “When a heart is cold as ice/You can’t melt it with advice/No one wants to listen to/A list of things they shouldn’t do,” because it reminded me that we can’t just tell people about God and His love, grace, hope, and mercy, because non-believers don’t want to hear it; sometimes all we can do is show them…

 And finally, we’re not perfect and we never will be. We are going to struggle and things are definitely going to go wrong at some point, but all we can do is keep our eyes on Christ and learn to be the light that He’s called us to be, by studying His Word and walking daily in His presence.