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How to write contemporary worship music (Mollie) — 20 Comments

  1. Mollie,

    Are you asking a question, or making a statement? In the past two months I have been working very hard on a new seminar called Worship and Divine Service and we address that question from several angels.

    Bottom line is you need to first define what you mean by contemporary to get the answer you want, if you were asking a question.

    Contemporary hymns for example would be something written in recent times, the writer is still alive, etc. However, if a good job was done (using historical construction) it will still be around 50 years from now, but then not really know as a contemporary hymn. But it was a good hymn so it is added to the volume of good hymns.

    If you are talking about contemporary music using secular construction it will most likely pass from the scene within 4 or 5 years and never be heard from again.

    Basically, if you want your music to be around 50 years or more from now there is only one option, write it the historical way, not the pop way

  2. The link in my post goes to a satirical write-up about contemporary Christian worship music.

  3. I’ve…sang…that…hymn…

    I’ve got an awful lot of friends that sing songs like this every Sunday that worry about my eternal soul because my hymns “aren’t heartfelt” or “spirit filled.” I know it’s satire but for anything like this to be funny there has to be truth in there as well. This piece has plenty of truth in it.

  4. Nice. I didn’t realize that making s’mores was an act of devotion to the Lord. Who knew?

  5. Got about 17 lines into it and was laughing too hard to continue.

    Great satire! Thanks, Mollie!

  6. AWFUL SONG
    Tune: “Awesome God”

    Our song is an awful song,
    It’s filled with empty fluff–
    Of Christ, not near enough–
    Our song is an awful song.

    SHAME, CHURCHES, SHAME
    Tune: “Shine, Jesus, Shine”

    Shame, churches, shame,
    For this brand of “creative worship.”
    Lame, music, lame–
    That’s what you admire.
    Spine, churches, spine–
    Blending in isn’t so “courageous.”
    Check out your roots,
    Church, and sing some real hymns.

  7. My favorite line is about midway through the article: “As the puppet master of this whole scene, …”. That statement encapsulates the avant-garde church scene. Maybe this could best be summarized by saying, “this isn’t your Grandfather’s Charles Finney.”

  8. What?!? No safety warning about reading the Writing Contemporary Worship Music Webinar link while drinking coffee?

    “Again, feel free to borrow lyrics from chick flicks, romance novels, or Seventeen Magazine.”

    Mollie, that statement almost cost me a keyboard!

  9. Note that the Webinar link was free.

    At Concordia University-Texas, the February 28 Contemporary Worship Day workshop cost up to $25. For that you got to attend three contemporary worship services and the following workshop sessions:

    – The Electric Guitar and It’s [sic] Place in Modern Worship
    – Drums, Percussion & Electronics & Their Place in Modern Worship
    – How to Prepare Your Band for a Successful Worship Service
    – Drum Loops and Pre-recorded Tracks
    – Arranging for Classical and Improvising Musicians
    – Hands on
    [sic] Sessions with Worship Leaders
    – Student Praise Band Coaching Sessions
    – How Worship Leaders and Pastor’s
    [sic] Work Together
    – The History of Modern Worship Styles
    – Songwriting and Publishing
    – The Heart of Worship
    – Why Worship?

    Worship Leaders were from the following Austin, TX, churches: Gateway Church, a member of the Willowcreek Association, Lakehills Church, and Bethany Lutheran Church.

  10. I’m clearly not good looking enough to be a “worship leader” though I’m certainly capable of not shaving, pairing a sportcoat with ratty blue jeans and making ridiculous facial expressions.

  11. If you like the website, then you’d really appreciate a little book by Tom Raabe entitled “The Ultimate Church.” Tom happens to be the brother of St. Louis Seminary professor Paul Raabe.

    Tom is a satirist who has written on other topics well, including a book “Biblioholism” which is an hilarious exposition of book-a-holics.

  12. Dedicate “Shame” to the Texas LWML, Charles.

    I’ve sung the other version too many times at zone rallies.

  13. I think it was about 2 minutes into hearing a dance version of Mel C’s (the former Spice Girl) “I Turn to You” that I realized that I could probably very easily re-package it as a contemporary Christian song and make millions off the idea.

    The words of Ned Flanders from The Simpsons ring true (regarding the change from contemporary Christian to mainstream pop): “All you have to do is change the word ‘Jesus’ to ‘baby’.”

  14. Dear Steadfast Lutherans,
    Thanks for being steadfast in your Lutheranness, and for your subsequent support of our humorous internet endeavors. Kent and I are grateful for your patronage of our little website. I would encourage you to continue to come back to TTM to browse our ever-expanding repertoire of satire/humor/nonsense and to tell every single other steadfast Lutheran to do so as well. Cheers to you and to our Protestant Revolutionary, Martin Luther.

    -conor.

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