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7 Ways to Write an Awful Worship Song

7 Ways to Write an Awful Worship Song

A tongue-in-cheek guide to penning truly horrible worship songs.

So you finally learned to play the guitar and now you’re wondering, “How do I write a truly awful worship song?”

You’ve come to the right place, my friend. Here are some surefire ways to write a truly horrible worship song.

1. Recycle a Love Song.

Write a song for your girlfriend. When she breaks up with you, convert it into a worship song. Be sure to change all uses of “girl” or “baby.”

2. Use Time-Tested Rhymes.

Make sure you rhyme “love” and “above” at least twice.

The song becomes doubly awful if you can also incorporate the word “dove.” Example: “You sent your love from above, makes my heart feel like a pure white dove.” You get the point.

3. Be Vague About Your Theology.

Make sure to avoid any theology at all costs.

Don’t talk about atonement, wrath or any other biblical concepts. You want your song to be all about feeling. Don’t let the mind get in the way.

Repeat after me: “Worship is a warm feeling, sort of like heartburn, only better.”

4. Make the Song All About You.

The main point of your song should be your experiences and how God makes you feel.

Don’t bother with objective truth about God. I would suggest you use the words “I” or “me” at least 12-15 times.

For example: “I feel like singing, yes, I feel like spinning, because You make me feel so good inside. Like it’s my birthday, but more awesome.”

5. Be Incredibly Poetic.

If you can, muddy the waters with poetic phrases that don’t make much sense. Example: “Your love is like a warm summer’s breeze, washing over my heart like a crystal river.”

6. Use Well-Worn Musical Progressions.

If you can, keep your music and melody boring. I would suggest you use no more than four distinct notes in a song, so by the time someone is done listening to it they want to scream.

A worship scream, but a scream nonetheless.

It also helps if you use the chords G, C and D over and over.

7. Defend Your Song Like It’s Your Firstborn Child.

Do not, I repeat, do not let anyone make suggestions for improvement.

Tell people God laid the song on your heart. Tell people you really want to preserve the artistic integrity of the song. Tell people you already did the song at your campus ministry and a revival broke out.

Don’t take advice from anyone.

There you have it. Seven ways to write a terrible worship song. You can thank me later.

What else would you add to the list?

Stephen Altrogge

Stephen Altrogge

Stephen Altrogge works as a pastor at Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, PA, where his main duties include leading worship, working with college students, and shining his dad’s shoes. He also has written a number of worship songs that have been included on Sovereign Grace Music albums. Stephen is the author of the book Game Day For the Glory of God: A Guide For Athletes, Fans, and Wanabes, which was published by Crossway Books in September 2008, and The Greener Grass Conspiracy: Finding Contentment on Your Side of the Fence, which will be published by Crossway Books in April 2011. When not shining his dad’s shoes, you can find Stephen drinking coffee or playing video games.

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