25 Generic Worship Song Words

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Want to write a generic worship song that’s light on theological and spiritual substance but will have church congregations the world over bursting their lungs in an attempt to sing as loud as they possibly can? Why not? All you need is at least 5 of the following 25 worship song words. The more the better. ALSO each one must be repeated at lease 8 times throughout the duration of the song!

Be sure to hit READ MORE to read the list.

 

– Holy (This is by far the most common. Everyone LOVES the word holy.)
– Great 
– Love
– Majesty
– Worship
– Awesome
– Sing
– Glory
– Joy
– Strength
– Desert (This seems to be the new word for “broken”) 
– Praise
– Heart
– Earth
– Savior
– Ransom
– Faith
– Prayer
– Cross
– Broken
– Worthy
– Power 
– Mighty
– Forever
– (My) Everything 

And there you go! Stick to this list, and you will have a hit worship song that makes you a lot of money before you can say “praise the awesome power of the mighty God!” 

 

Guys. I think we have a problem. If I can box 95 percent of songs sung in churches today into 25 words, I KNOW we have a problem. Worship music is turning into the Christianese version of pop music. Go back and look at the lyrics of some modern worship songs and realize that a lot of them just don’t make all that much sense. And the ones that do often mean what the listener wants them to mean. I long for the days of hymns. At least they had real substance.

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Matthew Estes

Matthew Estes currently exists in the ether between graudate student and full-time worker. One day he hopes to be a full-time novelist and blogger, but until that day comes he spends his time playing video games, eating pizza, and being with his soon-to-be wife. However, he has yet to do all three at the same time. Bucket list stuff, you know.

10 thoughts on “25 Generic Worship Song Words

  1. Loved this one! True enough that today’s songwriters are not writing deep theological compositions, which I would like to see a whole lot more of, but I still believe that they have a place in our worship experiences. Ephesians 5:19 reads “speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.” It’s all about our heart!
    I do have to wonder, though, if you’re not right on target when you say that someone can write a “quick” praise chorus and make some big time bucks! Hope that is not the main motivation for most songwriters these days, but sadly, enough, it could be.

  2. What about those words makes a worship song weak and non-spiritual? This post seems to assume A LOT about the hearts of the song-writers and worshipers. Look at the psalms of David – look at 136, specifically. Look at the repetition. Look at how one could pull chunks from that passage to create songs much like the ones this post calls “wrong.” And they were written by the man after God’s own heart. If we lack depth and sincerity in our worship, it’s not because of the way the songs are written, or because words we’re super familiar with are used. It’s because of our hearts, which no one but God can judge.

    1. I appreciate and agree with your comment for the most part. Don’t misunderstand me, I think that there are many worship songs today done in a heart of pure glorification towards God. But I think there’s just as many that puzzle-piece together a praise song from a formula. These 25 words are not wrong, and nor are the songs that have them in it, but they could be if written in the wrong heart.

      I feel worship requires the mind as well as emotions. Many of today’s worship is so shallow because we piece together these 25 words in ways that are nonsensical. Real worship requires thoughtful contemplation and genuine reflection on the words and actions of the God that created our lives, not emotional vagueness.

      I am so glad that you brought up scripture in your comment. Psalm 136 is one of my favorite Psalms. David must have spent hours crafting the perfect “love letter” to God. It is so full of specific reflections of God’s wonder, and to this day is is an inspiration in my life. Thanks for the comment, and definitely reply.

  3. I guess I’m wondering what worship songs in particular you’re thinking of that are nonsensical? I’ve read this post more than once now, and I really think it feels like the words in particular are being targeted, not the hearts of the songwriters or worshipers. (I mean, who’s going to insist they know the hearts of other people? It’s easier to dig at their methods.) From the first paragraph, it says that including 5 or more of these words in a song will create something generic and low on theological and spiritual substance. I’m asking: says who? We can’t corner something that goes against our preferences like that, can we?

    I’m guessing you prefer hymns, based on the fact that you said you long for the days of them. I *personally* do not see how they are any more spiritual or thought-provoking than modern worship songs, in and of themselves, especially when they’re each sung 52 times a year in a sort of obligatory routine. But I cannot blame the hymns. I can blame my heart, I can say that if someone is only going through the motions when singing a hymn, that is *wrong.* But even if I don’t find myself touched or thinking deeply over a hymn, I can’t say the hymn in itself is wrong.
    I think the same holds true for modern worship songs. It seems we as Christians like to think that traditional and old-school was always, always better, as if believers of today aren’t capable of loving and seeking God as fully. I really am not convinced that this was the message you meant to convey through this post, but I do think the implications were strong that words used in the list made for a generic song without substance.
    Most of these words are found all over the Bible too, is the Bible generic and cliche, and lacking in substance? Depends on how we go at it.

    Regarding the second part of your comment – I, for the most part, do believe that what I feel in my heart must make sense in my mind, but then, I also believe emotions should get a lot more credit than Christians like to give them.Can I ask you to give a few examples of the songs you find to be sheer emotional vagueness and nonsensical?

    1. I must admit that this conversation really makes me smile. One of the main goals of this blog is to get people to think about their strongly held beliefs, and not just rely on what he or she has been told. I’m not hear to tell anyone what to think, as long as people do exactly that… think.

      I do like hymns, but certainly not exclusively. There are modern worship artists that I absolutely feel have the right heart. Artists like The David Crowder Band, Rend Collective Experiment, Brandon Heath, Gungor, Phil Wickham, Jars of Clay and Tenth Avenue North (to an extent) are examples of modern songwriters that you can’t help but admire the depth that their lyrics bring to worship. But you have just as many artists like Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, etc… the artists we love to sing in church for almost every song. I can’t help feeling that they are simply in it for the fame and the money, or at least don’t put much effort into their song writing.

      I think I’ll write a follow up blog giving examples of vagueness in worship music as you requested. But that will take some time, so it may be a while.

      But Valerie, I respect your opinion, and you’ve backed it up so well with facts. I hope you continue to read my blog and comment, because I love differences of opinion as they get me thinking as well. Thanks.

  4. Well, cool. Tenth Ave North would be my first response if someone asked if I had a favorite artist/group. I was exposed to Rend Collective at one of TAN’s concerts this past November and have loved playing their CDs since. I find Phil Wickham and Gungor fantastic as well.

    That said, I also appreciate Casting Crowns and Chris Tomlin. I like a little Hillsong, but what I don’t like, I blame on preference and not any issue with their motives. You said you can’t help feeling that they are simply in it for the fame and the money – have they themselves indicated this to be true? Do you feel this way because thousands of churches and millions of people have used and loved their songs? I haven’t met anyone from Casting Crowns, or Chris Tomlin, but nothing I’ve heard them share in interviews or in the social media gives me any reason to doubt their hearts are in the right place. I can sing “Glorious Day,” and “Whom Shall I Fear?” with as much serious conviction and adoring heart as I can Wickham’s “You’re Beautiful,” and Gungor’s “Beautiful Things.”
    Hillsong and Chris Tomlin put the focus of their song-writing on church songs, and I just heard an interview with Tomlin this past week where he was sharing his heart on the reasons for that. I really don’t think a desire for fame has a whole lot to do with it. He could easily find more fame by focusing on poppy tunes, I’m guessing.
    And I have always believed Casting Crowns has this knack for packing an entire sermon into their music. (If We Are The Body, Does Anybody Hear Her?, Voice of Truth, Jesus Friend of Sinners…)

    Anyway though – I respect you as well, for sharing and discussing civilly. I think I just feel like a lot of the different thoughts people have regarding music are completely preferential and don’t need to be shared like they’re the only right way. In the end, God’s going to judge every one of our hearts, and He alone will have the final say in what constitutes “worship” music in our lives.

    1. “God’s going to judge every one of our hearts, and He alone will have the final say in what constitutes “worship” music in our lives.”
      Very well said. Or, as the internet culture likes to say. THIS.

      Do you, by chance, have a blog that I can follow?

    1. I certainly will. I like how it targets a very specific audience, and really appeals to that group. Keep on being an example for Christ.

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