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Writing Songs Like A Boss (Your Pastor)

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  • Writing Songs Like A Boss (Your Pastor)
    Posted By Word Worship Team | February 15, 2013 | Posted in Benji and Jenna Cowart

    My pastor here at the Chapel is an excellent communicator. He truly has a gift of teaching that really leaves you with one truth or idea to walk away with. I’ve known him for twelve years now and I have had the privilege of watching him grow and improve as a speaker. Just recently in our staff meeting, he gave us some insights into how he goes about prepping his message. As I listened, I was a bit floored by how relevant much of what he was saying is for the process of writing a good song. So I just want to pass along some questions and some points to consider..

    I. CONTEXT
    Who am I talking to?
    What is the proper communication context?
    “The one communication style that has never gone out of style is conversation” Hadden Robinson
    “Talk with people, not at them”

    II. CONTENT
    Am I starting from an idea or a text? (or a melody for songwriters)

    Specific thoughts about writing from text of scripture:

    - Read and then re-read the text over and over again.
    - Read multiple versions/translations to look for the emerging big idea and interesting ways to communicate the idea
    - Do a word study of the words from the text.
    - What did that word or text mean to those with was written to at the time it was written?
    - What was the context that would have framed how those people would have heard that text in their time?
    - What questions does the text bring up for the hearer?
    - If you were to have a conversation about the text, how would that conversation play out chronologically? (Basically, imagine the flow of the conversation)

    Specific thoughts about writing from an idea:
    Three questions to ask:

    - “What?” - (this often but not always plays out in the form of a verse)
    - “So What?” - (this often but not always plays out in the form of pre-chorus and sometimes chorus)
    - “Now What?” – (this often but not always plays out in the form of the chorus and/or the bridge)

    III. EDITING
    - Great writing is often determined by what you choose NOT to say or talk about.
    “You can usually tell how good a message (or song) is going to be by what is left on the cutting room floor” Jerry Gillis
    - Try to keep your message (or song) down to one big idea or thought.
    “You’ll say it…you’ll say it again….and you’ll say it again” Jerry Gillis
    “Start with a bang & quit all over” Hadden Robinson

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Word Worship Team's picture
on February 15, 2013

My pastor here at the Chapel is an excellent communicator. He truly has a gift of teaching that really leaves you with one truth or idea to walk away with. I’ve known him for twelve years now and I have had the privilege of watching him grow and improve as a speaker. Just recently in our staff meeting, he gave us some insights into how he goes about prepping his message. As I listened, I was a bit floored by how relevant much of what he was saying is for the process of writing a good song. So I just want to pass along some questions and some points to consider..

I. CONTEXT
Who am I talking to?
What is the proper communication context?
“The one communication style that has never gone out of style is conversation” Hadden Robinson
“Talk with people, not at them”

II. CONTENT
Am I starting from an idea or a text? (or a melody for songwriters)

Specific thoughts about writing from text of scripture:

- Read and then re-read the text over and over again.
- Read multiple versions/translations to look for the emerging big idea and interesting ways to communicate the idea
- Do a word study of the words from the text.
- What did that word or text mean to those with was written to at the time it was written?
- What was the context that would have framed how those people would have heard that text in their time?
- What questions does the text bring up for the hearer?
- If you were to have a conversation about the text, how would that conversation play out chronologically? (Basically, imagine the flow of the conversation)

Specific thoughts about writing from an idea:
Three questions to ask:

- “What?” - (this often but not always plays out in the form of a verse)
- “So What?” - (this often but not always plays out in the form of pre-chorus and sometimes chorus)
- “Now What?” – (this often but not always plays out in the form of the chorus and/or the bridge)

III. EDITING
- Great writing is often determined by what you choose NOT to say or talk about.
“You can usually tell how good a message (or song) is going to be by what is left on the cutting room floor” Jerry Gillis
- Try to keep your message (or song) down to one big idea or thought.
“You’ll say it…you’ll say it again….and you’ll say it again” Jerry Gillis
“Start with a bang & quit all over” Hadden Robinson

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