Taylor raised some interesting points in his comment from my “Rock of My Salvation – pt 2” post. Go read what he said then come back. I’ll wait.

I think it’s interesting the point he makes about worship lyrics because I used to (and still do to a certain extent) feel the exact same way about Christian music in general. When I was a teenager I used to have long discussions with my mom about this very subject. I wanted to know why God didn’t have all the best songwriters and musicians on his team. I wanted to know why I only had three Christian albums that were any good. I wanted to know why theological gems like “Boycott Hell” (DeGarmo and Key) were the best that the CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) industry could muster.

Maybe the CCM industry is better these days. I don’t know. I don’t really listen to much music. I haven’t for years. But even people who are rabid music fans will only come across maybe five or ten albums a year that they consider to be really good. So if the CCM industry has roughly a hundred times fewer artists, that would mean that even to get one good album out of the CCM scene would be beating the secular average.

Worship lyrics are a tricky thing I think. If a songwriter has had a profound experience with God then you’d expect profound thought to come from that experience. But what if they’re just a lousy songwriter? God’s got them too. There are lots of people out there writing songs to the very best of their ability as an act of praise to God but the songs are just plain bad. I’m sure it’s a beautiful sound in the Lord’s ear because he’s far more concerned with a person’s heart than their sense of harmonic momentum but the fact remains that the song is weak.

I consider myself to be an above average lyricist. So I hoped that when I set out to write my first worship song that the lyrics would be at least as good as Lunar Beams or The Ballad of War’s End. But they’re not. My first worship song was called Hands to Heaven and the lyrics are incredibly simple and anything but profound.

Here’s why. I want people to be able to sing along with the song after hearing it only twice. I also want them to know all the lyrics after hearing it only three times. Hands to Heaven has two lines in the verse, two lines in the pre-chorus, and two lines in the chorus. It’s probably the simplest song we do at our church but people really seem to like it because it’s so simple and so catchy. I think this approach to songwriting promotes worship just because of its simplicity and ease of learning.

But what do I know? Amazing Grace has incredibly stunning lyrics, and lots of them, and we still worship to that one and hopefully will forever.

I know exactly where you’re coming from Taylor. I wrestled with those same things. They frustrated me too. I guess you have to find your own answers to those questions. The answer I found was that God does want us to give him our best even if our best may appear to be rubbish.