By Chris Horton
“Keep the song about the song!” That might have been the best piece of advice on songwriting I’ve ever gotten. As an amateur songwriter, I had a problem with jumping from topic to topic. I wouldn’t stay focused on what the song needed to truly be about. As worship leaders, we put words in people’s mouths every week. It’s pretty important for it to be a clear, coherent message that is doctrinally sound and accessible for congregations of people to be able to sing.
Many times we’ve sung songs, and maybe even written songs ourselves, that start on a topic like creation and made our way all the way to the cross. Where I would never argue it’s a bad thing to sing about the cross, I think we need to ask ourselves “what are we trying to accomplish in writing that particular song?” I would push that if we aim to teach and be faithful to the context of a particular subject matter in the time it takes to sing a song on a Sunday morning, we should aim to have a bit more of a laser focus in what we are saying. Lets reach deep to keep the song about the song so as to give the people a clear take away of what we are singing.
The song Jesus! by Citizens & Saints is a great example of a song that accomplishes all these things. In 3 short verses the song speaks to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as highlights such truths as our righteousness being imputed from Jesus himself and the fact that every knee will bow and worship Him and His eternal reign in glory!
This song is an anthem, one of more complete anthems I might add, to the good and perfect character and nature of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and can fit well anywhere in a service structure and serve the purpose of making Jesus famous!