Paul Baloche, Jimmy & Carol Owens - God Songs: How To Write & Select Songs For Worship

Published Tuesday 30th November 2004
Paul Baloche, Jimmy & Carol Owens - God Songs: How To Write & Select Songs For Worship
Paul Baloche, Jimmy & Carol  Owens - God Songs: How To Write & Select Songs For Worship

STYLE: Music Related
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: 1933150033
FORMAT: Book Teaching Resource
RELEASE DATE: 2005-06-01
RRP: £13.99

Reviewed by Holland Davis

When I started the School Of Worship at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, I looked far and wide for a book on songwriting that would combine both the spiritual and technical aspects to the craft of writing songs for congregational singing. At that time, there were no books available so we ended up photo copying an out of print copy of Jimmy and Carol Owens groundbreaking book on worship songwriting. Imagine my surprise and delight when I learned that Jimmy and Carol had teamed with Paul Baloche to write this new book. God Songs is one of the most complete books that I've read on the subject of writing songs for congregational singing. The highlights for me are numerous. The authors begin by describing how worship songs are born. Especially noted is the concept that worship is sung prayer. God Songs then movesto answer the question - what makes a great worship song? The authors apply these principles as they describe the more technical aspects of writing great worship songs - lyrics, melody, harmony and rhythm. Scripturally based principles and practical examples from other great worship provide an interesting look at writing from a Christian perspective. This is what makes God Songs unique from all other books on songwriting.

I loved the section on stimulating creativity. Every writer has struggled with writer's block. This very practical section gives some key strategies to unlocking writer's block. I also love the way the authors have weaved in stories and comments from other well known writers such as Darlene Zschech, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes and Brian Doerksen. The section on getting your songs heard, however, was a little lacking. With so many avenues for songwriters, I would encourage the authors to explore non-commercial, alternative methods of song distribution - ie, internet and non-traditional means of distribution like Cross Rhythms magazine or the Song Discovery program instituted by Worship Leader magazine. However, the section focusing on one's calling was great. It's always good to remember that every church has its own unique prayer and its own unique expression of prayer. Sometimes, the unique expression of prayer found in one congregational inspires the prayer life of a region or a nation. But it's never for the purpose of commercial gain or popularity. It's easy to confuse the simplicity of this reality with the commercialism of the modern worship industry. Finally, God Songs offers a great list of criteria to consider in choosing songs that minister to a specific congregation or for specific events. For those who are more traditional in their approach, the authors encourage writers to find new ways to express timeless classics - both hymns and choruses. Even worship for kids is covered. If you're like me, you like to have a quick summary to look at. The authors provide a checklist for those that simply want the key principles to reflect upon.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Product Description
A practical, instructional new book for worship leaders and songwriters.
Discover how worship songs are born; how to develop a song; proven principles to make a song memorable; shared qualities of great worship songs; the keys to unlock writers' block. Learn how to gain the listener's attention qucikly and recognise tones, chords and rhythms that help us feel the message. Choose just the right words, make your song its best before releasing it, get your songs heard and used, and minister effectively with your music.
An invaluable guide for anyone involved in worship ministry or songwriting.

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