The Power of Home Grown Songs

by Dave Frincke

guitarnotepadI had only been leading worship for a few months at the Lutheran Church I grew up in. I hadn’t been trained at a worship school or been raised in a culture of contemporary worship. I was a young kid and I had no idea what I was doing. But I had it in my heart to write something that our congregation could sing during the worship service I led. One night I was sitting on the steps that led up to my apartment working on a song. I spent many hours working on different words, melodies & arrangements; I wanted it to be perfect. After it was finished I decided, for better or worse, I was going to teach it to our musicians and do it on a Sunday morning.

Just a few weeks later, an hour and a half before worship started, our musicians walked in for rehearsal. I handed out my new song and told them we were going to learn and do it that morning. I felt nervous, awkward, self-conscious, and a little embarrassed. I even wondered to myself if it was prideful to lead worship using a song I had written. I managed to push through my insecure feelings and our Lutheran church worshipped that morning using a song that had been written by one of its own members.

The song wasn’t amazing and it wasn’t terrible. It was just ok. It didn’t get picked up by Chris Tomlin and it didn’t make me a million dollars. But it connected with the congregation. The song came for a reason and a season. It became an important anthem for our church as we were heading into new territory in regards to worship. It helped create energy and momentum. It helped give birth to more original songs. And most importantly, it helped the congregation connect with God in a fresh way that was unique to our church.

There is something special & powerful when a congregation sings its own songs. God has made every congregation different and has given each one a unique purpose in the Kingdom. Songs emerging from within have the ability to capture the uniqueness & purpose of that congregation. I see it everyday at my home church. We seem to always have new songs being used as prophetic anthems to reinforce where we are and lead us to where we’re going. It’s also amazing how many times a phrase that is preached from the pulpit finds its way into our songs. The truth of God’s Word put to melody is a powerful thing.

As the Church, I believe we are entering into a new season of songwriting. It’s a not a season of a few famous songwriters occupying the set lists of 90% of churches. It’s a season of home grown songs emerging in all of our congregations. Songs that directly reflect the culture of our home church. Songs that give the prophetic call to where God is leading us. Songs that uniquely lead us into intimate worship.

You don’t have to have a cool haircut and wear skinny jeans to write songs. You don’t have to be famous, go on tour or be on a record label. You can be male or female. You can be a veteran or a novice. You can be 8 years old or 80. None of that matters. God is raising up people from all across the spectrum to be agents of His creativity. As you meet with the Lord, ask Him for melodies, lyrics & ideas and see what He does. Don’t let fear or feelings of inadequacy hold you back from stepping out and bringing to your church what the Lord has given you.

Now is the time for songwriters to write.