Everybody’s familiar with the preacher who strays from his sermon and goes to chasing rabbits. He might have set out to preach a word on grace and forgiveness and, before you know it, the message has turned to tattoos, shorts in church and what version of the Bible is the “Real” word of God! He put the rifle away and pulled out the shotgun! It causes one thing… Confusion.
For one to communicate a clear and concise message, that one has to be organized in His thoughts. I’m not saying every word that a preacher preaches should be scripted but I am saying that he should stay on track if he plans on effectively reaching his congregation with the message.
This is no different when it comes to writing a song. It’s more than choosing a theme to write about. After you’ve established your idea, it’s extremely important that you think through the song. What exactly do you want to say and how do you want to say it? If you make the mistake of haphazardly jotting down every word that has to do with your idea and using it just because it rhymes, your result will be a song that has no substance.
Ask yourself a couple of questions…
- What is the central theme that I want this song to deliver? It’s important that you not stray from what you intended your song to say. Every lyric should somehow support the theme. There are many wonderful elements one can refer to as a Christian but that doesn’t mean they all belong in the same song. Be diligent in staying true to the subject!
- Who am I trying to reach? – You HAVE to know your audience. Is it a song that is aimed at anyone and everyone who happens to be listening? Is it a song that targets sinners? Is it a song written for the redeemed? Why is this important? Because, dependent upon for whom the song is written, the verbage you use will differ. If you’re trying to reach someone who doesn’t know the Lord or the things of God, he may not be familiar with certain terms. Keep it on the level of the one it’s designed to reach.
That’s just a couple of things that could help you land on track and stay there. The last thing you want is a song that wears the listener out yet takes him nowhere! Leave those rabbits in their cages. Identify what you want to say and say it clearly. Believe it or not, this will make your songwriting experience a good bit easier.