5 rules of worship songwriting - how to songwrite for your church

Many worship leaders want to become worship songwriters. This is a great desire. In fact, we SHOULD be writing songs for our own local churches. Who else knows our congregation’s needs better than us? Stephen Duncan of the Worship Coalition teaches us how to write pastoral worship songs for our churches. Stephen is an award-winning song publisher and was instrumental in launching Lauren Daigle’s career, so he knows a thing or two about great songs! If you desire to write deep, rich, pastoral songs for your church, enjoy these 5 rules of worship songwriting! 

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✨ Worship Coalition:  https://theworshipcoalition.org
✨ Songwriting Devotional: http://bit.ly/inhalebook

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Alex | (00:00)

Welcome to the worship Ministry training podcast, a monthly podcast for worship leaders who are serious about growing in their craft and calling. My name is Alex, fellow worship leader. Super stoked you’re here. And if you’re a new listener, I’m going to encourage you to hit that subscribe button because every single month I’m going to give you helpful, practical guidance that you can immediately implement into your ministry. Hit that subscribe button and then go back through the past nine years of episodes and binge listen your way to a healthier ministry. If you’re someone who is really serious about growing as a worship leader, I’m going to point you to the worship Ministry Training Academy. What is the Academy? It’s an online training platform that.

Alex | (00:36)

Will give you.

Alex | (00:37)

Everything you need to build a thriving worship ministry. You’ll get 10 in-depth courses on topics like set building, team.

Alex | (00:42)

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Alex | (01:03)

Materials. We will take care of you so you can focus on leading your team. If that sounds like something that would be of help to you, you can try the worship Ministry training academy for just one dollar by going to worshipministry training. Com. Sign up today for your one dollar trial and I hope to see you inside of the academy. Let’s get into today’s episode.

Alex | (01:25)

Hello, beautiful worship ministry training family. Hope you are doing well. Today we are talking about songwriting and we are talking about the five rules of songwriting that my friend Steven Duncan has. And Steven is an amazing person and I’m going to bring him on the screens. But first, actually, before I bring Steven on the screens, I want to let you guys know because I see some of you watching live and I’m glad you’re here. If you’re watching on YouTube, you can leave a comment and Steven and I will see it. So why don’t you just take a second right now and let us know who’s watching? Who are you there? Anonymous viewer, let us know who you are and where you’re watching from so that we can actually acknowledge you and interact with you. So with that out of the way, let’s bring Steven on and welcome him to the screen. Hello, Steven. How are you?

Stephen Duncan | (02:05)

Hey, Alex. How are you?

Alex | (02:07)

Good, man. It’s good to have you back. So I won’t bore the listeners with too many details, but Steven and I have known each other for probably a decade now. I actually sent my songs in when I was doing an album to have him review them before I finished the production. He sent back these really encouraging thoughts and some tweaks. And then he invited me out to Nashville, where he was running a conference for songwriters. And Steven is not only himself a phenomenal songwriter, but he was actually publisher of the year. What year was that, Steven?

Stephen Duncan | (02:38)

It was about six and a half years ago, seven years ago. So 2016, somewhere.

Alex | (02:42)

Around there. What that means, guys, is Steven knows how to pick a great song. He knows what makes a great song. He’s a publisher of the year. So it means that he’s finding songs, he’s pairing them with songwriters. In fact, Steven was an instrumental part in the early days of Lauren Daigle’s career, getting her up and running. I’m excited, Steven, to have you here and to share with us your five rules of worship songwriting. Before we get into those rules, is there anything else you want to say about yourself? We’ll definitely talk about your ministry and what you and your wife are doing nowadays, but share a little bit more about yourself if I left anything out.

Stephen Duncan | (03:16)

Yeah, I’ve got an amazing wife, Mary, got two incredible kids, Charlie and R yman, and they keep our hands full most days. I’m just super stoked to be back, Alex, to be honest. I’ve been getting a lot of emails just recently of people who heard the interview that we did a solid six years ago. Just recently, it’s upticked where people are like, Hey, is that you? I heard you on this podcast. I’m like, Yes, that was me. That was a long time ago. A lot of things have changed since then, and a lot of things haven’t changed at all.

Alex | (03:51)

I’m excited to be back. Your beard has definitely changed.

Stephen Duncan | (03:55)

No more just go to.

Alex | (03:57)

Yeah, it’s bigger and it’s grayer. Oh, my gosh. Okay, so, Steven, I want to just dive right into the content. Why should churches write songs? Should every church write songs? And if so, why? Give us the why.

Stephen Duncan | (04:12)

Oh, that’s a great question. I don’t know that every church should write songs. I think first and foremost, you need to be not only gifted but called by God to write songs. I think that’s the biggest part of this. But I also think that it’s really important for churches to write songs because they’re just things that are going on in your own context, testimonies, breakthroughs, all that just going on in the background that need to be said. I think it’s really huge that churches write songs because they need to tell testimonies. In Scripture, it says, We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Our testimonies need to be explained through songs. The breakthroughs that God gives us need to be celebrated through songs. The grief, the lament, those need to be expressed through songs. I think it’s a great unifier of church. I think unity comes from writing your own songs. But to really hit the heartbeat of the community, you’ve got to create, at least I’ll say create, videographers, authors, painters, graphic designers, videographers, all that fun stuff. But songwriting, it’s like a ninja. It comes in and it sneaks up on you and you don’t really realize how unifying it can be when you write from a place of testimony and overcoming.

Stephen Duncan | (05:43)

It unlocks your community because you know their language. When Kim Walker or Chris Tomlin or any other, Brandon Lake, any amazing songwriter, at the end of the day, they’re writing for their communities. And so we should be writing for our communities, too.

Alex | (06:01)

Yeah, I love that. And as you were talking about how we should be writing songs out of the testimonies and the work of what God is doing and the breakthroughs, it made me think of the Red Sea parting, and they walked through and what is the first thing they did? They sang a song, they wrote a song about it. And I’m like, Wow, I never really connected that song coming out of that breakthrough and how that’s probably the natural and proper response in all breakthroughs. We should attach a song to everything. It’s almost like an ebony stone, a monument.

Stephen Duncan | (06:30)

It’s an altar for sure. And God has been putting on that on my heart for about 10 years now that our songs are modern day altars. And sometimes altars are built to worship God just to worship God. Some altars are built out of testimony of God’s faithfulness of something that happened. For our generation, it’s important to write songs that do both. First worship Him for who He is, not necessarily what He’s done, but just for the eternal, amazing God that He is. But then also when we have testimony, we write that testimony for future generations. It becomes our ceiling. It becomes their floor, and they can start to build off of that based on the faithfulness of God and the testimony in our lives.

Alex | (07:23)

That’s so good. Okay, and so that’s why churches should write. Now, one of the parts of your ministry is you travel around and you help establish songwriting ministries in churches. I know there’s more to it than that, but that’s one component of it. So give just maybe a three minute, four minute or less answer of like, if a worship leader listening to this wants to start a songwriting ministry in their church, what’s the best way to get started and go about that?

Stephen Duncan | (07:49)

I think the first thing is relationships. You have to have a good core group of people who have a similar vision. Not necessarily the same gifts and creativity, but they need to have a similar vision. How is God unifying your city? What lies do your city believe? What truth in Scripture banishes those lies forever? Then you start to create. But that creation really only can happen in relationship with other people. Worship, at least corporate worship, I should say, is not done in isolation. It has to be done in community. You’ve got to go out and meet other people, not just people in your own denomination, not even people just in your own team and church. That’s a good place to start. But ultimately, you got to reach out and see how God is speaking to other parts of your city, other parts of your region. And then also, you got to be vulnerable in the songwriting room. You got to put your heart out on the page. And so to do that, you have to have a level of trust and respect for someone else to be able to get to the depths that you really need to talk about in a song.

Stephen Duncan | (09:08)

So you have to build that relationship first. Otherwise, you’re just throwing a bunch of cliches at the wall and seeing what happens.

Alex | (09:15)

That’s really helpful. And it really goes back to the Trinity, which is relational in nature. But then maybe just a practical or two, should they gather once a month to write? Should they keep a shared Evernote or Google Doc or just ou have a couple of practicals there?

Stephen Duncan | (09:31)

Yeah, I think meeting every month is a really great idea, but also setting a goal of finishing that song every month and not just leaving it open ended. I think for songwriter specifically goals and deadlines, while you don’t necessarily want somebody to put you in a box, you need to put yourself in a box so that you know that you can stay accountable to that. And so I would say meet once a month and then have 30 days after that to go back and forth through Google Docs. Google Docs are great to toss back ideas back and forth, send voice mems to each other. Another practical thing is to have a soundalike song that you’re both listening to, not to copy from, but so that both people or however many people are writing the song know what the end result should sound like, the type of language, the type of melody flow, the type of rhythms, things like that. And so pick a Spotify song, send the link to everybody in the group and just go, this is what I’m hearing. What are you hearing? And then everybody tosses ideas back and forth until you get to the place where you say, This is the sound.

Stephen Duncan | (10:47)

This is the language. These are the rhythms of our people. Now, let’s go forward. Because while you may be all looking at the same idea at the end of the day, if I had a coffee mug, I’d be like, One of you is looking at the handle. One of you is looking in the mug. One of you is looking underneath of it. Even though you might all be looking at grace, mercy, love, the same scripture, you all might be looking at it still from a different angle. So a Spotify soundalike song will help you all looking at the same detail and coming at it from the same direction.

Alex | (11:24)

Okay, those were two questions that I threw you off the side. But what I really want to get into are your five rules of worship songwriting. Just for everybody watching live, we are going to have our Academy Q&A at the end, so feel free to post your questions now or just save them till the end of our session as Steven works through these five rules. By the way, I haven’t heard any of these five rules, but I know it’s going to be a master class, so I’m about to take notes, too. But feel free to save your questions so that way at the Q&A session, you guys can bust them out and Steven can just give us some boss answers. All right, Steven, are you ready for the five rules of worship songwriting? Let’s do it. Go ahead, number one.

Stephen Duncan | (12:02)

Number one. All right. Number one. And again, I speak more like a pastor, and so, Alex, you can always stop me if I need to get more practical with this. I will. But the big overarching five things that you need to look at. The first one is, if you’re not in the Word, you have nothing good to say. The Word of God does not return void. And so out of everybody, songwriters, especially worship songwriters, have to be in the Word. Otherwise, you have nothing good to say. There’s nothing good outside of God, and so you have to be in His Word. What does that look like practically? It doesn’t mean that you have to go through these giant Bible studies. It doesn’t mean that you have to be in your Bible hours and hours and hours every day. Start your day in the Word and allow songwriting to flow out of your natural times of devotion and natural times of being in the Word. That practically is just like tag on 10 minutes to the end of your Bible study time so that you can burst write. There’s something I teach people called burst writing, where you set a Timer for 10 minutes, you just write on a page, pen to paper.

Stephen Duncan | (13:19)

Don’t erase anything, don’t scratch out anything, and don’t edit yourself. Whatever it is, try to consume whatever God is talking to you about in Scripture so that it can become a part of your life that day and it can start to change and shift you. There’s another rule in here about that, but try to let it start to change you and write and journal out of that place in the most creative way that you possibly can in full sentences, in full rhyming phrases as best as you can. And then later you can circle the best things, pull it into an outline, and start to really mold your song into that. But if you’re not in the word, you have nothing good to say. The second one…

Alex | (14:11)

Hold on, can I stop you there? Yeah. Are you doing that every day yourself, or when you’re in a writing season? Is that something that every single day without fail, as part of your devotion, you read the Word and then you respond to the Word through birth writing?

Stephen Duncan | (14:27)

Absolutely. My personal take on creativity is that I want to establish truth and spirit on earth as it is in heaven. God’s will needs to come through these songs, not to just talk about knowledge, but to actually begin something on earth that’s already begun in heaven. His will is already there. Songwriting is a giant yes to how heaven is trying to break into earth. We have to not just know about that, but let it transform our lives, which is actually number three on my list. I’m skipping down, but that’s actually my number three. So yes, to answer your question, it has to be a part of my daily life. And of course, there are times where I’m traveling, there’s times where we’re on vacation, or there’s just a day where I’m sick and it’s just like I get up and my day just gets ahead of me and I just got to run into my day. But for the most part, the majority of my weeks, the days I’m starting off in Scripture, in devotion, and immediately going into burst writing, not just trying to be hyper creative, but trying to consume the truth in a way that changes me so that then I know the type of intensity it takes and direction it takes to invite somebody else into that transformation.

Alex | (15:57)

That’s really good. Okay, number two, or do you want to jump to number three?

Stephen Duncan | (16:01)

Well, that’s number three, so we’ll just go there and then we’ll back up. But number three is be transformed to offer transformation. You can’t offer something that you haven’t already received. And this is where I find probably the weakest area for worship songwriters that I find in coaching when we go into cities or churches to develop songwriting communities. It’s that we stop at the knowledge of the Word rather than actually implementing it in our life. Our songs can only go as deep as the relationship and transformation we’ve had with Christ, period. And so if we want our songs to be deep and not just surface level, we have to allow the Word of God, we have to allow Christ to transform us into his image. And then we get to offer that transformation through our testimony, through song to other people. And it’s not just us telling them about it, it’s us inviting them into the transformation with us because we’ve been there, done that. So don’t just know it, let it change your life. And then you got to offer it then as this torch that you pass along to someone else so that they, too, have the ability to run with that light and that life as well.

Alex | (17:28)

It’s pretty obvious, right? And yet we don’t do it.

Stephen Duncan | (17:31)

We don’t.

Alex | (17:32)

Do it. Yeah. But I think about some of the more recent worship albums that have come out. Jeremy Rittle recently released one. I don’t know what it’s called. And then Charity Gayle recently released hers. And then also the Leland album that had Waymaker. You could sense this depth in all three of those albums. And I think it’s because this primary songwriter and the primary performer have been cultivating private prayer for years. Jeremy Riddell, down here in Anaheim, he’s got, I think, daily prayer time at his church that he leads. So it’s just oozing out of him. And there’s depth and power to that. And yet, most of us are just running and running and running, and we don’t take time in the secret place to be alone with the Father and learn how to pray. And therefore, when we get on stage, we’re just singing songs instead of leading moments.

Stephen Duncan | (18:29)

Yeah. And I think often, and I’ll speak to the worship leader in this, too, is also that we tend to give our communities what we’ve received, but often we’re emptying ourselves out of things that we need to live and thrive off of. I’ll add to that and say that really, as worship leaders and worship songwriters, we need to be creating and leading from a place of overflow, not just from filled up. I think there’s a common misconception that we need to just make sure that we’re always filled up. But if we are filled up and we give something away to our communities that God has given us to live and thrive off of, then what ends up happening is the results are on us, not God, and we are giving something away that we need to be living off of. But if we can be a little bit more patient as creatives and just allow these truths in the right spirit to just transform us and steep us like a bag of tea or a coffee and just steep us until we are super, super potent and then let it overflow, then in the overflow, it’s God’s results.

Stephen Duncan | (19:52)

All the results are on Him, and we’re not giving something away that we desperately need ourselves. We need to be a little bit more patient with our leading and our creativity to be in the Word, to have depth of relationship. Don’t teach something until God’s revealed it to you. Not just that you’ve memorized it, thought about it a lot. Until you start to see it come alive in your life and in your family and in the community around you, then you can recognize exactly what it is that he’s saying. Then you start to impart that on other people. I think a lot of times that we just run out the door too quickly to tell somebody what we’ve learned, rather than talk about the true transformation and how long it really took to get ourselves out of the way, to die to ourselves and actually receive the fullness of God’s love. Christ in that.

Alex | (20:46)

Let this be a moment for all of us listening to pause and commit to being a little bit more in the Word and a little bit less in the world. I think we all need that.

Stephen Duncan | (20:59)

That’s really good.

Alex | (21:00)

That was songwriting rule number three. Let’s go back to number 2 then.

Stephen Duncan | (21:04)

Number two, if you’re not praying for the people that you’re writing for, you don’t really love them.

Alex | (21:10)

You really are a pastor.

Stephen Duncan | (21:16)

That was the advice that I cannot take credit for myself. Steven McCarter from Iron Bell Music, he is an incredible friend and mentor of mine. He told me that the other day, and I was like, This is for the podcast. This is for Alex. This is for all of us. For me, I think sometimes I am so focused on the task at hand and trying to get to the result that God is requiring from me, or my pastor is requiring from me, or to live up to the expectations of what the job title requires from me. And at the end of the day, I lose sight of this. I’ll say that I’ve got a lot of work to do in this area is to actually sit and pray for the people that we’re writing these songs for. Sometimes that’s ourselves. Sometimes that’s our spouses, our kids. Sometimes that’s our community. Whoever we’re writing these songs for, instead of just telling them what we think they need to know, we should be praying for them because praying for them, God changes our hearts and shifts our hearts towards them. He reveals the word that we’ve hidden in our hearts.

Stephen Duncan | (22:34)

He reveals what words to speak to them. He gives us a love and a compassion that we can carry into the song that ultimately reaches the people that we’re supposed to be speaking to.

Alex | (22:47)

He knows what they need to hear. He knows what they need to sing. We don’t. And so if we’re not praying for them and getting his heart for them, then we’re going to be speaking… People who are listening after the fact can’t see my hands, but we’re going to be missing each other. I love that. How do you make that into a practice of praying for the people that you’re… You have worship leaders listening, but they also are hopefully either songwriters already or aspiring songwriters. What’s the practice of making sure you’re praying for the people while you write your song?

Stephen Duncan | (23:18)

How I’m going to put this to practice in my own life is that before I go into the Word, I will pray and ask God for Him to impart revelation into me. And that if it’s just for me in the moment, of course, it’s always ends up being for everybody else, too, at some point. But if it’s just for me today to consume, to chew on and digest, then reveal that to me, that you’re speaking to me right now, that I’m to just receive that. But if I’m to receive that and pass that on, show me who I’m to speak that to. Show me who I’m supposed to sing over and reveal that to me as well. So that when I get into the Word, I’m more aware of how He’s working in the context of not only Scripture and history, but He’s also working in my life and my community right now. We love to tell people what we know. Like you said, it’s like God knows perfectly what they need to hear. And so we can’t just assume that once God gives us Scripture or reveals something to us, that we’re to translate that in the exact same way that he spoke to us in that.

Stephen Duncan | (24:42)

Because chances are He’s speaking to them in the same way, and they’re not hearing it directly from Him through prayer. He’s using us as part of His great will and plan. Graciously, He’s using us. He doesn’t have to, but he does. I thank Him for that, and I’m grateful for that. But he then can use us to reach them by saying it in a way that translates in context. For me, it’s not just going into Scripture in the morning and then burst writing and then going and writing a cool song. It’s praying for my family, praying for myself, praying for my community and then going, God, as I go into your Word, revealed to me, is this just for the two of us today to build relationship, or is there some greater context that you’re helping me lead your sheep closer to you?

Alex | (25:40)

Yeah, that’s so good. I remember interviewing Andy Ross here from Vertical Worship, and he said something along the lines of writing a song is a boat, a lifeboat. And sometimes that lifeboat is just for you and you row with God. And sometimes it’s for a whole bunch of people that you’re supposed to take in the boat with you. But either way, you got to start from that place of it’s just, hey, this is just time for me and you to be together. And then if he decides to use it for someone else as well, then let him do that. So that’s great. Okay, so we have two more rules of songwriting. I’d love, before we move into the fourth one, everybody watching live, please let us know if you’re already writing songs for your church. You just say yes or no in the chat for the Academy members watching live, let us know. And let’s go into number four.

Stephen Duncan | (26:25)

All right. Number 4, go off my notes here. Know your role. Sometimes we say, slow your role. But I think more than anything, we need to know our role. A gain, this is very pastoral, and then I’ll try to get practical after this. But Ephesians and Ephesians 4, Paul talks about the different leadership, spiritual leadership gifts, the fivefold Ministry. Some would say it’s fourfold Ministry or fivefold Ministry. It’s in that range. It’s evangelist, it’s teacher, it’s shepherd, it’s prophet, and it’s an apostle. The biggest thing in this is Paul says that we’re to aspire to the greater leadership gifts. We’re not just to just revel in one of those gifts. Actually, evangelism is the start of our leadership journey in spiritual gifts. But then instead of leaving that, we gain the next leadership gift. We go from evangelism to teacher, to shepherd. Teacher, shepherd is actually the same word. So that could be one role, just for clarity’s sake. But you don’t just leave evangelism. Evangelism is now a tool in your tool belt. But now you add in teaching, now you add in shepherding, now you add in prophecy, and then you add in Apostleship.

Stephen Duncan | (27:58)

And once you get to Apostleship, really, that’s the highest form of spiritual leadership that Paul talks about in Ephesians, that then you can look back, identify leaders who also have those unique gifts, and then cause relationship to happen between those leaders so that they can all effectively lead together. As a songwriter, then what does that practically look like? Well, people who are writing for in Nashville for K Love, if you’re really breaking it down, those are evangelists. Good for the whole family, music for the whole family. It’s clean. It’s evangelizing. It’s telling the truth. It’s introducing the world to Jesus through song. I think those of us who are in church and as leaders who are also songwriters, sometimes we get frustrated with the K Love Nashville model because we just go, isn’t there so much more? Isn’t there so much deeper? And it’s like, yes, as you mature and as you go up these leadership gifts, then there are more things that burn on your heart for God’s people. But we cannot discount the Nashville model. We cannot discount the K Love radio station because they are specifically going after evangelism. So if you are like, if you’re at the beginning of this leadership stage, write all about the goodness of Jesus Christ.

Stephen Duncan | (29:35)

Don’t try to write a song that includes the entire Trinity and the entire… Just focus on the gospel and tell people about the goodness of Christ and the sacrifice that He’s made. But as you start to go into teaching and shepherding, start to focus on things like love and what love really is and what love really isn’t. Look at what justice is. Look at mercy. If you’re getting into the prophecy side of things, which can be controversial, I know in certain denominations, so I’ll just speak to it in the most basic and of understanding of prophecy, is that God has laid out His will and His plan in Scripture. We can all read in revelation that He’s coming back for the Church. Jesus is coming back for the Church. The bride of Christ that is clean and clothed in bright white linens, which are the righteous deeds of the saints. We know what God is coming back for. And if we can reconcile the difference of where we’re actually at, then I would say the prophecy leadership would be, We’re not to revelation yet. We don’t look like that bride yet. We’re back here. What’s the next step of where the church should be heading?

Stephen Duncan | (31:01)

I’m going to write those songs. While it’s trailblazing, at the same time, it’s not necessarily prophecy as far as there’s these looming warnings of we should do this or not, or telling of the future and things like that. That’s not what I’m talking about in the songwriting sense of prophecy. I’m just saying, write the song that allows the church to take the next step towards becoming the bride of Christ that Jesus wants to come back for at the end of time. Then Apostleship really looks like going into discipleship and mentoring other songwriters. Practically, that’s what that looks like for me.

Alex | (31:43)

That know your role, point number 4, rule number 4 is like a whole book in and of itself. And maybe that book is inside of you, Steven, and you need to write it for worship songwriters. And by the way, I just want to point out, like Steven said, a lot of this advice and these rules are pastoral in nature, which they should be because we’re talking about worship music. We’re talking about worship songwriting. We’re not just talking about here’s how to write a cool song. We’re talking about here’s how to help people worship the creator of the universe through songs, and therefore, we must do it in spirit and in truth, which is why so much of what Steven is teaching is spiritual in nature, while he does still give us a lot of practical as well. So I just wanted to throw that out there. You want to say something?

Stephen Duncan | (32:24)

Yeah. And I’ll add to that, the reason that we have coaching, the reason that we do these citywide intensives and church songwriting events and workshops are so that we can help individuals and communities identify this in context because context matters. And so while on a podcast, I’ve got to do the 30,000 foot view, we as leadership in the worship coalition, and you too, Alex, we’re in the trenches helping people figure this out practically for their own lives as well. Some of these can be blanket statements, but some of this needs to be realized in real time, in real context. And so if anybody’s listening and going, Okay, that sounds great. And I believe that’s true. I believe Scripture says that, but I don’t know how to do that personally. Message us. Write a message in the comments. Come find us, email us, and we’ll work with you on making sure that you understand your specific gift and how you use that in real context.

Alex | (33:31)

Right. And we’ll talk about how Steven can partner, how the worship coalition can partner with your church to help form worship songwriting circles. But, Steven, I’d never heard the Ephesians 4 roles being like a snowball or a ladder of leadership, like a leadership ladder starts down here on the bottom rung of evangelism, and then they stack up. And I’ve never heard it explained that way. So that was really interesting and fascinating. Thank you for sharing that. Let’s go to number 5, the last rule for worship songwriting, and then we’ll start to wrap things up and move into our Academy Q&A.

Stephen Duncan | (34:06)

This is the shortest and easiest of them all. You are your own audience. So make sure that you write the songs that help you move closer to the feet of Jesus and you become more like Christ. That’s good.

Alex | (34:22)

I was just talking to my wife about this, that people in the congregation will resonate with certain types of leaders or certain types of speakers or certain types of singers. So you’re saying you be you, you be who God made you to be, right for yourself because there is a certain segment of the congregation that is like you and will resonate with the things that help you. I love that. I also want to throw that out there to everybody watching or listening that on our stages, both in our speaking or in our preaching, if the passage… Different preachers, different speakers, different worship leaders, different announcement hosts will resonate with different people in the congregation. So don’t be monogamous. Don’t be monotonous. Don’t be monotonous.

Stephen Duncan | (35:13)


Alex | (35:14)

Yeah. Homogenous. Thank yous. That’s why we have smart people on the podcast. Oh, my gosh. Okay, so that’s great. So a couple of things, Steven, I want you to share how the worship coalition comes alongside of churches. If anyone wants to reach out to you, where would they do that? And then I want you to give a final exhortation to people who aspire to be worship songwriters.

Stephen Duncan | (35:39)

Yeah, absolutely. So our mission with the worship coalition is to raise up an army of worshipers to shape nations. And we’re doing that one songwriter at a time, one church at a time, and one community at a time. So if you’re just starting this process for the first time, we’ve got individualized coaching. Go to the website or send me an email. My email is Steven S TEPHEN@ the worship coalition. Org. And just go there and just inquire about individualized coaching. We do an individualized coaching program for four months. We meet two times a month, and we’re evaluating songs and helping individual songwriters that way. If you’ve been writing for a little while and you want to move to the next step of bringing other people in your church or your community with you, we will do one and two day workshops where we will fly in and teach you and walk you through really practical exercises. W e will be in the room helping you write those songs. We’ll bring in room leaders and other pastors from the area, and we’ll do this with your church. W e’ll do this with about 12 to 20 people.

Stephen Duncan | (36:56)

That’s about the size of that. Then if you’ve already been doing this and you have an established worship song writing group, then we’ll come in and work with your community. We’ve done this in Montana in the Bozeman community. There’s a group called 406 United. We came in because they already had a songwriting community, and we helped them establish a discipleship program, and we helped them establish a schedule and a routine to make sure that each church is writing songs, but also those churches are intermingling and making sure to write cross denominational, cross ethnic, cross generational songs so that it can really unify their city. Depending on where you’re at in that process, a beginner songwriter, you’ve been at it for a while, but you now want to start to develop a team of songwriters in your church or your community, or if you already have a community of songwriters and you’re ready for somebody to come in and pour gasoline on the fire that you built, we can help in any one of those three ways. The last thing is that we have a devotional that’s on Amazon. It’s called A Living Hallelujah. In Hail, it’s the first book of a three part series.

Stephen Duncan | (38:14)

It’s and it’s a 30 day devotional that, like we talked about, Alex, it takes us through scripture first, a devotional, a prayer that you can pray, and then it’s got writing prompts that you can actually start to establish that truth in your life through creativity in real time. I encourage people, even if you can’t do it every day for 30 days, it’s broken up into sections so that you can do five days in a row, six different weeks, and you can really dive into it and make sure that your creativity is not just creating for creation’s sake, but it’s creating what God wants in his will and that you get to co create with him in real time.

Alex | (39:03)

Yeah, that’s good. Great, Steven. Okay, and everybody, I will put links to Steven’s website and his book and all that stuff in the show notes and below the YouTube video. I have to start saying that now because now YouTube is a part of my workflow. Steven, give a final exhortation to all the aspiring songwriters out there.

Stephen Duncan | (39:21)

If you’re a poet, if you’re a book writer, if you’re a worship leader, you have something to say. We’re all made in God’s image and he’s the great creator. And so all of us have something to offer in terms of creativity. So for anybody who’s even interested in songwriting or those of you who’ve been doing it for a long time, I would just encourage you to look at your community with loving eyes, see what lies they’re believing. Go into Scripture, find the eternal truth that banishes that lie forever, and do not stop writing those songs. Be on repeat. Be a broken record until that lie breaks off of your community. And then and only then can you move on to the next topic. I just encourage you, just keep writing the same things over and over and over again in different ways. And also, don’t do this alone. I encourage you to do this in community. And if you don’t have that community, we will be that community for you until you can establish your own community in your city or your church. We’re here for you. We love you. We see you, and we’re ready to get in the trenches with you.

Alex | (40:40)

It’s amazing. I love that. Banner the lies, everybody. Banner the lies. All right, great, guys. Well, Steven, thank you for all of your wisdom. We’re going to move into our Academy Q&A time where our Academy members can ask you direct questions. So everybody hold tight for that. If you’re watching After the fact, join us in the Academy. You can try it for just one dollar by going to worshipministrytraining. Com, and we’ll see you in the next episode. All right, Academy members, hold tight.

Alex | (41:06)

Thanks for tuning in today. I hope this episode encouraged you, helped you, and pushed you forward in your ministry. If it helped you, can you take a second and help us by sending it to just one person that you think needs to hear this? And if you’re feeling extra nice, leave us a nice, shiny, five star review on Apple podcast or like this video if you’re watching it on YouTube. If you want to discuss this episode or ask questions, we do have a free section in our academy where you can post comments and questions and chat with other worship leaders just like you. And also sample some of our courses. And you can go to worshipministrytraining. Com free to join us inside the free portion of the Academy. If you’re looking for more, check out the full access Academy. You can get 15 days for just one dollar to start and try things out. Again, you can try all of it for 15 days for just one dollar by going to worshipministry training. Com. Hope to see you inside the academy, or else I’ll see you next month for another helpful episode.