So let’s not reach for ‘fridge magnet phrases’ – let’s be poets and wordsmiths whose quest to find fresh expressions is itself an act of worship… It’s about having discernment, knowing when to use a phrase and when not to. I’d err on the side of “not”, even if just for a personal exercise. When tempted to slip into fridge magnet ‘praise phrases’, let’s choose instead to try harder, dig deeper, and craft a more beautiful, fresh and unique way of describing our beautiful and unique God.
A worthy exhortation.
Easy for me to say as someone who doesn’t write worship songs but… My experience of those songs that really ‘work’ are that they appear to have been written out of a deep experience and consistent lifestyle of conviction by the Holy Spirit and revelation of Jesus.
It’s perhaps not surprising that as we struggle to put into words what we have come to know in our hearts, that we find ourselves adopting the register of scripture. Creativity and familiarity can co-exist.
I think the call for creativity and fresh expression, though, is recognising that the worship ‘scene’ can be a bit of an echo chamber at times, reflecting the language of other worship songs rather than fresh engagement with truth.
In any case, heartfelt worship songs that ‘connect’ will have more to do with the position of the worshipper and the journey of the community no matter how clever the lyrics.