Another post reminded me of a discussion I had with 11 other worship leaders a year ago. Someone asked "how many of you have written new worship songs?" And nearly everyone raised their hand. Then he asked " how many of you are using those songs in your churches?" And no one raised a hand.

I am guilty of this as well. I can never quite bring myself to use one of my own songs in worship, because I worry that I am not clearly judging the song, it's quality, it's value to my church, etc.

How do you handle this? Does anyone else struggle with using their own songs?

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I agree, I think the two main issues that cause hesitancy are:

- Everyone would like to use their songs, but aren't sure "how good" they are. That's a valid concern since there is a lot of "junk mail" music in the worship arena. So I think a lot of people are hesitant because they are leary of being yet more "junk mail".

- It also could be perceived as pretentious or preferential to use your own songs. In other words, for the good of the congregation, perhaps there are better songs than mine for a given purpose.
Stevo, this is so true.
When you think about it though, there's a lot of "junk" worship also that's promoted by professional labels too. It seems that once an artist gets big and everyone is buying their stuff, then it's not a big deal when the quality of stuff they do drops.
I for one have to deal with the frustration knowing that I've been blessed to have several of my songs picked up by other artists and I've got a couple of songs doing fairly well on CCLI. So someone thought my songs were good enough to sing in other churches but not in my own church yet. Now that's a different twist on things. There are a couple of songs I wrote that our worship team will do now and then. It's not a total failure.
I just think it's disappointing when you have a church that's written over 40 songs, not to be using them more often. Still I continue to write and love what I do regardless of who sings them.
I aspire to that.

If anything, we Christian musicians should be going for quality over quantity, especially since we already have such a large body of good music from the past like hymns.

I see you've been busy!
mornin from Maine lads(& lasses)

I just wanted to toss out this: let's also not overthink the thing.
meaning, I am constantly reminding myself not to forget my humanity(as if I need reminding), and let's not get too caught up in how to "do" this whole process exactly right.

And maybe in this case of a potential worship song, maybe we need to simply have some folks we're using as a sounding board?
And of course, along with that vulnerability, comes a heart that really needs to be open to receiving the words "I don't like this one because...."
Checks & balances are a good thing.
Pick a small group of folks you trust to be HONEST about aspects of your song(s).
Theology, sing-ability, ease of playing in a worship team setting..I dunno?

Just some random thunkin
Cheers!
Rich
Rich - this is what I was leading up to! Thanks mate!
I have been priviledged to use songs i wrote, arranged & composed during worship in church & during ministrations, even till now i am amazed at the glorious responses i get. From experience a song from the head only ministers to the head, a song from the soul doesn't go beyond that level but a song from the Spirit ministers to the spiritman of worshippers & generates amazing happenings. So, it boils down to the source. So, what is your source?
I write songs and am able to play them in church, I feel blessed. I lead worship for high school and college and created a culture for worshiper to write so we can do origanals, I love hillsong but I would take one of my kids songs and work on that than a hillsong. We all sing the heart of hillsong and maybe New Life in Colorado but I want to tap in to the heart of my church and hear the song of our members more
Me too J.T. I want to see the people that God has anointed to write songs for His glory stepping out in their calling and be the blessing God has called them to be. God has songwriters all over the world for His purpose. If someone wants to judge a songwriters songs the best way I can think of is to look for the anointing in the songs. That is what makes all the difference to me. If someone is really anointed by God to write worship songs who am I to discourage them? I am just a nobody in the middle of no where Alabama and I have seen God use the songs He has given me to be a huge blessing to others. Am I being arrogant in that? How can I be when I know that I am nothing but He is everything. And I will thank Him forever for giving me so many songs that sing only of His glory. He is the songwriter and I am honored to be used to bless His Aawesome Name. Songwriters let God use you and don't be scared or ashamed of your work. If it's all about Him then it is Him. Be encouraged and be blessed!
I write songs and am able to play them in church, I feel blessed. I lead worship for high school and college and created a culture for worshiper to write so we can do origanals, I love hillsong but I would take one of my kids songs and work on that than a hillsong. We all sing the heart of hillsong and maybe New Life in Colorado but I want to tap in to the heart of my church and hear the song of our members more
We are actually using several of my songs regularly on Sunday morning. The congregation is VERY supportive of my songwriting, and they seem to really relish the opportunity to sing home-grown songs.
Steve Bell was active in a Winnipeg congregation known as Grain of Wheat. When I attended there a few years ago, those songs were some of the best received songs in the worship time.

I suspect that elements of his worship style may have been birthed in that congregation.

Moral of the story is that if songwriting is part of your ministry, then you need to get those songs out there and get them critiqued. Ideally, the song takes on a life of its own and after a while, it could turn to be a different song than what you first wrote, even if it still bears your name!

It's all about being rich to God
I have written a few that "caught on" and we sang a number of times. But a big struggle is that songwriters, including myself, write to themes and in styles that are out of the "mainline tradition" (contemporary 4-beat rock). Typically, the singers really like them, but the instrumentalists don't get the concept. People today, at least in my bailiwick, get really afraid of doing something that hasn't been pre-approved on a CD.

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