Good examples, Phil. I hadn't thought about them before in that way.
I heard Casting Crowns the other day on satelite radio, singing "It's a Slow Fade", a great song that nails us about the dangers of letting our guard down on moral matters. I think this very easily could be classified as a spiritual song that is sung to one another.
I've always considered "spiritual songs" to be those "tehillah" moments, when the Spirit gives us a new song, just for that moment, or that meeting, or that person. It's the ever-so-risky-but-so-very-rewarding part of leading worship. Best practiced in a small group setting, it's when we take a chance in the moment--when we feel the Spirit moving to speak life to the group--and we make it up as we go: chords and words and melody!
"Hold on there, Mr. Newcomer," you may find yourself saying. "I didn't know that was possible." Well, if God is the Author of Creativity, and we are made in His image, it stands to reason that some of us are called to be creative--both in planned songs, and songs for the moment.
Let me blow your mind even further... could it be that God allows songwriters to create some songs that are meant only for a small group of people, or even just one person? Hmmmm...
And once we've started creating these Spiritual Songs, too often we songwriters try to hang on to and perpetuate the Songs For The Moment we've written and fallen in love with. But we would be wise, making the most of every opportunity, if we remember our First Love, possibly needing to sacrifice the "old messages" for ones that are fresh for today, by the Spirit's leading.
I am not saying that we need to "bury" our older tune experiences. I am simply saying that we need to let the Spirit lead us in the song choices and song creations we make from week to week.
Interesting thoughts, Chris. I heard Brian Doerksen once say in his class on song-writing, "Would you be happy with your song if the only time you ever played it was in your bedroom to Jesus?"
I haven't "created" a new song on the spot before a large audience before, but I have strung songs together spur of the moment when the Spirit led.
I love the story about "Days of Elijah" by Robin Mark. He listened to the pastor preaching in the first service, got an idea and went down to the church kitchen and wrote out the song, and then sang it in the second service. Look where that ended up!
When our church goes into free worship, ( band playing without any singing, hard to describe with a keyboard) the Holy spirit can give you words or even a scripture and this can be sung with the music that is playing, I also think this is the above scripture