My son and I have begun writing songs together for worship at our church. We have developed a repertoire of roughly 7 or 8 songs that seem to have some promise based on congregation reactions. Looking for input and tips from any church songwriters who have taken the next step to have their songs published and recorded. Where do we begin to look, who should we talk to, and what should we be prepared for? I appreciate any and all constructive commentary.
I also write a lot, but I'm not musically inclined, so I have a musician friend of mine write the music, I do the lyrics. I didn't know either how to go about getting published, so I actually wrote to Peter Furler (former lead singer of the Newsboys) on his Facebook page for ideas, and he referred me to this link: http://www.secretanthem.com/ He said a friend of his started it. It's interesting, if you want to check it out....
It's really great that you're writing songs, and that your congregation is reacting well to them! I think it's a very healthy thing to have songwriters in a church who can write for their local fellowship.
Without wanting to sound too pessimistic, though, my experience is that there are lots (and I mean lots) of aspiring songwriters out there, all asking pretty much the same question: "these songs seem pretty good, I wonder if anyone else would use them?" The truth is, only a small fraction of the songs these people write will ever make it out beyond their local church, or area, despite many of these songs being very good. There is a big Christian music industry, and it is not easy to break into it (and, I'm not sure I would want to, really).
I think it is a good idea to get your songs recorded, in the best way available to you (home recording can be of pretty good quality nowadays, with lots of good software and hardware available). I would suggest making them available to as wide an audience as possible by posting them on sites such as this, and making chords available - you never know, perhaps someone else wil look and listen and think "I could use that". And see how it goes from there.
Not sure if this is any help to you, but if you are a part of a Vineyard Church, they have a system where new songs go before a panel and the writers are offered guidance / critique. That's the case in the UK - not sure how it is where you are.