Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Sing A New(frontiers) Song

Al Metcalfe has got my back! Just a few short hours ago he jumped into the ring and started wafting a virtual towel in my face called 'Most worship teams are cover bands'.

The post is a clarion call for all Newfrontiers worship leaders great and small to get off their big holy bahookies and throw some songs up on the internet. He even promised to get some of his own song out there. That's right Manchester you heard it here second!

It must be true - I read it on the internet.

He says -

Nationally as a movement, Newfrontiers has a surprisingly low number of worship song writers contributing to conferences and albums. Thankfully those that we have are very good – and some are truly world class.

But the idea that the God who loves to hear new songs has invested that job in a half-dozen people’s hands… well that’s daft.

I have a sneaking suspicion that right now within Newfrontiers there are dozens of great worship song writers sitting on the germs of hundreds of great songs that would speak to hearts, unlock fresh worship, empower people’s lives and transform our churches.
I ask worship leaders all the time if they have written any songs. Here’s what’s funny: most say they have. The reasons they don’t end up singing them? Never been encouraged to. Lack of camaraderie and support from other leaders. Fear that they’re not very good. Lack of courage to ask for feedback. 

I don’t think it’s too strong to say that we need a revolution in our thinking if we’re going to fulfil the command to ‘sing a new song’. Somehow we’ve got to get a lot less locked up. We need to make the choice to confront our resistance and the anxiety associated with creating. And we need to help each other with safe places to create and to road-test.

Read the whole thing

And hold the phone - we have our first underground worship warrior! Andy Biggs from Emmanuel Church, Durham. Who's next?

Related Posts: The great Newfrontiers song link giveaway

Here's lots of free songs by me - surely you can do better than this!


  1. It's all well and good encouraging individuals to get their songs online, but the major way new songs get disseminated is through the conferences, which are entirely dominated by Brighton-based worship bands who have their own songs/albums to promote. (Not saying that's a bad thing, just a fact). Should there be some kind of initiative that sources the best of these worship songs and then profiles them at New Frontiers conferences?

  2. Thanks for the comment Anon!

    "Should there be some kind of initiative that sources the best of these worship songs and then profiles them at New Frontiers conferences?"

    Sounds like a great idea!

    However I'm in no position to do anything about that. Are you?

    So I'm doing what I can.

    We have a long history of not going through head office in Newfrontiers.

    In fact we vehemently deny that there even is a head office.

    So help me spread the message. We have nothing to lose but our anonymity.

  3. Hi ‘Anon’ - I think we all know where you’re coming from with that comment.

    But Matt’s right. It’s nothing to do with the ‘system’. It’s all to do with the fact that very few people are trying. And one of the reason very few people are trying is because very few people are encouraging them to.

    The normative culture in most of our churches right now is that the barrier to entry for a new song is that it gets sung at a conference and/or it appears on a commercially-produced album. Well that’s crazy - and shame on all of us for letting that mindset take root.

    Song writers aren’t born. They are made. Occasionally - very occasionally - a new song writer will have a ‘hit’ with their very first song. But most plug away at it, getting better gradually. The ones writing the popular songs are primarily the ones who haven’t given up. So we need to help each other not give up (sounds kinda biblical, doesn’t it?)

    Some inspiration:

    Apparently James Dyson made 5,127 prototypes of his bagless vac before he got it right.

    Edison famously said, ‘I have not failed, I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work’.

    And Lee Unkrich, director of Toy Story 3, talks about Pixar’s legendary process of supporting and critiquing each other’s creative work in the new Wired magazine:

    ‘It’s important that no one gets mad at you for screwing up. We know screw-ups are an essential part of making something good. That’s why our goal is to screw up as fast as possible.’

    We’re all afraid of writing bad songs, when in fact exactly what we need is lots of bad songs.

    So come on, friends, join in.


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