Krissy Nordhoff has been writing songs in the CCM industry for over a decade and more recently found award-winning success for her tune, "Your Great Name." Now she is taking her years of experience and honing them into a helpful tool for burgeoning writers in the church. The result is Writing Worship: How to Craft Heartfelt Songs for the Church. This little book (which numbers less than 200 pages) is chock-full of helpful tips, insights, and perspective about church music.
While it's easy to be cynical about motives behind the writers of today's worship, Nordhoff seems to come from a genuine place of desiring biblical and edifying songs in the church. For Nordhoff, the writing process is bathed in worship and scripture. Further, this book isn't to help aspiring songwriters break into the industry and score a number one hit; Nordhoff is writing this to believers on a local and lay level. She talks at one point about how each local body has its own defining "fingerprints" and so when they write their own music that uniqueness shines. Her focus is also less on the nitty-gritty of songcraft and more about how one can specifically write heartfelt worship.
Nordhoff provides plenty of tools and tips for helping a writer on his/her journey. She explains her process of "two-way journaling," dissects the different songwriter personalities (even offering an online test), charts out how different personalities interact and how people can start cowriting, and gives other tricks like song mapping and "psalming." With each of these tools, Nordhoff provides very practical application and encourages the reader to try these different tactics right away to see how it impacts his/her writing. Her writing style is brisk and to the point, never wasting time with too many illustrations or explanations. Readers get the right amount of what they need and the chapters are laid out well enough that, if they need to freshen up on a point, it's easy to find what they're looking for.
Writing Worship could very well become a "must-have" book for worship teams everywhere. In some ways, it's really not a book but a tool, and a very handy one at that. It encourages anyone from a seasoned writer to a complete novice to join up with fellow believers and start crafting songs that the local church can sing. Regardless of what one might think about worship music as a genre within the greater CCM industry, or about mega-church bands throwing out live collections of their songs, there's something empowering about being told that you can write songs for your local church without having to first go through a label, management, and the radio. Anyone with aspirations for writing new and enriching praise anthems for their congregation will find Writing Worship an inspiring, worthwhile, and ultimately important read.- Review date: 9/11/19, written by John Underdown of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Publisher: David C Cook
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