In songwriting, there is a Rule of the Three Ss: Keep it Singable, Simple and Sincere.
Yesterday, Robert Sherman, who with his brother wrote some of the most endearing songs for Disney, died at 86. The “Rule of the Three Ss” was advice from their father. So when you find a song bouncing around in your head (like “Spoon Full of Sugar Help the Medicine Go Down”), most likely it’s because the rule was followed.
I think it’s a proper challenge to the worship songwriters to follow the Rule of the Three Ss, as well as an exhortation to worship leaders to chose songs that do the same.
Are there songs you think challenge your band musically, but the congregation is just not getting? Probably not singable, or simple, though lyrically it might be as sincere as they come. Got a song you think captures some great doctrine of the faith, but the congregation shuts down when you sing it? Drop the song, and rewrite a better, more simplified one. Of course, there are plenty that are just not singable. They sound great on the radio, but that alone can’t justify using them in corporate worship.
Find the “musical center” of your church, and apply the Rule of the Three Ss to all the songs for corporate worship. This is how you’ll serve them best!
Image via Wikipedia
- Disney Songwriter Robert B. Sherman Dies at Age 86 (wired.com)
- As You Go – The Evolution of a Song (worshipmatters.com)
- What Goes On at a Sovereign Grace Songwriting Retreat? (worshipmatters.com)
- Resources for Your Worship Team from WorshipGod11: Leading, Songwriting, Tech (worshipmatters.com)