Raising Hell for Jesus is a recent article in the Fairfax publication The Good Weekend.
I love the little window we get at the end of the article into how to write a contemporary worship song. Ryan Smith is a relatively high profile worship pastor in a high profile pentecostal megachurch:
In a sound studio at the main c3 campus in Oxford Falls, I meet the church’s music director Ryan Smith and singer Dan Korocz, who give me a short lesson in constructing a contemporary worship song.
“That’s probably one of the hardest things in the world,” Smith says. “We might come up with a theme – ‘God’s unconditional love’ is a classic example. Then we start with a chorus.”
Smith strums his guitar in the key of F and sings in a soft voice: “Unconditional, unconditional, You have saved me, You have loved me.”
Korocz joins in: “Your love is relentless, Your love, uh, uh, uh, uuuhhhhh, love is relentless.” Then Smith: “Love is amaaaazing.”
Rhyming words always help, he says. “A lot of people are quite ‘Christian-ese’ about it, where you use words like ‘mercy’, ‘consecration’, ‘forgiveness’, ‘crucifixion’ .”
What rhymes with crucifixion, I ask? They think for a while.
“If it was crucifixion, you could rhyme it with ‘His love we’re in’ ,” Smith replies, finally.
“Or ‘salvation’,” Korocz adds.