How to Write a Hit Worship Song

I don’t actually write songs of any kind. But I can say without a shadow of a doubt that what follows is the formula for the perfect worship song. And by “perfect” I mean the one that K-Love will play endlessly, worship leaders will rush to add to playlists, and might even win you a Dove award.

The Formula

3 Chords:

G, C, D (More are optional, but these will cut it.)


2 or more acts of nature:

River, Rain, Fire, Flood, Ocean, Wave, Whirlwind


2 or more physical actions:

Raise hands, Fall on knees, Dance, Run, Leap, Clap, Embrace


1 or more vague prophetic or apocalyptic references:

Days of Elijah, Coming on a cloud, Chariots, Horses, Warrior, Thunder, Lightning


Unexpectedly switch who you are singing to:

To God, to each other, to the world, back to God, to the heavens, back to God, to your neighbor, and back to God


Use opaquely creepy language:

I want to touch you, You whisper my name, In the secret place, You always see me, You never leave me


Trinitarian confusion:

We believe in a triune God. What does that mean? We don’t really know, so let’s just mix it up.


Use 3 or more names of God (any of the persons of the Trinity):

Father, Son, Spirit. King, Ruler, Savior, Redeemer, Friend, Lamb, Lion, El Shaddai, Creator, Provider, Shepherd, etc.


Remind God where to show up:

Where are we? In this place! (He wasn’t sure.)


Ask for revival:

Never mind that we skipped over plain old “vival.” Let’s redo it any how!


Musical interlude ideal for breathy prayers:

“Jeeeeeesus, papadaddyGod, we welcome you in this place . . .”


Fill all additional gaps with sound affects:

mmmmm, oooooh, yeah yeah, la la la


For additional impact you can:

  • Use a mandolin
  • Wear v-neck t-shirts so low cut they make your mother blush
  • More cowbell
  • Project the words onto images of mountains and eagles on the screen
  • Wear a fedora
  • Use pomade
  • Use shipping pallets as part of your stage design