TWLL #40: Prep Steps To Singing A Scripture Passage

Feb 01, 2024

read time: under 5 minutes




Singing a passage of Scripture is about more than just quoting it. 

There's actually a rhythm and flow to singing the Bible- but you won't really get into that flow unless you really know the passage you're singing.

And in order to really know the passage, you have to spend time offstage studying it.

Here are a few things you can do, to get more familiar with a Scripture passage before singing it and connect with Jesus in the process...



The first thing is simply getting the big picture of the passage itself.  Read the passage, and then re-read it.  

Then get the context of the passage- which means reading the parts that come before and after the passage itself.  The idea with this is that you want to get a sense of the greater flow that the passage fits into.  

Once you know the context of the passage, it gives you a clearer understanding of the passage itself.

From here, break up the passage into segments or phrases and apply the following steps to each phrase.


Slow Read And Meditation

Take the first phrase and read it slowly.  Then re-read it.  Then take that phrase and say or pray it out loud slowly.  Pause.  Then pray it again.  

For example, if the passage is Psalm 23 you could say, "Father, I thank You that You are the LORD and that You are my Shepherd." 

Say it slowly, and then wait, and then say the same phrase again.

What I like about this slow read and meditation is that you're turning the phrases of Scripture into prayer or conversation with the Lord.

So you're not just gaining head knowledge, but actually building relational history with God through His Word.



Next take the phrase, and find a couple other passages of Scripture in the Old and New Testament that have the same theme as your phrase.  

Sticking with the Psalm 23 example, look for other places in the Bible that talk about the Lord as a shepherd (John 10, Isaiah 40, Genesis 48, Matthew 18) and read through those passages.

When you cross-reference a phrase of your passage like this, you're getting a fuller picture and meaning of the phrase, and also giving yourself more to sing when it comes time.



After you've spent time reading, praying, and cross-referencing the phrases, try singing through the passage a bit at home.

Sit down at your keyboard or guitar, grab a simple chord progression, and just sing through it.

When I sing a passage, I like to go phrase by phrase.  So I'll start with the first phrase and stay there for a bit, by paraphrasing and then developing the phrase through cross-references.  

Then I'll summarize what I sang with a chorus, to encapsulate what I just sang.  From there, I'll move into the next phrase.

When you practice singing through the passage at home like this it will give you more confidence when you sing it live.



The next time you're planning to sing a portion of Scripture in your worship service, try these prep steps. 

Taking the time on the front end to really dig deeper into the passage like this, will change the way you sing it when it's time to do it live in a service.  The confidence, the clarity, and therefore the impact- all of it goes up.


That's it for today- more next week!





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