TWLL #7: Three Steps To Singing A Passage Of ScriptureJun 15, 2023
read time: 5 minutes
One of the best ways to connect your heart with Jesus, develop biblical language as a worship leader, and strengthen your spontaneous singing is to sing Scripture- more specifically, to sing through passages of Scripture.
It will change your own life in God and it will change the way you lead worship.
This week I want to give a handful of steps you can follow when you sing a passage of Scripture- steps I’ve used in my own journey of singing the Bible.
The first thing you want to do is spend time in the Scripture passage. Before you even start singing, you want to get a handle on what the passage is saying.
1. A. Context
To get a clear understanding of what the passage is saying, start with the context of the passage. Back up at least a few verses or more, and get a feel for the flow the passage shows up in. Then read at least a few verses after the passage as well, for the same reason.
1. B. Read
Then read the passage itself a handful of times- write down anything that jumps out at you. At this point you’re just trying to get familiar with the passage.
1. C. Pray
Next, go phrase by phrase, and slowly pray the passage back to Jesus. Maybe pray the same phrase a few times- you’re not just trying to get through it, you’re trying to find Him in it.
1. D. Study
Start to dig a bit deeper by cross-referencing the passage, phrase by phrase. In other words, identify the theme of each phrase and then search for other Scripture passages in the Old and New Testament that have the same theme.
Now you’re using Scripture to interpret Scripture, which is the best way to do it. Doing this really gives you a deeper understanding of what a given phrase in your passage is saying.
Once you’ve spent time in the passage and done some prep, you’re in a better place to now sing the passage because you’ve got a bit of an idea of what you’re actually singing.
Start singing the passage the same way you would study it- just go phrase by phrase. As you start singing through that first phrase, there are a few options in front of you, and they have an order to them.
2. A. Sing The Phrase Word For Word
At this point literally just sing that first phrase of the passage, word-for-word as it’s written. Maybe you sing the phrase once or twice.
2. B. Paraphrase
Now take what you just sang and try to put it in your own words. You basically sing a paraphrase of the literal phrase.
Singing the phrase in your own words helps your heart connect with the phrase at a deeper level.
2. C. Develop The Phrase
After singing the phrase a time or two and then paraphrasing it- you can start to develop the phrase.
Pull on those cross-references you studied earlier, and sing out some relevant phrases from those other passages that tie in with the theme of the phrase you’re singing.
In doing this you develop the phrase and get a bigger picture of what the phrase is saying. This is honestly one of my favorite parts of singing through a passage.
Once you’ve developed the phrase a bit, you can move on to the next phrase in the passage and repeat the singing steps, or you can summarize what you just sang by creating a chorus.
Think of a chorus like you’d think of the chorus of any song. Content-wise you’re hitting the main point or take away of the phrase, and on the musical side you’re wanting to create something relatively short, catchy, and singable. I LOVE creating and singing choruses!
Specifically in a worship leading context, what’s so powerful about creating a chorus after singing a phrase of the passage, is that you’re giving the room a chance to respond and agree with what you just sang- SUPER powerful from a corporate worship standpoint.
And then secondly you’re giving the room an easy transition piece if you’re planning to go into a worship song after having sung a bit of a passage.
But whether you’re leading worship in a room full of people, or just leading your own heart at home, I think a chorus is a great way to finish the phrase before moving on to the next one.
A final thought before wrapping up for today. Don’t just try singing a passage once or twice. Commit to doing this for a while.
The first several times it might feel choppy and awkward. Which is totally normal. The more you consistently sing Scripture, the more comfortable you’ll be, the more you’ll find your flow, and the more confident you’ll become overall.
Okay, one last, last thought :)
It’s great to sing a passage by yourself, but you should also try it with your worship team or just a few friends. Take turns singing, and watch where it goes! There’s something truly special about singing the Bible together.
That’s it for now.
See ya'll next week.
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