Why Some Worship Songs Need Not Explicitly State The Gospel

by Bobby Gilles

in Songwriting/Hymn Workshop,Worship Leading

The following paragraphs are among the most apt words for worship leaders and songwriters that I’ve seen this year:

“… some leaders (myself included) have believed that to be gospel-centered, every song we sing has to explicitly state the gospel, or more narrowly, substitutionary atonement. But we shouldn’t be more gospel-centered than the Bible is. The Bible includes all kinds of topics, and our services and songs should address the full range of human experience.

“If the history of the universe is a movie, Christ’s death and resurrection is the turning point of the movie. Don’t let people grow dull by only ever playing the highlight reel. Let them see the whole movie! At the same time, don’t be ashamed of going to the highlights again and again, because without them the rest of the movie doesn’t make sense.”

— from “The Worship Leader and the Gospel” by Ken Boer, a chapter in Doxology And Theology: how the gospel forms the worship leader

  • Worship leaders, how are you “showing the whole movie” in your church?
  • How are you “showing the highlight reel”?
  • Songwriters … same questions. 

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