May

31

2012

Mike Cosper|10:00 PM CT

Songs for the Book of Luke

The Gospel Coalition seeks to "to serve the church we love by inviting all our brothers and sisters to join us in an effort to renew the contemporary church in the ancient gospel of Christ so that we truly speak and live for him in a way that clearly communicates to our age." We pursue that goal by developing a variety of resources and by directing you to the best resources we can find.

In that spirit that we're excited to launch a new project: Songs for the Book of Luke. Anticipating our focus on Luke's Gospel at next year's national conference---April 8 to 10 in Orlando, Florida---we're inviting pastors and church musicians to begin writing songs adapted from and inspired by the Book of Luke. Our goal is to put together an album of original, congregational songs with rich lyrics, featuring a wide variety of songwriters and church musicians. As the process unfolds, we'll share the details here, introducing you to new artists and musicians and highlighting worship renewal in churches across the country.

Historically speaking, the Christian music industry is a recent development. Lately, the "worship music" industry has set the agenda for singing in the local church. Many wonderful songs have grown out of that movement, but we believe there's much to appreciate about the less visible, pastoral songwriting at the local church level.

In fact, we believe some of the best songs being written for congregational singing are happening at the local level---musicians and pastors writing songs for their own churches. We want to highlight this work by inviting church musicians to contribute to the project: music for churches by churches.

From the songs submitted, we will select and curate a group of them to highlight here, through feature articles and interviews. We'll make demos and chord charts available, so churches across the country can adapt them and use them in their own contexts. We'll also record an album of those songs, and feature them at The Gospel Coalition national conference next spring.

We're eager to hear from you, so if you'd like to contribute to the project, see the fine print below.

  • Guidelines for Song Submissions
    • The submission deadline is August 15, 2012.
    • Songs submissions must be in a demo-quality mp3 format. The simpler the better. Full-production recordings are not necessary. Better to record them simply---even on your phone---with a single voice or voices and accompaniment.
    • Songs submissions must also include a pdf or Word document containing the lyrics, chords, and authorship information. Lead sheets are welcome but not necessary.
    • Song submissions should also include your contact information (name, email, phone number) as well as the name of the church where you serve and your position (volunteer, worship pastor, kazoo maintenance engineer).
    • Send all submissions to songs4luke@thegospelcoalition.org.
  • The Process
    • Songs will be collected and assessed by a team of pastors and musicians.
    • Songs will be chosen for inclusion in the project based upon:
      • Rich theological content adapted from or inspired by the Book of Luke. Fresh approaches and ideas will get priority---so try to work on unfamiliar territory: parables, stories, and miracles are rarely touched in contemporary worship music.
      • Melodies that are congregation-friendly, singable, and memorable.
    • A production team will develop the songs into arrangements with an entire album in mind.
  • The Fine Print
    • Songwriters will retain 100 percent of the copyright of their songs.
    • If your song is selected for inclusion in the project, it doesn't automatically mean you'll sing it. A separate process will be used for selecting singers and musicians on any recordings made for the project.

Mike Cosper is pastor of worship and arts at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author of Rhythms of Grace: How the Church's Worship Tells the Story of the Gospel and co-author of Faithmapping: A Gospel Atlas for Your Spiritual Journey. He writes on the gospel and the arts for The Gospel Coalition.

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