Celebrating 50 Years of Scripture in Song with a fresh word from the Lord!!!
I (Josh) have had the privilege of becoming friends with some amazing people in our short time in ministry. But one of the most precious friendships I have had the joy of making is with David Garratt. While the younger generation of worshippers these days may not know who David and Dale Garratt are or the ministry they founded, Scripture in Song, we owe them an incredible debt as they have paved the way for us and paid a price that few of us could ever comprehend!
The conversations I have had with David over the last 8 years have left a mark on my like few others. As I was emailing with David recently, he shared some thoughts with me that I asked if I could in-turn share with those connected with us, as I felt what he shared was a timely word from the Lord for worship leaders and songwriters around the world.
Scripture and Song has been one of the most influential worship ministries of our time. And as we trace worship in the modern church back over the last 100 years we can see that God used this amazing ministry to almost single handedly transition the church from hymns to choruses. This year marks the 50 year anniversary of this amazing ministry, so it is with great joy I share this piece from David Garratt himself with you. Enjoy!
Looking back over 40 years to when we had the single thought, from God I believe, to put His word into the mouths of people using music to carry the word...there is something about the principles He showed us at that time which I think are still appropriate today...
‘Principles’, the unchanging directives that began us on a journey where we produced over 30 Albums and published over 600 songs that were sung by God’s people around the world.
I suppose if I was to try to put those principles into a sentence it would be something like:
Write God’s word into simple songs, easily sung and remembered by people regardless of their musical ability so that in future the Holy Spirit can use the songs to speak and speak again to those who heard and sung them.
Pretty straight forward really...
The interesting thing is that Moses, the man who talked with God, who recorded what he heard more than anyone else in the whole of the Bible, was given the same simple steps just before God took him into eternity.
In Deuteronomy 31 we read God instructing Moses...
‘Now write a song’
Apart from a blessing he gave to each of the tribes of Israel, this was the final instruction Moses ever received concerning Israel. The nation he had led for 40 years from captivity to the land God had prepared for them.
However when God said ‘now write a song’ it wasn’t just any song. It was a prophetic song right from the Father’s heart written especially for a future generation....
There were just two other things God told Moses about this song.
Teach it to the people... and...
The song will not be forgotten by future generations.
People not yet born will find the song speaking to them, challenging them, reminding them of what God was and is saying.
Sometimes we tend to forget that although we may want to hear and respond to the up to date trends there are also principles that have been around for a long time which contain important truth for us.
So when I get the chance to conduct a workshop on songwriting I ask the people, What is God saying to you now? What do you ‘hear’?
Is there something you could put into a song that is worth people learning so that the Holy Spirit can remind them (and perhaps their grandchildren also) of this truth?
That the song is ‘His word’ is the most important point God gave Moses and I suggest it is key also for us today…
What I mean by 'His word' is not necessarily a Bible verse but it will be something He is revealing to His people that can be verified in the Bible.
However if, as soon as the overhead is switched off, the song is forgotten, the second point won’t ever happen. This is why Moses was told…
‘teach it to the people’.
I would like to encourage worship leaders today to ask God’s Spirit for His word for their own people… write simple, memorable songs and spend time putting those songs into the mouths and minds of the people so they can make the truths their own.
Dale and I have taught many songs line by line and found that by doing so the people are able to take ownership of the song rather than having it performed for them from a stage.
The song may will be truth for the next generation.
Pretty well every week we have people emailing us concerning songs we published decades ago which they still recall and sing.
It’s time for the principles God gave Moses to be activated again…
By David Garratt