A Modern Trinitarian Confession Song, with Some Tradition Sprinkled In

Zac HicksSongwriting, Worship Resources, Worship Theology & ThoughtLeave a Comment

In my chapter, “The Worship Leader and the Trinity,” in Doxology and Theology, I try to give feet to how the people of God encounter Him as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in worship. Sometimes, as church leaders we think too narrowly about the ways in which people can learn of and actually know God more deeply. We can think that our only recourse for people understanding and engaging God as Trinity is didactically, in the wooden sense of imparting … Read More

The Magnificent Three EP is Released!

Zac HicksSongwriting, Worship ResourcesLeave a Comment

Several years ago, I was floored by a shocking exposé. No, the article wasn’t about a political scandal, a pastoral failure, or even a Kardashian. It was a revealing study about how “under-Trinitized” our worship songs are. Now, to be sure, in one sense, you can’t “under-Trinitize” anything. Whether or not we are aware of the all-encompasing, ever-productive, supremely glorious work of the Great Three-in-One, if we are a Christian, we are inescapably “Trinitized.” The effectiveness of God’s work is … Read More

Destroying Self-Worship with Selfless Songs

Zac HicksSongwriting, Worship Theology & ThoughtLeave a Comment

Please stop what you’re doing and treat yourself to this amazing post over at Liberate by a worship leader I respect and appreciate, Sam Bush. He spends some time exegeting the hymn, “Hallelujah! What a Savior,” by Philip Bliss…a favorite of mine and a staple here at Coral Ridge. He hits on themes I try to bring up that I don’t think enough attention is drawn to in discussions of the “aim” of worship songs. Some quotables: One reason why … Read More

Helpful Grids for Writing Great Gospel-Centered Songs

Zac HicksSongwriting1 Comment

If there is one biblical idea that should be the source of fresh and endless songwriting inspiration, it is the gospel. But if you’re a songwriter who operates like I do, when you’re writing songs about the gospel, you tend to gravitate to the same phrases, clichés, metaphors and realms of thought. When you have a passion for gospel-centrality, and when your pastorally-oriented heart desires for the ancient gospel to be preached and sung in fresh, inspiring ways, you long … Read More

A Worship Song Parody…to Bless God’s People and Make a Point

Zac HicksSongwriting4 Comments

Several weeks ago, I offered a provocative post at The Gospel Coalition encouraging the minimizing of “surrender” language in our worship services. The gist of the post was that an overload of “I’m surrendering it all to You, Jesus” in our worship songs tends to put way too much spotlight on what we do for God rather than what Christ has done for us.  Today, Liberate has published a follow-up post of mine that digs a little deeper into some … Read More

Confession Song Based on the Book of Common Prayer

Zac HicksSongwriting, Worship ResourcesLeave a Comment

I want to share with you a little bit about what drove us to write and record “Most Merciful God” off our EP, His Be the Victor’s Name. (You can listen to the song below.) When I arrived at Coral Ridge, one of the things that I and the other leadership began to discover is that God was leading us into a season of expanding our worship vocabulary. Particularly, we discerned that our church needed to be able to have … Read More

Why We Evangelicals Need a Break from “Surrendering”

Zac HicksSongwriting, Worship Theology & ThoughtLeave a Comment

The Gospel Coalition just put up a post of mine reflecting on “surrender” language in worship songs. The heartbeat of this post is to encourage a pastoral sensitivity to not only what we say and sing in our worship services but the way things are actually heard. I’m arguing that, though the idea of “surrender” could be biblical, it is prone to being heard and expressed in ways that actually undermine the gospel. I deal with topics that have lately … Read More

Two Popular Worship Song Words That Need to Be Taken Back by the Gospel

Zac HicksSongwriting, Worship Theology & Thought5 Comments

Yes, I used one of these pictures.Whenever I download a new mainstream worship record, I feel like I have to brace myself for two very well-worn words whose meaning and potency have been largely neutered by a deadly combination of overuse and de-contextualization. In recent years, as the gospel of Christ’s finished work on my behalf has come to mean more and more to me, my jealousy has intensified in desire to take back these two words that I feel … Read More

Singing the Bible – Cardiphonia’s Canticles

Zac HicksAlbum Reviews, Convergence of Old and New in Worship, Hymns Movement News & Reviews, Songwriting, Worship Resources2 Comments

Astounding. They just keep getting better. A little before Christmas, Cardiphonia (that influential blogging and resourcing site that is in my top three go-to worship destinations online) released Canticles. A “canticle” is just fancy liturgical language for any song actually pulled directly from the pages of the Bible, more or less. Read more about it in my post here.  There’s a lot of talk out there about “biblical worship.” It means a lot of things. I’ve posted before about the difficulty … Read More

A Trinitarian Hymn for the New Year

Zac HicksSongwriting, Worship Resources2 Comments

Back in November, I arrived at the Cove to lead music alongside my fearless leader, the gospel-addict, Tullian Tchvidijian. The guest leader cabins at the Cove are evidently filled with books from Ruth Graham’s own library. She was quite the collector of old hardbacks. I stumbled upon a small, original edition of Frances Ridley Havergal’s collection of hymns, Under the Surface (get it for free at Google Books), and one of the first hymns I read was this one. It’s perfect … Read More