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Worship Song or Love Song?

Worship song or make out anthem?

Maybe I’m just weird? But have you ever noticed that most worship music is really just one noun or pronoun away from being a love song? And if you aren’t careful… change the name from an object of worship to an object of affection… and a whole lot of worship songs get PG-13 real fast.

There is a razor thin line between worship music for church and really weird love song. I often wonder what these songs must sound like when people are new  to church. They see words on the screen and go, “Whaaaaaa?

Just for fun, I’ll give you a couple of examples and let you suggest the rest in comments.

Beautiful One by Tim Hughes

Worship song or make out song? 


Beautiful one I love
Beautiful one I adore
Beautiful one my soul must sing

Verse 3

You opened my eyes to your wonders anew
You captured my heart with this love
Because nothing on earth is as beautiful as you

In the Secret by Andy Park

Worship song or stalker anthem? 

In the secret, in the quiet place
In the stillness you are there.
In the secret, in the quiet hour I wait,
Only for you,’cause I want to know you more;

I want to know you,
I want to hear your voice
I want to know you more.
I want to touch you,
I want to see your face
I want to know you more.

Pour Out My Heart by Craig Musseau

Worship song or homecoming slow dance?

Here I am, once again
I pour out my heart for I know that you hear
Every cry, you are listening
No matter what state my heart is in

You are faithful to answer
With words that are true and a hope that is real
As I feel your touch
You bring a freedom to all that’s within

In the safety of this place
I’m longing to…

Pour out my heart to say that I love you
Pour out my heart to say that I need you
Pour out my heart to say that I’m thankful
Pour out my heart to say that you’re wonderful

Disclaimer: I picked older songs for this post because I’m not really out to offend anyone. I’m just having fun pointing out how close our metaphors are between love for God and love for people. 

Got more that would work? Leave a comment. 

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17 Responses to Worship Song or Love Song?

  1. Marc Hoogstad October 15, 2011 at 7:58 am #

    There’s a song by a Canadian dude who wrote a song for his friend’s wedding, and then recorded it for a worship album.  It’s easy.  Just change “you” to “You.”

  2. Marjorie Poff October 15, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    Such a fun game.   :)  Jaime Grace’s song “I love the way you hold me” creeps me out every time I hear it.  Whenever I hear songs like that I think about the Christian Rock episode of South Park where  Cartman says that all you have to do to write a good Christian song is cross out words like “baby and darling and replace them with Jesus.”  I think sometimes songs come way to close to that line.

  3. Josh Corley October 15, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    John Mayer – Your Bible is a Wonderland

    See, I took it the other way…

  4. Marc Hoogstad October 15, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    Remember the old sixties song you used to sing at youth group?

    Something happened to my heart, the day (that I met you / I met the Lord)
    Something that I’ve never felt before…

    (My / God’s) love is warmer than the warmest sunshine,
    Softer than a sigh..
    …And there is nothing in this world that can ever change (my / God’s) love.

  5. Deneice October 15, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    Love it, Adam! So true. But just as someone turned a John Mayer song around there are other songs you can do that to as well. Is this a good thing? A bad thing? Note sure, but this was really funny because I really like a couple of those songs & really glad we don’t sing them anymore because I’d probably start laughing hysterically!

    • Adam McLane October 15, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

      I don’t think its a bad thing. But it definitely makes me giggle from time to time. 

  6. thejoeldiaz October 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    Dude, how about Your Love Is Extravagant? Let’s just say I can no longer lead that song in worship due to “alternate” lyrics that I have heard at rehearsal.

    • Adam McLane October 15, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

      Your love is amazing…
      steady and unchanging…
      your love is a mountain… 

      It never stops!

  7. Jason Huffman October 15, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    I think a lot of believers romanticize their relationship with God. Some see him as a Father, a Savior, a Friend, but for others the primary role they perceive God to playis that of a lover. I don’t mean to judge but I get uncomfortable when people testify about God and this idea overshadows the other perceptions they have of God…it’s creepy!

  8. Miguel Covarrubias October 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    Have  you been watching South Park today Adam? 

  9. Jason Roth October 17, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    You are love I need
    You are the air I breathe
    You are my love my life
    Always forever
    Always forever


  10. Mike Andrews October 18, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    It’s a bit of a tangent, but have you read Song of Solomon lately?

  11. fearlessworshipleader February 2, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

    As a worship leader this is a constant struggle. I have a serious disdain for “Jesus is my girlfriend” music.

  12. mkws October 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    also most love songs are one word away from being worship songs -especially country ballads

  13. Merrilee McCain March 30, 2014 at 5:50 am #

    We are discussing this matter in our church right now. Surely we should avoid the frivolous ditty or sentimental/mushy love song in respect to God. The use of sensual songs that have a strong beat to them, meaning syncopated so that the body wants to move, are also not appropriate. Thank you so much for posting this!

  14. cody August 18, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

    wet sloppy kisses and swaying palm trees


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