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So, at the end of 2011 I set the challenge of writing congregational songs.

Here’s a new tune to an old song… hope you like it!

The Old Rugged Cross

On a hill far away
Stood an old rugged cross
The emblem of suffering and shame
And I love that old cross
Where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain

So I’ll cherish the cross
The old rugged cross
Till my trophies at last I lay down
I will cling to the cross
The old rugged cross
And exchange it some day for a crown
For a crown

Oh that old rugged cross
So despised by the world
Has a wondrous attraction for me
For the dear Lamb of God
Left his glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary


In the old rugged cross
Stained with love so divine
A wondrous beauty I see
For twas on that old cross
Jesus suffered and died
To pardon and sanctify me


To the old rugged cross
I will ever be true
It’s shame and reproach gladly bear
Then he’ll call me some day
To my home far away
Where his glory forever I’ll share



“Ministers are to cultivate gifts of preaching and prayer through study and diligence; they ought also to cultivate the capacity of composing spiritual songs and exercise it along with the other parts of the worship, preaching and prayer”.

So says the great hymn writer Isaac Watts.

I don’t really want to say much more than that, except that I’m going to try and write a lot more congregational songs in 2012 (keep up to date with them here). Will other gospel ministers join me?

It’s not complicated. If you’re daunted by the idea, find a familiar hymn tune, and a bible passage you’re going to be preaching on and start writing… Perhaps use your sermon points as themes for each verse, with a chorus that has the overall point as its content. If you want any help/input please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Last night we had the pleasure of hearing from Sihle Mooi who is from Soweto, South Africa. He’s returning next week to plant a church in Soweto – a vital work in a place where there are few, if any Bible believing churches. He has a big heart and a deep voice! check out when Sihle taught us a Zulu song, or as Steve Timmis put it… the Night TCH South View murdered Zulu culture… a little harsh I thought!

Here’s an interesting blog on songs…

Worth having a look at – let me know what you think!

Michael Tinker is a professional musician and part of the Crowded House which is a church planting initiative in Sheffield and around the world. He's a follower of Jesus, Husband, Father, member of a Gospel Community, Musician and avid follower of fashion...

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