What makes a bad worship song? Is it an unconventional melody? Awful lyrics? Many worship songs have catchy hooks, even beautiful lyrics, but in the end they aren’t good worship songs.

Here are four characteristics of a terrible worship song:

It’s Super Vague

The lyrics can be applied to your 16 year old crush as easily as they can to Jesus. If you change all references to God to “baby” or “darling” and the song still works, you’ve got a serious problem. While ambiguity can make songs more relatable, in worship, it can make things awkward, uncomfortable, even disturbing.

It’s Focused on You

The essence of the song is how God makes you feel. The song glorifies personal experiences like being in love and quickly crosses the line between God-glorifying and self-exalting. The lyrics refer to self more than to Jesus, and the focus is on me and my story, rather than God and His story.

It Has an Unbearable Range

These songs have a range that most people can’t sing comfortably, if at all. People singing have two options: 1) drone in a low octave or 2) stand and simply listen. Unfortunately, the latter is the more common occurrence.

It’s Theologically Inaccurate

If you wouldn’t say it in a sermon, it shouldn’t be in a song. I understand taking some artistic liberties. But when maintaining a rhyme becomes more important that sound theology, the song no longer belongs in the service.

What would you add? Let me know in the comments!