Joy to the world!  


SYNC 2021 song-writing contest - English division

     (Click here for global contest in other languages)


Winning criteria



Concept Proposal Form

Song Entry Form

Last Year's Winners


To bring joy to the world with new songs about the seven "milestone" events in the Bible:

  1. The creation of the world

  2. The promise to bless the world through Abraham's descendants

  3. Jesus's Freedom Declaration, death, and resurrection

  4. Jesus taking his throne in heaven and sending the Holy Spirit

  5. Jesus making atonement in the heavenly "Tabernacle"

  6. God enabling the apostles to endure persecution

  7. Jesus returning as Christ the King

More about milestones:  Each milestone is celebrated by a "season" in the SYNC annual cycle. Some of the milestones include two or three biblical events. See the list of all sixteen options you may choose from.



1. Thrill your audience with the meaning of one of the "milestone" events in the biblical story.

Christmas carols thrill people about a milestone event in many ways:

  • "Away in a Manger" gives us a vivid picture of the event.

  • "Joy to the World" has only one line about the event ("The Lord is come.") The rest is about what that means and how we respond to it.

  • "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" weaves the picture and and its meaning together.

  • "The Little Drummer Boy" invents a character to communicate the meaning.

2. Move your audience to respond appropriately to the game-changing act. 

  • "O Come Let Us Adore Him" calls us to celebrate and worship.

  • "O Holy Night" calls us to action: "And in his name all oppression shall cease."  


3. Be easy and fun for a large group to sing, like Christmas carols.  

Your song DOES NOT have to sound like a Christmas carol, but it DOES have to be easy for ordinary people to sing enthusiastically. It can follow any cultural music style or any genre for group singing, but it will not win the contest if it is so difficult that only a good musician can sing it. Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" would not win.

4. Be published in a "lyrics" version on YouTube. Show only the lyrics with a solid or still graphic background. We hope you will also do a video version to share as you wish, but only the lyric version will be seen by the SYNC contest judges. This is not a video competition or a performance competition. 

5. Be the best song in its category. There will be one winner and some honorable mentions for each of SYNC's seven themes or categories. You will have less competition if you choose a less familiar theme. 




Seven $400 prizes in the English division. We will choose one winner for each of the seven game-changing acts of God.

Honorable Mention: Judges will decide how many songs deserve "Honorable Mention." These will be featured on like the winning songs, with descriptions and photos of their composers plus the story behind each song.



Song-writers may collaborate. 

Songs may be new or previously published. You may have an unfinished song that comes to mind as you look at the list of SYNC topics and game-changing events. Use the contest as some extra motivation to finish it.

Copyright. You retain the copyright to your song, but you must grant permission for us to publish the lyrics on If your song infringes a copyright, it is disqualified. 

Amateur and professional song-writers are eligible. We expect that most entrants will be amateurs, and they are the ones we most want to encourage with the contest. The professionals already have their gift stirred up without this contest (but we won't exclude them).

Employees of, judges, and their relatives are not eligible. 

PREPARING YOUR CONCEPT PROPOSAL FORM  - deadline June 15th (first 30 receive "Early Bird" award) 

  • Open up to God. God wants his people to bring his life to the world in the pandemic. When you seek his inspiration for a song, you are SYNCing with his intentions. That's what SYNC is all about. "SYNC and ye shall find."


  • Read Your song as a COVID vaccine to see how to turn your experience of the pandemic into a song. If you already have a song concept, read that document to see which of the seven SYNC themes fits best with your idea.

  • Check the contest's Facebook group, "SYNC 2020 Contests" to get a feel for the group and the process. You may join the group before your own Concept Proposal Form is ready.

  • Submit your Concept Proposal Form. This is a preliminary "concept check"  to make sure your inspiration is generally in sync with SYNC. Post it as a file attachment in the Facebook group, "SYNC 2020 Contests." Cash award if you are one of the first 30. Stan Nussbaum, the contest organizer, will post feedback. Once your Concept Proposal Form has been approved, you are eligible to submit your Song Entry Form.


  • Develop the song idea that was on your approved Concept Proposal Form, and try your song out with friends

  • When it's ready, video it being sung by you, someone else, or a group (a simple one-phone video is OK; this is a song-writing contest not a music video contest) 

  • Edit your video until you feel good posting it on YouTube, and promote it on social media of your choice

  • Submit your completed Song Entry Form by e-mail to by July 31, 2020

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