Joy to the world!
SYNC song-writing contest - English Division
(Click here for instructions for the Global Division, excluding English)
Dates of contest phases (when to enter)
How to enter
Song Entry Form
CONTEST PHASES FROM MAY 2022 THROUGH MAY 2023
Submit your song during the appropriate phase of the contest. It depends which of God's "awesome deeds" (or "milestones") you are focusing on. See list below.
Phase A: Power. May 26 - August 6, 2022
Milestone 8: The Transfiguration. Mark 9.1-13. A secret preview of heaven’s power
Milestone 14: The ascension. Acts 2.21-36. The King takes power on his throne in heaven
Milestone 15: Pentecost. Acts 2.1-12. The King puts his Spirit into his followers to empower them
Phase B: Mercy. August 7 - October 6, 2022
Milestone 12: Jesus as our High Priest. Hebrews 9.1-15. The final sacrifice for sins on the heavenly altar
Phase C: Honor. October 7 - November 20, 2022
Milestone 9: The anointing. John 12.1-7. The anointing of Jesus as the Messiah (the Anointed One)
Milestone 16: Carrying the cross of Jesus. Mark 15.15-21. The King’s followers faithfully endure persecution
Phase D: Vision. November 21 - December 31, 2022
Milestone 6: Bethlehem. Luke 2.1-20. The baby is born to be King
Milestone 17: Calling Jesus to return. Revelation 22.6-21. The King’s followers look forward to his return
Milestone 18: A new world. Revelation 11.15-19. The King returns to reign magnificently
Phase E: Life. January 1 - February 21, 2023
Milestone 1: Creation. Genesis 1.1-31. Creation of the world and humanity
Milestone 2: Tower of Babel. Genesis 11.1-9. Life falls apart at all levels
Phase F: Roots. February 22 - April 1, 2023
Milestone 3: Abraham. Genesis 22.1-18. The promise to bless the world through Abraham’s descendants
Phase G: Freedom. April 2 - May 17, 2023
Milestone 4: Plagues and Red Sea. Exodus chapters 7-15, especially 12.1-13. The rescue of Israel from slavery in Egypt
Milestone 5: Wilderness. Deuteronomy 29.1-15. God gets his people through the wilderness to the Promised Land
Milestone 7: Nazareth (a new era). Luke 4.14-21. The Freedom Declaration by Jesus
Milestone 10: Palm Sunday. Matthew 21.1-16. Hailing the King of the new Freedom Era
Milestone 11: The cross. Romans 6.6-10. Jesus breaks sin’s stranglehold
Milestone 13: The resurrection. John 20.1-20. The King is freed from death to continue leading his freedom campaign
Why were these dates chosen for the phases?
Where is the list of Milestones in order from 1-18?
To bring joy to the world with new songs based on 18 "awesome deeds" or "milestone events" in the Bible
THREE WINNING CRITERIA
1. Thrill your audience with the meaning and the feeling of one of the 18 "awesome deeds"
Christmas carols thrill people about an awesome act of God (Jesus's birth) in many ways:
"Away in a Manger" gives us a vivid picture of the event. It takes us there.
"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 some of the meaning.
2. 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 in a heartfelt way. It can follow any cultural music style or any genre for group singing, including a soloist or group singing the verses and the group responding in the chorus and/or in set phrases.
Your song will not win the contest if it is too difficult. Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" would not win.
3. Move your audience to respond appropriately to the "milestone" event you are focusing on.
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" calls us to celebrate and worship.
"O Holy Night" indirectly calls us to action by telling us about the Messiah's reign: "And in his name all oppression shall cease."
Seven $400 prizes in the English division. The contest has seven phases. One grand prize of $400 will be given for the best song in each phase. These will be announced throughout the year, about one month after the end of each phase.
Honorable Mention: Judges will decide how many songs deserve "Honorable Mention." These will be featured on www.SYNCx.org like the prize-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.
Copyright. You retain the copyright to your song, but you must grant permission for us to publish the lyrics on SYNCx.org. 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.
Employees of SYNCx.org, judges, and their relatives are not eligible.
HOW TO ENTER
See which phase the contest is in right now and which "awesome deeds" (milestone events) are included in this phase. There may be only one event or as many as five in a phase. Your song should focus on one milestone event, not all the events in the phase.
Go to www.SYNCx.org and find the "Big Idea" page that describes that phase. For example, here is the Big Idea page for the Power phase that runs from May 26th through August 6th. Read the page for the phase you want (3 minutes) to see whether God gives you any new song ideas. Also think back over songs you have already written or partially written that might be adapted to fit.
Write your song, or choose one you already wrote. See "Three Winning Criteria"
Try out your song with a group you know. See how much people seem to enjoy singing it. This may tell you whether it is ready to be put into a YouTube version.
Post a "lyrics" version of your song on YouTube. This is what a group could be watching as they sing along. Use a plain background or a simple graphic that stays the same. This is a songwriting contest not a music video contest.
Join the "Joy to the World 2022" Facebook group. (If you deliberately avoid Facebook, write us for alternate instructions.)
Post your Entry Form in the Facebook group any time during the appropriate phase. The group moderator will let you know that we received your entry.
If you submit early enough during the phase, you may get some feedback in the Facebook group from the contest director. You may then update your song and Entry Form any time up to the last day of the phase of the contest that your song fits into. Note: the director is only one of the judges; the others are not in the Facebook group.
Why were these dates chosen?
Because they relate to certain holidays. For example, the Power phase of the contest (or "Power Season") begins on Ascension Day, the day Jesus rose to heaven to take power on his throne. The Mercy phase leads up to its climax on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), which this year is on October 6th.
In the annual cycles of SYNC "seasons," some of the holidays have their traditional meanings and others have different meanings in order to produce one series that aligns the calendar year with the story of the Bible. It starts with Genesis 1 (creation) on January 1st and ends with Revelation 22 (Christ's return) on December 31st.
What are the Milestones in order from 1-18?
18 milestones in the biblical story of the world, listed in historical order
Red font = the seven major milestones (1, 3, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18)
Milestone 1: Creation Genesis 1.1-31 (LIFE theme)
Creation of the world and humanity
Milestone 2: Tower of Babel Genesis 11.1-9 (LIFE theme)
Life falls apart at all levels
Milestone 3: Abraham Genesis 22.1-18 (ROOTS theme)
The promise to bless the world through Abraham’s descendants
Milestone 4: Plagues and Red Sea Exodus chapters 7-15, especially 12.1-13 (FREEDOM theme)
The rescue of Israel from slavery in Egypt
Milestone 5: Wilderness Deuteronomy 29.1-15 (FREEDOM theme)
God gets his people through the wilderness to the Promised Land
Milestone 6: Bethlehem Luke 2.1-20 (VISION theme)
The baby is born to be King
Milestone 7: Nazareth (a new era) Luke 4.14-21 (FREEDOM theme)
The Freedom Declaration by Jesus
Milestone 8: The Transfiguration Mark 9.1-13 (POWER theme)
A secret preview of heaven’s power
Milestone 9: The anointing John 12.1-7 (HONOR theme)
The anointing of Jesus as the Messiah (the Anointed One)
Milestone 10: Palm Sunday Matthew 21.1-16 (FREEDOM theme)
Hailing the King of the new Freedom Era
Milestone 11: The cross Romans 6.6-10 (FREEDOM theme)
Jesus breaks sin’s stranglehold
Milestone 12: Jesus as our High Priest Hebrews 9.1-15 (MERCY theme)
The final sacrifice for sins on the heavenly altar
Milestone 13: The resurrection John 20.1-20 (FREEDOM theme)
The King is freed from death to continue leading his freedom campaign
Milestone 14: The ascension Acts 2.21-36 (POWER theme)
The King takes power on his throne in heaven
Milestone 15: Pentecost Acts 2.1-12 (POWER theme)
The King puts his Spirit into his followers to empower them
Milestone 16: Carrying the cross of Jesus Mark 15.15-21 (HONOR theme) The King’s followers faithfully endure persecution
Milestone 17: Calling Jesus to return Revelation 22.6-21 (VISION theme)
The King’s followers look forward to his return
Milestone 18: A new world Revelation 11.15-19 (VISION theme)
The King returns to reign magnificently