Song-writing contest - English only

(click here for global contest in other languages)


Winning criteria




Two-step entry process


To stir up the creative gifts of Christian song-writers so they do the good things God has prepared in advance for them to do (2 Timothy 1.6, Ephesians 2.10) 

When song-writers play that role in SYNC with Christ and his mission, many other good things happen.

  • The fresh musical creations bring glory to God as his story becomes better known and celebrated.

  • Listeners get blessed by what the Spirit has inspired.

  • Worship gets enriched and encouraged.

  • Links are made between song-writers and music distributors.

And all of that encourages song-writers to keep writing for years to come.


Authenticity. An authentic song is not something you create for a contest because somebody else wanted it. It comes from deep inside of you. We are praying that as you soak in some of the SYNC ideas, you will see yourself in some new ways (SYNC = See Yourself iN Christ). Then from your core identity you will come up with an authentic song. 


Appropriateness. Any musical genre is eligible---worship song, seasonal song, ballad, kids' song, rap, country/Western, etc. The criterion is appropriateness for the audience that you describe for us on your Entry Form, and the power of the song to move that audience. The song must be entirely in English. (See other contest for songs in other languages)

Clear linkage to SYNC in some way. The "Think SYNC!" page sketches the core idea of SYNC and gives multiple options for browsing the site as you brainstorm for song ideas. Browse for things you care about that SYNC also happens to emphasize. This may be something you have loved for years or some new thought God brings to mind as you explore. Please note: Your song is not "about SYNC," and you are very unlikely to use the word or the concept of "syncing" in your song. This is not a promotional jingle.


Please note: Video sophistication is NOT a consideration. The song itself is being judged, not the performance or the sophistication of the video involved. It is fine to record your song using a single phone and to publish it on YouTube without editing. Simple is as good as sophisticated in this contest. Do things as you would normally do them for your audience with whatever tools you already have available


Early bird cash prizes: The first 50 acceptable Proposal Forms (if received by February 29th) will receive either a $10 or a $25 cash award, even if the person does not later submit an Entry Form and a song. 

Grand prize: $400 cash plus air travel (domestic or international), conference registration, room, and board to attend GCoMM (Global Consultation on Music and Mission), July 20-23, 2020, Dallas, Texas, to receive the award and to present or lead the song in a plenary session.

Three runner-up cash prizes: $400 each

Fifteen Honorable Mentions: songs that will be featured on with descriptions and photos of their composers, plus the story behind each song


February 29, 2020 -- closing date for Proposal Forms to be eligible for the fifty "Early Bird" cash prizes 

April 10, 2020 -- final date for Proposal Forms

April 30, 2020 -- final date for Entry Forms, midnight, Chicago time (UTC-6)

May 31, 2020 -- winners notified


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).

Song-writers may collaborate. If the Grand Prize song has two or more writers, the prize will cover only the equivalent of one person's travel and conference expenses.

YouTube publication is required. The judges will be judging the song in the form you put it onto YouTube. (But this does not mean you must do a sophisticated video. See note about this in "Winning Criteria" above.)

Anyone may sing the song in the video--the song-writer often will sing it, but that is not required. It may be sung by an individual, group, or choir.

No international barriers. The flight to Dallas for the GCoMM conference can originate wherever the Grand Prize winner is coming from at the time.

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. 

Previously published works. Most entries will be new compositions; however, if you have already written something that comes to mind as you are looking through the SYNC themes, you may enter it in the contest. Reworking is permitted but not required.

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


Step 1. Proposal Form - deadline April 10th; Early Bird award February 29th

  • Open up to God.
    "Seek and you will find" (Matthew 7.7) Whatever God does in you or impresses on you as you explore SYNC becomes the basis for your song. Thank him for it, and enjoy Step 2.


  • Read the THINK SYNC page, which will help you choose which parts of the web site to explore first to get inspiration for your song. 

  • 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 Proposal Form is ready.

  • Submit your Proposal Form. Post it as a file attachment in the Facebook group, "SYNC 2020 Contests." Cash award if you are one of the first 50 to beat the Early Bird deadline. On the basis of your Proposal, Stan Nussbaum, the contest organizer, will give you feedback. This is a preliminary "concept check"  to make sure your inspiration is generally in sync with SYNC. Once your Proposal Form has been approved, you are eligible to submit your Entry Form.

Step 2. Entry Form - deadline April 30th

  • Develop the song idea that was on your approved 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 Entry Form by e-mail to by April 30, 2020

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