Shout to the Lord

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Filled with scriptural images and phrases, this text almost sounds like a psalm. It expresses worship and love for God in a way that matches well the strength of the tune.

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Sometimes the soul of the Christian needs to cry out exuberantly with joy, thanks, and adoration, even without identifying the reasons for such praise and adoration. Moreover, Christians who gather corporately find it fitting to do so as the grateful body of Christ. The Confessions of the church recognize this natural expression. Belgic Confession, Article 1 sees God as the “overflowing source of all good,” and such a realization deserves an “Alleluia!” Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2 is a reminder that living in the joy of our comfort involves a spirit of thanks for his deliverance. In the same spirit, Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 2 exclaims, “God is King: Let the earth be glad! Christ is victor: his rule has begun! The Spirit is at work: creation is renewed!” and then as a natural response cries: “Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!”


Shout to the Lord

Tune Information

A Major


Musical Suggestion

This song builds nicely in power and intensity. The stanza, sung in a lower register, helps set the stage for the excitement of the higher refrain. If you are aiming at a tone of jubilant celebration, sing it quickly. If you are aiming for majesty (the way it is most often sung), try singing it more slowly. The words “Lord” and “earth” are sung on off beats, which helps give them power as they anticipate the beat that comes directly after. Put emphasis on those notes to give the song its natural energy.
Consider using this song:
  • In a service of praise, possibly at the end of a set of praise songs.
  • In connection with reading or preaching on a number of psalms; the first phrase is found also as a refrain to Psalm 65.
  • Following the last line of the song, “Nothing compares to the promise I have in you,” the worship leader could make reference to one of the many promises we have in Jesus.
(from Reformed Worship, Issue 60)
— Emily Brink

The song has two distinct sections; the stanza, sung reverently in a lower register, helps set the stage for the excitement of the chorus, sung a bit higher. Choose a majestic tempo or perhaps a bit faster if aiming at a tone of jubilant celebration. The words “Lord” and “earth” are sung on an off-beat which helps give them power as they anticipate the beat that comes directly after. Put emphasis on those notes to give the song its natural energy. Drop down dynamically at “Mountains bow down” and gradually build again through the repeat. Don’t build the second time through. 

Shout to the Lord

Hymn Story/Background

Arguably Darlene Zschech’s most popular song, it’s estimated that “Shout to the Lord” is sung by 25-30 million churchgoers every week. Zschech herself says she is blown away by the song’s success since it was written in such a humble period of her life. During a difficult time, she went to the piano, opened the Psalms, and began to pray and to play. Within twenty minutes, the song was written, and it stuck with her. She brought it to her worship pastors and played it for them, thinking it really wasn’t very good at all. They encouraged her to lead it in church, and it soon spread to churches in the area. Before it was even recorded, Zschech was receiving thank you letters from people who had been touched by the song. It has been recorded by at least twenty artists, and in 1998 was nominated for the Dove Song of the Year Award.
— Laura de Jong

Author and Composer Information

Darlene Zschech (b. September 8, 1965) is known first and foremost for her work with Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. As a songwriter, she is best known for “Shout to the Lord,” but she has written over 80 songs for Hillsong Publishing alone. In 1997 her album Shout the Lord was nominated for a Dove Album of the Year award, and in 2000 she received the Songwriter of the Year award. Zschech has written three books for training worship leaders: Extravagant Worship, The Kiss of Heaven, and The Great Generational Transition. Aside from leading worship, Zschech has worked with Compassion and Compassionart, a child-sponsorship ministry. A 2004 trip to Central Africa prompted Zschech and husband Mark to initiate HOPE: Rwanda, which has now grown into HOPE: Global. Zschech currently serves with her husband as Senior Pastor of Hope Unlimited Church on the Central Coast of New South Wales in Australia, where she lives with her three daughters, son-in-law, and two grandchildren.
— Laura de Jong

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