Chords, Churches, & Creativity

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a personal blog. Life has been crazy. Moved from Dallas to Small Town, Oklahoma, and have been working with my church, helping my family, going to school, working on a bunch of personal projects, as well as a million other things. So this blog/these thoughts have been in my head for awhile now, I’m just now having the time to write them out. This blog is nothing more than a few short observations that I’ve noticed about music, the church, creativity, and how they’ve effected each other.. sorta.

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(Bridges inspire me…)

I was working on a project with my church a couple months ago at a studio in Cedar Hill, TX, and as we were tracking this song we randomly stumbled on this cool idea. The only problem was that the idea was a little unconventional. The song had a strong minor-y feel to it, and me and a couple of the other guys had this idea of going into some instrumental thing, but it was just a little toooo… “scary” for some people in the room. They felt it would be something that people wouldn’t be able to worship to…… I honestly was getting frustrated because at first we were excited about this song and the instrumental, but the moment the music took an unexpected turn.. it becomes unworshipable? (Yes, I just made that word up). I’m sorry, I didn’t even realize that was possible.

It puzzles me that people can listen and think, or another word for think is mediate, on music like Radiohead – or John Mayer – or Coldplay – or a number of other critically secular artist (whatever that even means) and have no problem with it, but if a “worship song” becomes too creative – it becomes a threat. Because we don’t want to “distract” people. Does it really create a problem though? I realize this does not pertain to all churches and people – but some people have been so sedated to a formula of music and traditions that anything different is too big a risk. Just like any good idea… you run it into the ground.

Why do we cater to people’s needs so much in music? and in the church? Like I understand writing music for people and making yourself listenable, but maybe I’m just having a hard time finding the line between. Or should we just not worry about what people expect to hear from us and just do what we want? I guess I don’t know.

But regardless, either way you see it, there should be nothing that hinders your worship. Worship is not something that you just do, but a way you live. I think entitlement can breed in worship teams so often because they lose sight of the end goal. What is the end goal of a worship team? I believe it’s to lead people into the presence of God and an encounter with The Lord. I think there are other things a worship team does as well, but the end goal is to see God glorified, in us, in the church, and in our city. There are many different scriptures where the worshipers were put on the front lines of battle, and I’m not wanting to get into that or talk about it other than to describe the end goal of a worship team. So, if you’re focused on the end goal and on seeing The Lord glorified in your church and your city, then who cares if you don’t get to lead your favorite song, or if you don’t get to play every week, or if the guy with terrible tone gets to do all the lines. Why are you there? Look at the big picture and then see how you can help accomplish it. A Spiritual Father of mine used to say, “You don’t introduce yourself and say, ‘hello my name is Guitar Player’, because that’s not who you are, it’s just something that you do”. Don’t let your personal agenda get in the way of the end goal. Anyways, bit of a rabbit trail…

I guess I just don’t get why the Christian music industry is so lame (first of all, how is worship even a genre?). Like why aren’t we more creative? Why do we limit it? At what point does a painter quit painting a picture because it becomes to creative to be worship? How many strokes are too many? I just don’t get how the creator of the universe is inside us, yet our music and methods are a decade behind everyone else’s. Like… Why? Why are we so separated from the rest of the world that we have no relation with it? “In the world but not of it.” I wonder how many churches are actually IN the world though. Stop just trying to maintain a system, but look for a opportunity for more. Sorry, but who cares if you keep reaching reached people?… okay sorry, don’t mean to step too hard on any toes. Just sharing some thoughts. I love the church, and love that I’ve been given an opportunity to work with one that lets me share and engage some of my strategies and plans that I have. But it’s not just the church that’s losing creativity. Every movie out is a squeal to something, or a trilogy, or has a bunch of blowing up and little story. I mean talk about running ideas into the ground… I just want to encourage you to take a risk. Be creative. However that looks like for you! I enjoy music and am creative that way, however my dad enjoys gardening and is creative that way. Find you.

I’d rather live with a failure then the regret of never trying. Be creative in your own way.

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