Wednesday, August 27, 2008


This weekend Pastor John continued with Part 4 of our Half-life series. He talked about the half-life we live as members of the body of Christ if we keep jumping from church to church. The cycle goes like so...

Phase 1 - Reconnect - to the church
Phase 2 - Romantic - "this is the perfect church"
Phase 3 - Reality - "this is not the perfect church"
Phase 4 - Response - What do you do now? Go back to Phase 1 at another church or
Phase 5 - Rediscover - When you stick it out! This is where whole-life is found.
(You can listen to the whole thing here if you like! Click on Half-life Part 4)

We had decided to split worship; two songs up front and two songs after the message leading into communion. After all, we were talking about the church and what better way to solidify that message than with corporate worship and communion?

Here is the original set list:
Up front:
My Savior Lives
Here I Am To Worship

After Message:

Just prior to rehearsal I was struck with this great idea for a song. So I decided to go for it because it was about the unity of the church and how God desires that we would be as one. Ok, great idea, right? The problem is that I violated one of my own principle rules of songwriting... Wait!

Now, what I mean by "Wait" is pretty simple... wait... as in don't go... as in not yet... as in let it simmer... as in don't pull out your "jump to conclusions" mat just yet. The reason I value waiting as a principle of songwriting (as well as a principle of any creative process) is because undoubtedly things tend to become clearer over time. After you get somewhat emotionally detached from something and can look at it objectively, you have a much better chance of really judging whether it's worth more effort or none at all. If you are an artist or a whatever, you have probably felt the rush of adrenaline that comes when you feel that what you just created is the absolute best thing that anyone has ever done! Immediately, you are filled with the confident resolve that everyone will like it as much as you do in that moment and that crowds will line up at your door for access to your new... whatever it is.

Ahhh! But if you wait, you will begin to see the flaws, the subtle ways in which you could make it even better, or the fact that it is not worthy to be seen or heard by the public at all.

The result of this particular situation? Well, I have to say that it wasn't all that bad, but it just didn't fit well on Saturday night during service. The words were great, the melody was good, but it just didn't fit with the flow of the service. It kind of put the brakes on the momentum that Pastor John had created with the message. This one small part didn't serve the purpose of the whole. Soooo, we ended up canning the new song and doing three songs up front with Center transitioning between the message and communion. Ahh and all was well...

So, the moral of the story is don't violate your personal creative code of ethics... unless you have just written a song that makes Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" sound like a nursery rhyme or you have painted a piece that makes people stand and say, "Mona who?" In other words...

DON'T VIOLATE! YOU MUST WAIT! (Johnny Cochran who?)

What is one of your most important guiding principles in your creative process?


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