by Daniel Martin
I have often questioned how the creative process of songwriting relates to Christian mission. Spending time away in a room with other worship leaders and focusing all of my attention on writing a song seemed almost selfish to me. I have always thought about my time in ministry in terms of serving the people God has brought into my life that need to hear the gospel, be loved on, encouraged, and poured into. Could songwriting actually be part of God’s mission?
The short answer is, yes. And here’s why.
God knows the words on our tongue before we speak them. He knows our thoughts before we think them. And that means He knows every single lyric of every single song that we will ever write before we write them. He has placed these things within us and wants us to prayerfully surrender them back to Him as praise and honor due to Him. This concept has been one of the most perplexing and awe-inspiring thoughts that I have had over the past few weeks of songwriting.
After spending a week with professional Christian songwriters, I see more clearly than ever that God is very much at work within the songwriting process. It is similar to the art of sermon writing. God has ordained that the message of salvation be brought forth through preaching and teaching. A teaching pastor has to seek out exactly how and what scriptural insights God wants him to share to his congregation. In a similar fashion, He has given worship pastors the task of seeking out and writing the songs that God wants His church to sing to Him!
It is humbling to think that He has called His church to write songs of praise for Him. It is also incredible to think that in all of our own creativity and effort, He already knows the finished product! He could write His own praise. He doesn’t need me to do it. But He determined that it be this way. Somehow, reflection on my experiences and meditation on His Word draw something out of me that He wants to use to encourage His church. He is literally using our team to write the songs that the people in our church need right now.
God has given our church a mission: Push back the darkness in the world and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. He uses songwriting and musical worship as a major vehicle to spur on our church to accomplish this Great Commission. His Holy Spirit is sweeping through our region. He is calling people out of darkness and into light daily. His Spirit is stirring up great songs of triumph in us all, and He has made it very clear that He is using us as ministers of reconciliation through these songs in this rescue mission from Heaven.
Daniel Martin is worship pastor for Family Church West.