Are You Serving Others or Just “Sharing” Your Songs? Here’s How To Know…

Are You Serving Others or Just “Sharing” Your Songs? Here’s How To Know…

Okay, so, first…. there’s nothing wrong with sharing your songs. I’d be worried about you if you didn’t or if you didn’t at least want to share them. God put a desire in you to communicate with others around you and never so much as when He’s done something amazing in your heart.

“The Artist is no other than he who unlearns what he has learned, in order to know himself.” e.e.cummings

If you’re even the tiniest bit of a real songwriter, it means God’s own Spirit deep inside you is wanting out somehow through words and melodies. And, if you’re a Christian songwriter, it means that you desire to communicate truth from a specifically biblical worldview, as you understand it, in either explicit or implicit ways. Both ways are just fine and have their places.

No apologies and no shame for the innate desire to want others to connect into the meaning and methods of your creative expression.

But, as I share in this week’s Song Revolution Podcast called “Selfless Songwriting: Moving from Self Expression to Engaging With Your Audience,” there’s somewhat of a fine line between serving our own needs (and neediness) with our songwriting versus actually serving and engaging with our audiences and seeking to meet some of their needs with our music.

You have experienced the negative side of this firsthand, that awkward feeling in your gut that the worship leader or preacher or performer didn’t care if you were there or not. They were obviously so enamored with themselves that you were the furthest thought from their minds.

No apologies and no shame for the innate desire to want others to connect into the meaning and methods of your creative expression.

You’ve experienced this in conversations, too, when the person you were talking with became the person you were listening to for hours on end. These are the conversational narcissists who’ve learned circular breathing so they never pause for a breath or give you a chance to jump in. If they ever do let you say anything, they pick right up after your one sentence and give you a thousand of their own.

I’ve actually tested this with a few people and timed how long they talked without acknowledging me.  I obviously wasn’t important to them I avoid them now. Who needs that? I’d much rather sit alone with my sweet doggie, Emma, and feel her love and valuing presence than endure a one-way “conversation” with a hopelessly self-indulgent talker.

But are we doing that to people with our songs?

We’ll be exploring some of the differences between service and self-indulgence in podcast episodes to come, but in the meantime, ask yourself a few questions as you write, things like, “Will anyone resonate with this subject matter besides me? Have I written this worship song in a singable key? What is my real purpose in writing this… catharsis or true connection?”

The answers you come up with will help shape a more effective ministry and catalog of material as you discern your own motives in songwriting. The poet e.e. cummings once wrote, “The Artist is no other than he who unlearns what he has learned, in order to know himself.”

You’ll know you’re doing more than sharing your songs when you care more about what your song draws them into thinking, feeling, or doing beyond what they may think about you and your music. Selah.

Did you know NCS offers songwriter coaching? YES! You can tap into mentorship and personal coaching designed to help you reach your fullest potential as a songwriter in a safe, Christ-centered environment through our eight-week group or private coaching options 100% personalized for where you are now and where you want to be as a songwriter. Click here to read more!

John Chisum

John Chisum is a pioneer in the Christian music business, serving alongside people such as Bill & Gloria Gaither, Twila Paris, Paul Baloche, Don Moen, and many more. As Managing Partner of Nashville Christian Songwriters, John seeks to empower Christian songwriters worldwide to discover and fulfill their call to write.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Thank you John.
    This makes me want to examine my own motives and the reasons why I feel compelled to write, to perform and to be heard. I don’t want to just circulate the air I share with others but I must admit that I’ve done this before and I wish that I could have changed those conversations. So thankful for the patient and lovingly gracious people in my life.. A great post John. Thanks again.

    Jordan

  2. Thank you John for the great reminder to take the focus off ourselves and put it on the greater vision!

    Will

Leave a Reply to Jordan Clarke Cancel reply

Close Menu
Blank note book binder with Golden music headphone and guitar for song writing.

Sign Up Today For Our Free Pro Songwriters Top 10 Tip Sheet