Songwriter of the Month
“I exhausted my own talents years ago. It’s only by sitting at the feet of others who are ahead of me that I’m going to improve,” says Grande Baliad, a worship leader in the greater Detroit area. “I believe that if you want to get better,” he continues,” you’ve got to hang out with people who are better than you. If you want to get better, you got to get out of your comfort zone. And so that’s how I got to Nashville Christian Songwriters.”
Self improvement is a constant theme in Grande’s life. Whether it’s in his marriage, parenting three young children, or leading the congregation in worship at Metro Detroit Christian Church in Bloomfield, Michigan, his commitment to excellence shines in all he undertakes.
“I’m kind of that ‘never satisfied’ type of person who’s always wanting to get better,” he admits. “I like what I’ve done, but I also want to do more, always wanting to grow. I think that’s in a good, healthy way where I’m not just willing to settle. But sometimes I have a hard time reaching for that next level due to feeling my disqualifications or imposter syndrome or whatever. I actually feel like the songwriting coaching I did with Nashville Christian Songwriters broke me out of that and helped.”
Writing for the Local Church
Grande’s love for the local church and its worship needs are where his writing begins. He and his team focus on highlighting key points in their pastor’s sermons and seek to capture all the Spirit is saying through their leadership in the songs they compose and lead each week.
“I’ve been doing this for about fifteen years. I really enjoy God’s move there. For most of these fifteen years, I’ve been writing songs that we sing in church. It’s wonderful to have a place that your songs go out to. We’re really trying to take in what God is saying to our pastors and to us as a corporate entity, then put that into songs that can facilitate worship in our congregation.”
Desiring to write more accessible worship songs that could be used globally is also one of Grande’s eventual goals. “I’m enamored by the fact that there are songs out there that people across the globe sing in churches,” he says. “That’s just amazing to me that there are songs that God gives to people that can reach that kind of place. I’d love to reach that. That’s not necessarily my end goal, but it would be nice. So I just want to write songs that are accessible that God can use.”
Facilitating Better Worship with Better Songwriting
Grande reflects on the power of better songwriting to lead better worship as he shares, “If there’s a mist in the pulpit, well, then there’s a fog in the congregation. And if there’s a mist in the communication of what I’m trying to say, then no one’s going to understand it.”
Feeling a strong call to help his congregation feel the impact of worship has focused Grande’s songwriting process through NCS Coaching. “I’d say before NCS Coaching, my songwriting approach was pretty nebulous, pretty undefined. It was just kind of like, hey, whatever I’m feeling or whatever I’m hearing, let’s go write about this. And then, pretty much, not leave it as is, but close to that. If it kind of makes sense to me then that’s good enough. Good enough worked for a little bit, but after a while, I was just sensing a need to grow. And so, after NCS, I really discovered a way to be more focused in my songwriting.”
How Song Coaching Changed Grande’s Life
The impact of NCS Coaching proved to be more than Grande had dared hope. He has felt the transformation of his entire approach to life, seeking greater clarity and impact as a result of his eight-week online coaching experience.
“I’ll say one thing, I was thinking about this time with you and I was like, ‘how has NCS changed my life?’ And the focus required for writing a good song is just so important. Even just the honing of everything down to one theme in a song is so important. I realized that that’s actually a life application,” Grande shares. “It’s like, you know, if the song of my life isn’t pointing to the theme of Christ, then I need to adjust the lyrics and I need to adjust chords and adjust the whole thing. And if my life isn’t, isn’t doing that, then my life will be a bad song. I was just really thankful for that revelation. And so that was a big aha moment for me.”