When it comes down to it, we all just want to be heard and understood. As Christian songwriters, our desire is to use our gifts for God. Sometimes that may look like penning a corporate worship song. At other times, a song that tells the tale of redemption, a song that will lead a wayward soul into a real encounter with Jesus.
Our motivation can be totally pure in nature, but when we start talking about distribution, marketing, sales, and building an audience, I’ve found that we tend to put on the cloak of ‘false humility’. We don’t want to come across as self-serving or arrogant, so we aren’t honest or public about our intentions.
If you feel that deep call to serve God through your music, you’re going to have to lay down false humility, be honest and authentic about your motivation, and step forward in boldness to use the gifts and talents God has placed within you. Music is a powerful vehicle for worship, so recognize what it is that you have to offer, and take ownership of your calling as a song-crafter.
Let’s talk about how you can find your voice in the “new music economy” we are living in. I’m sure you recognize that things aren’t how they used to be, and I think that’s a very good thing! Gone are the days where record labels and radio DJ’s had a monopoly over music distribution. Anyone with a computer or smart phone can build a full time music career all by themselves (and virtually for free). With this new found freedom comes a mountain of confusion and questions about the best way to set yourself apart from the ‘sea of mediocrity’ (credit John Chisum for that phrase) that has flooded the sonic landscape.
Before you can find your voice in the new music economy, you first need to be dead-locked on your mission. Why do you want to be a successful Christian songwriter? What is the goal of your ministry? What would it take to knock you off your horse? Are you in this for the long haul? Once you can answer those questions with boldness and be able to articulate your mission in one or two sentences, then you can start down the road to songwriting success.
If you surround yourself with Godly mentorship, be disciplined to write with others, craft quality songs and share them with your existing social media audience consistently, engage with your audience by responding to every comment, and consistently share updates via live stream (Facebook/Instagram/Youtube/etc.), you will begin to watch your audience grow organically around you.
It will take time, discipline, dedication, and consistency, but it will all be worth it. In 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21, Kind David had the audacity to exclaim “…I won’t give an offering that costs me nothing…” He understood that in order for our service to God to carry it’s weight, it must cost something. We must give up what we hold most dear (our time) for something so much better – a legacy that leads people into the Kingdom of Heaven long after we are gone.
On March 11 and 19 of 2019, I shared a two-part talk on the Song Revolution Podcast and covered some practical steps you can take to build an audience for your music. Regardless of where you are in your songwriting journey, those episodes hold valuable principles that will help you take the next step toward success as a songwriter.
My prayer for you as you read this article is that God will give you clarity of vision and boldness as you walk your journey down this exciting road. I’m rooting for you and I can’t wait to hear all the reports of your wild success!
Did you know that Nashville Christian Songwriters exists to empower you as a singer songwriter, worship leader, CCM Artist, children’s writer, and much more? Be sure to check out all the resources here at www.nashvillechristiansongwriters.com for the finest in Christian songwriting instruction, coaching, and networking with industry pros. It’s a game changing event you won’t want to miss!