Creativity or “Why I Can’t Listen To Christian Radio”

So I borrowed someone’s car recently; and when I turned the key in the ignition, a radio station came on.  KLOVE – our only major Christian radio station in the area…at least that I’m aware of.  I don’t typically listen to much radio at all, unless you count Pandora…and I don’t.  Cuz it’s approved radio.

 

I had no music with me, other than what’s on my iPhone, so I decided to listen a while.  I got so intensely irritated by the sounds coming from the system that my instinct kept going to turn it off.  Then my mind had to say, “No…just wait.  Give it a chance.”  Then a few minutes later, I’d go to switch if off instinctively again, and have to re-convince my hand to back off.  It’s not the message – the message is fine. It’s the delivery that was grating on me.

 

Now I know I’m coming off as a music snob; but music tastes are, you must admit, quite subjective.  One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  And I’m cool with that.  I understand that.  My music tastes actually vary more widely than the majority of people who say their tastes vary widely.  So I’m down with “different strokes for different folks.”

 

And it’s not that I disdain the whole idea of Christian-music-made-for-radio…at least as a thought unto itself.  It’s just that I find what’s out there to be (overall) lyrically trite, musically lackluster and monotonous, and somewhat “un-anointed”…to be perfectly (and probably shockingly) frank.  You know how you’ll have a song that just moves you?  Most songs on Christian radio…and I’m talking about the VAST majority that I’ve heard…just do not move me.  Name some of the top players…I just don’t like most of their stuff.  At least I can’t bring myself to listen to a full album straight through.

 

Let’s just talk strictly about worship bands for a moment.  I just find that 1. The lyrics are not fresh.  They’re saying the same thing as in the last track (or the last album or that we’ve heard in so many other songs by countless other artists) and 2. The rhymes and chord changes are so predictable, you could sing them in your sleep.  And I’m a worship leader, so I dig the concept of singability.  I’m even married to the pastor, so if I get too fancy, I find out about it, believe me.  But I still think you need to dig deeper and find a fresh way to say those things you want to say.

 

Who am I to talk?  I’m frustrated with myself as much as anyone else.  My songwriting often leaves me flat…but with a desire for better – as we all, as creatives in the church, must have!  If we are to reflect the glory of God, we need to get BETTER at this.  God is a pretty creative guy.  I mean, do I really have to get into this?  Look at how he made each person so unique.  Yeah, we all have eyes and ears and skin, but all of those things are individually designed.  He put tremendous thought into each one of us.  And why?  That his beauty and splendor might be reflected in His creation.

 

I just see that we as Christian music makers need to really search God’s heart.  Learn what he wants to say and how he wants to say it.  We need to allow God to put something more profound, weighty and unique on our guitar strings.  We need to starve in our hearts the notion of consumer Christianity, take the stars out of our eyes, stop wishing for Dove awards and seek the reward of knowing this Man who knows us so well.

A Beautiful Mess

A Beautiful Mess

 

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