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Over the last few months, our music team has been working to record, produce and release an original worship song. This song was written by one of our team members and it sprang up out of some stuff that was happening in the life of our church. It’s been a fun and fascinating process to follow and has convinced me that more churches should release their own songs too! Here are a handful of the reasons I think your church should think about it:
- Tells Your Story—Your church is a unique expression of the body of Christ. By definition … there is some reason you exist as an “independent” body from other churches. What is that? Taking time to to explore that through lyrics and melody can be a codifying experience for your community.
- It’s Portable—People in your church are carrying around with them a phone that can play music. They use it to listen to music in their car, while they are at the gym … you know, “in their going out and in your coming in” sort of thing. A three-minute mp3 that summarizes a series … or as a part of a special campaign … or that speaks to your core values … is a great “reminder” from your church down the road. They’ll bump into the song when they least expect it!
- Fantastic Recruiting Tool—I don’t pretend to be a musician … but one thing that I do know is that musicians tend to gather in groups. Musicians are attracted to other musicians who are creating music that stretches them … they are looking for a tribe to be a part of or a band to contribute to. By recording music, you are flagging for musicians that your community is generating art for the world. That’s attractive for musicians to gather around. (Of course … that assumes they dig your music!)
- Develops Your Sound—Recording music provides a benchmark for your teams to aim for. It’s a training tool for your musicians to aspire to. It helps your teams get on the same page about what it sounds like when it’s “right” … so they aim for that every Sunday!
- Releases Your Artistic Community—As we enter a “post-literate” culture, we are increasingly going to need to rely on the artistic community to help us communicate the timeless message of Jesus. In the same way that using great graphic design has become “normal” in churches … releasing your musicians to generate music will be essential to communicating to the world around you. Recording gives your musical artists some space to create, dream and push forward. Good stuff comes from that.
- It’s Getting Cheaper—In the mid-90s, I was part of the leadership team of a large Christian camp, and our executive director invested in getting a “camp promotional video” made up and mass produced. This was a huge innovation at that time in that market. The cost was just coming down to where it was “affordable” for us to do. Within just a few years, everyone else was doing a similar thing … today those same sorts of videos are created by the campers on iPads! My sense is that recording music is at a similar inflection point … the price is coming down to the place where your church can probably “afford” it and have world wide distribution in no time!