After working with Christian artists and songwriters for 20+ years, I've found that many artists and writers have a very hard time moving past the Redemption story.
Of course, Jesus and the Cross is/are the basis of our faith, and I myself have written songs about this crucial element of our whole belief.
But, we must remember that there is a hurting, doubting world out there that struggles with the tenets that we so have accepted for so long.
The basic non-Christian person who hears a Gospel or Christian song (whichever flavor you might prefer) expects to hear about Jesus, God, Moses, Noah, or other Bible characters. They also expect a fair amount of preaching, and some general fire and brimstone that condemns them to hell. Or a Sunday contemporary pop message, all rosy, pretty, and with a groovy beat, but to them (those who don't share the belief) somewhat meaningless.
So they tune it out. They roll their eyes and change the station, move onto the next tune at iTunes, or leave the room where the song is being performed by a hand-waving believer.
(Sorry this is so frank, but you know I'm right ;)
Folks, we have to remember that not everybody in the great big world believes as we do. Now I hear you saying "But I don't!" But still you are cringing at the thought of you being a "hand-waving believer" aren't you. But we all have been either in private or corporate worship right?
As a full time songwriter and producer in Christian music, I'd say a good 60-70 percent of songs that I come across are either praise/worship songs, hymns, or songs relating to a specific Bible story, Psalm, or the salvation story.
Again, there is nothing wrong AT ALL with this. The point I am making is we also need to be actively writing for the seeker, nonbeliever, and for the world in general.
Have you ever wondered what people who don't have an active faith walk, do in troubled times? Where do they turn? What if you wrote for someone who is hurting, but has no God to pray to?
What if you write for someone who's never heard about Jesus at all? How do you begin to describe His love? Starting with blood at the Cross is pretty strange for folks to handle without any context.
What about writing for someone who is starving, and they'd just like some food and don't really care about your "Savior".
Again, sorry. Just trying to get you out of that old, worn box you've been sitting and writing in.
So this week, and maybe as part of your new songwriting routine, start to think about how to move 'beyond the Cross'.
Eric Copeland is a songwriter and producer helping artists and writers everyday to get out of the box they put themselves in. He himself is ripping up all the boxes around him at the moment. Find out more at http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com