At The Cross (Love Ran Red)

I was recently blessed to attend the LIFT conference in Atlanta, GA. This is the third year that Passion City Church has gathered worship leaders just to pull away and worship God. It's designed to refresh worship leaders who lead worship week in and week out, to see them lift their gaze again towards the greatness of Jesus.

This is what happened for me.

I use to lead worship at our church around 50 Sundays out of the year. Now, with an assistant leader, I probably do around 42.

It's easy to get in a rut. It's easy to just rinse and repeat, and let your heart get a little sluggish.

The conference reminded me that before I pick up my guitar, I'm a worshiper. Before I try to write a song, or record a new album, or walk up on stage, or go to band practice, or plan a set list, I'm a worshiper.

My identity is not "worship leader". It's "worshiper".

At The Cross (Love Ran Red)

The gospel is where worship is born."

This is something Louie said that really impacted me.

As I behold the beauty of Jesus at the cross, I begin to experience transformation and true worship is born.

The song, At The Cross (Love Ran Red) is the response of a worshipers heart, beholding the amazing mercy of God.

Resources For At The Cross (Love Ran Red)

  • Download At The Cross (Love Ran Red) at iTunes here (track 4)
  • Get a chart and lyric sheet for At The Cross (Love Ran Red) here.
  • Purchase the Passion 2014 album "Take It All" here.
  • Chris Tomlin's official website

Social Media QuickStart for Artists

buffer vs hootsuite In the video below, I go through a quick overview of how I approach social media, along with a tool for staying on top of your content publishing schedule.

As I began thinking it through, I ended up also doing a simple Buffer vs Hootsuite comparison. But before I get into that, let me give a birds eye view of what makes social media work, and how I think creatives should approach it.

When it comes to having a more deliberate social media marketing strategy, you need to separate the two things that make up a thriving social media platform:

Content creation and ongoing conversation.

These two things are the two building blocks of social media. The content (through various forms of media) and the conversation (the social element).

Social media = Conversational content.

When I would sit down and do "social media marketing campaigns" (whatever those are), there was never a plan. I would basically just tweet or post things based on the inspiration of the moment, which is hardly a reliable strategy. In fact, it's no strategy at all!

Buffer Vs. Hootsuite

But even when there was a sliver of a plan, I would still get overwhelmed between balancing the two sides of social media. Being under the pressure to consistently create quality content, while having conversational connections with people got daunting.

Hootsuite

I started using TweetDeck in the early Twitter days, but eventually moved to Hootsuite (for reasons I won't go into here). But I would still struggle with the same issues: Fall behind on content creation, as well as not engage with folks I followed or the people who followed me.

As a result, it would always come and go in spurts, and eventually fizzle out.

Though Hootsuite is a sophisticated application with some very useful features, (and they also have a great educational approach to helping people understand social media), I eventually came to the conclusion that it was just too noisy for developing a content strategy.

Hootsuite's dashboard approach is flexible and has a lot of possibilities, so I wouldn't throw it out completely. It may be, for some, a better way to consume content and use it to be a source for ideas.

But it's still like a big room of noise. For me, It's not a good place to think about my own content creation plan.

Enter Buffer.

Buffer

I'm still fairly new to Buffer, but it was such a good fit right away, that I felt like I had been using it for years.

As you'll see in the video, Buffer does exactly what the name says. It helps you build up a "buffer" of posts in an automated cue, to be published at times in the future of your choosing.

And it doesn't do much else. Unlike Hootsuite, it doesn't aggregate all the other activity of your accounts. It simply focuses on the value that you're going to add in your own content feed.

It separates content creation from the buzz of ongoing conversation, allowing you to be clear headed and at peace with the otherwise crazy world of social technology.

A Social Media Quick-Start

Perhaps these are some reasons you get overwhelmed with all the different social media platforms. If so, the wrong thing to do would be to throw out social media all together. That would be a mistake that your creative career would pay a big price for.

But it doesn't mean that social media should rule the roost, leaving you feeling like you have no control over it.

You're in charge.

Having a simple plan and using the right tools that are easy to work with will help you. So watch this video, and go take action today with this simple social media quick-start tutorial of how I use Buffer.

Enjoy!

   

Any thoughts or questions?

Leave a comment below!

VIDEO: Leverage Your Life

Do you realize how amazing leverage is?

I'm not talking about the financial kind, or the political kind.

I'm talking about what happens when a crowbar is used to pry open something that my hands would bleed over. Leverage like this may be an answer to questions concerning the tensions we face as Christian musicians.

In session 15 of the CMB Podcast, I spoke with Robbie Seay of the Robbie Seay band. After we were done recording, we got into a conversation about the contemporary term "worship leader" as well as the tensions that many of us in that category wrestle with.

There are several tensions. Here are just a few...

  • art and ministry
  • personal expression and sacrificial service
  • providing for your family and living radically with your finances

We could go on. There are a lot more (leave some in the comments to get discussion rolling).

The Three Roads That Converge

Robbie also talked about the "three roads that converge". They are...

  1. worship
  2. art
  3. commerce

At one point I was like, "I should probably record this!"

Leverage Your Life

At the end of the day, I strongly believe that every believer, whether musical or not, is called to use everything in their life for leverage...

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:31-33, ESV)

If God were to open up the floodgates of favor and blessing over your musical ministry would it then become leverage for God's glory?

If God were to take everything from you tomorrow, leaving you only with your voice and maybe a Bible, would you still leverage it for God's glory?

I'm challenged by this whole discussion, because it silences the debates over silly things. Ministry vs. Business, Rock stardom vs. lonely-vagabond-indie-artists who give away all their music for free.

Whatever you do, leverage it. Leverage it for Jesus' fame.

What Do You Say?

Would love to know your thoughts. Leave us a comment in the comments section below and share the tensions you struggle with in your music making...

FREE BOOK

     

Christian Songwriters Wanted

[youtube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8y-eSQUzVk&w=700&h=394] 

Christian Songwriters Wanted!

I'm looking to gather Christian music makers of all kinds - starting with Christian songwriters.

If you are Christian and you write songs christianmusicblog.com is being built with you in mind.

It's a new site launching this summer where I will talk about all the things that Christian songwriters often think about or wrestle with.

I invite you to sign up and join the growing email list of songwriters.

DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH ANY OF THE FOLLOWING?

1) Creative discipline and productivity 2) Insecurity and pride that cripples you from sharing your songs with others 3) Writers Block 4) Knowing where to start with getting your songs heard by the right people 5) Predictable lyrics and melodies

If you're like me, then you've struggled with all five of these things and more.

What are the solutions?

Come to our launch page at christianmusicblog.com and join us!

Do you know other songwriters? Share the video!

nf

write tons of songs

Shannon Lewis Interview

Saint Lewis

The video in this post is a Skype call I did with singer/songwriter Shannon Lewis about their latest single Your Will, which is available at iTunes here.

In the interview Shannon talks about how the song was written. It's a pretty unique songwriting story. Enjoy!

  • Find out more about their band at their website http://saintlewismusic.com
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