We'll ask if they sing or if they play. Are they taking lessons? In school groups? Have they put on a local show yet? Are they in the church choir or band?
Inevitably, the conversation will come around to songwriting. It usually goes like this:
Us: "Do you write your own songs?"
Us: "Have you tried writing?"
Them: "Well, yes, but my songs were terrible, so I gave up."
At that point, you can hear our hearts break a little.
At first, I tried to sound comforting, consoling them with cliches: "It's okay. We all write some bad songs. You can do it. Keep trying..."
But on Sunday, I met an 11-year-old who told me:
"I tried writing, but I failed miserably. My songs were awful!"
That word: "FAILED"
What a powerful word. It can shut down the best of intentions, the most noble efforts, the lifelong dream.
And yet, if we let it, it can transform our world. It can be the great lesson learned, the giant mountain we overcome, the mighty leap to success.
So when she said, "I failed,"
I exclaimed, "CONGRATULATIONS!!!!"
She looked at me like I had three heads.
"Congratulations!" I reiterated. "Writing bad songs is the first step to becoming a songwriter! Write lots and lots and lots of bad songs. Each one will teach you something, and before long, you'll notice you're writing good songs."
I could see the plan forming in her head. I could almost hear the songs writing themselves in her imagination. A smile crept across her face.
When we parted, I said it again, "Write lots of bad songs! Promise me?"
"I promise, " she said.
The Dream was alive again...
Worship Wednesdays is a weekly series to encourage and equip worship leaders and songwriters. Bookmark this page visit us every Wednesday!