Make Love Make War by Brian Doerksen
In this book, Brian Doerkson, a worship leader and song writer, walks the reader through the process of writing songs and the stories behind some of his songs.
At times, there can be a tendency for church gatherings to want to sing happy clappy songs but Doerksen shares about the importance of also singing about the sad and difficult times in life. He shares some of the rough spots in his own life such as having two special needs children as well as professional disappointment and some of the songs that came out of those times.
There can be a false sense of infallibility that audience members sometimes associate with pastors and worship leaders. The reality is that they are real people with some of the same issues that those "in the pew" deal with. It is nice to read an account of a leader who is willing to open up some of the tough scenarios he's dealt with in his own life.
As a song writer myself, I was encouraged in the creative aspects of writing and actually wrote several songs while reading the book. One tip Doerksen offers is to keep a journal or some place to store ideas whether or not you're able to complete an entire song at the moment. He gives examples of ideas that he's come back to later to include in a song. Another idea he offers is to co-write with others to help give a different perspective or break through a spot you're stuck at in writing.
He challenges the reader to be willing to take musical risks and not always feel that he or she needs to follow a set pattern. Another crucial element is to ground a song in scripture and to even include scripture within the song. He also provides encouragement to write from a genuine place and to not try to necessarily write songs for the masses. Some of the great songs we sing today started with the writers by themselves pouring out their hearts before God.
This book would be good for songwriters, those interested in learning more about the song writing process, or those simply interested in learning more about what it's like to be a worship leader on a day to day basis.
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