There are two broad categories of spiritual disciplines: those that lead us to disengage from our normal routines and those that lead us to intentionally engage God. Good songwriting has a sort of symbiotic relationship with the spiritual disciplines: practicing the spiritual disciplines helps songwriting and songwriting itself can help us practice the disciplines. Worship songwriting can be both a discipline of disengagement and a discipline of engagement. Jerry Collins is a lyricist who uses the discipline of engagement in his latest single, “Arisen” which has received a score of 7.1 from Crowd Reviews on Reverbnation.
His intent of engagement is clear through the lyrics “We have arisen to be of service to God, and serve those who follow him. We have arisen so he may place us in the path of another in need of comfort.” It’s no secret that you can make a living by writing worship songs, but it has become more than an occupational option; it can be an idolatrous preoccupation.
In the same way, if you’re trying to write the next chart-topping song, you’re in the wrong field. In fact, Jerry Collins keeps his writing flowing from a pure heart, unfettered by selfish ambition and the long-forgotten sin of avarice; he ignores the charts, and gets on with the job at hand.
It seems the chief reason Collins writes worship songs is to provide the worldwide congregation with a musical milestone of God’s faithfulness. The practice of his songwriting is the practice of paying attention to God and His work and giving it expression so that it becomes a means of calling others to pay attention too.
Here’s the proof – “We have arisen so he can use us as an instrument for his ministry to others. We have arisen as we’re guided to bring forward his protection of love.”
Jerry Collins shows us on “Arisen” that the best way to unlock yourself as a writer is to simply tell your inner truths. Collins is also keenly aware that the music’s power often comes as much from his pen as from the sweeping sonic foundation built by the music. Hence he works with singers and songwriters to perfect the formula.
Music is the language of the spirit. I think ideas and words are the excuse for songwriters to allow their heart or their spirits to run free. That’s when magic happens, as it did on “Arisen”.