It’s far too easy to think that life is all about what we can see. While the present reality is very important, the truth is that it’s all about a greater reality. There is a higher perspective, however that higher perspective alone does not negate the importance of the present responsibilities of life. They work together and we must lift our vision higher.
The same applies to music and those who create it.
For those who write or record music, your work is more than a means of self-expression. Your work reflects a current truth, embodies a future reality, and is your personal legacy. However, in order to move beyond musical understanding and the pleasure of self-expression, you must become aware of what you are actually doing when you create.
While music is not worship and worship is not music. It is a powerful means of communication, a very practical skill, and a piece of work that you can possess.
Paired with the knowledge of why we worship and how to steward the presence of God in our everyday lives, we must become adequately aware of why music matters and how we can be faithful stewards of the work we create as songwriters and recording artists.
On one hand, music truly is exactly what you were thinking: it’s something you make and enjoy. On the other hand, it’s a serious practical reality. The creation of music is spiritual, practical, and legal, and you can only steward it as well as you know how to.
What is a steward?
A “steward” is an old English term for someone who is the manager of something, or is responsible to take care of something, and often something that does not belong to them. When I talk about stewardship in the context of music, I am specifically talking about stewarding the heart, the craft, and the property that you have either been given or have developed yourself.
The property we own is an earthly reality. The craft and skill as musicians and singers is an earthly reality. The posture and secrets of our heart is a spiritual state of existence which will affect everything here and now.
Whether or not the formalities and business of music is your aim, it is an inherent reality that will either help you tremendously or affect you very negatively at some point of time.
Simply stated, you cannot yield your own fruit without tending to your own responsibility. Also, you cannot use and benefit from something that is not yours without permission and legal compliance.
You are responsible for you. Only you are capable of improving your craft, pursuing knowledge, and seeking growth so that you can to some degree understand the field that you are set out to operate in, which is the topic of music publishing.
Music is your legacy because found within your creations are the experiences of life to be shared, the revelation of the character and nature of God which can help others see God rightly, and property that can be passed on to your children.
Proverbs 13:22 says, “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.”
If you do not begin this journey now, you will continue to overlook many things that you cannot afford to remain unrealized. When these necessities are overlooked, you will be found as a poor steward, will easily forfeit blessing that belongs to you, and you will cause your children and their children to forfeit their inheritance. I encourage you to refuse to allow a lack of knowledge and stewardship to rob your grandchildren of something that belongs to them.