Egaging in the community through creativity, music, and arts. Therefore, a lot of what I learned over the summer was through music. Through the music writing process, I was grown and stretched in unexpected areas. These lessons then transcended into everyday life, back home in California.
Bring who you are
In the songwriting process, during Edge, I began by bringing all the music and lyrics I already had. I brought my experiences, my ideas, and my melodies. Similarly, when doing ministry cross culturally, you bring what God has already gifted you with. You bring your identity and who you are. It is out of that place you begin a foundation to create.
Now that I am back in California, I have been reminded to bring the fullness of who I am, everywhere I go.
In the writing process you bring your past to create new things with the present. Similarly, I am now taking all that I have gained from Edge and using it as material to create a new ‘song’ in California.
Engage your surroundings
The second part of my songwriting process, was exploring the new area and surroundings of Spain. This is also one of the essentials of Edge because it involves getting to know the culture and the people that make up Altea, Alicante. While engaging the people and places of Spain, I was inspired to create. While meeting a fisherman, I heard his heart for people of all different colors and races to join together and look past the outward differences. This inspired the lyrics, “many tribes and countries, but the same blood”. This supplied more ideas for the future song that would be called “Carry the Love.”
In congruence with Edge and intercultural ministry, music writing requires collaborating with others. It requires leaning on the strengths and ideas of others. While working with other musicians in Spain, I was inspired by new tempos, beats, and rhythms, that gave me dreams for what the future song could be. It also showed me the importance of needing others. Needing community.
Here in America, I have seen the difference in approach to life. People here wear a sense of independence, as if it helps them gain more in life. However, independence can be a hindrance to creating something with the fullness of what it is meant to have, yet with a whole body you can complete far greater things than with just one hand. While in community I have found a better way of life. I have found that it excels the process; in song writing, ministry, or Edge.
As we engage those around us and in our community; it increases the ideas, creativity, and imagination, showing that independence slows down the process and community excels it. This has compelled me to live more of a life that draws upon what community offers. For we have much to learn from one another.
Understand your crowd
The last part of my songwriting process I discovered in Spain, was understanding the audience that I would be writing for. When creating a song, you should have in mind what people group or crowd you want it to speak to. In a place like Altea, I met people from all different places and cultures. I met people with many different worldviews and ideas. Ultimately this city was in need of love, hope, and change and this inspired more lyrics to Carry the Love, “Hold on, it will be okay. Have faith, we will make a change.”
I came to understand these needs by learning to understand the people of Altea. Similar to Edge Project, we were learning to understand the people we were ministering to so that we could figure out how to present the Gospel in a way that was applicable.
By understanding the history or culture of a place, it helps understand us the people better. This gives wisdom and insight into what words need to be said in order to communicate to the hearts of those in your ‘crowd’.
Now that I am back in my community in America, I have not forgotten this lesson of understanding my audience and crowd. When songwriting I wanted the lyrics and overall song to be relevant to the people I presented it to. Likewise with ministry here, I need to understand the culture so that I can speak into what they need to hear. By seeking to better understand the people of America I can better explain God’s Gospel of love in a way that will be relatable.
While songwriting in Spain, I learned a lot about the essentials of Edge and how to apply it into my everyday life in California. I have learned more of my identity, so that I can fully bring who I am wherever I go. I have learned more about engaging my surroundings, because in community life is better. Lastly, I learned to understand my crowd so that I can speak words of truth and love that address the needs of the culture.
Song completed in Spain:
“Carry the Love”
Come every culture, color and race
Come and experience the freedom of grace,
We are all children, united as one,
So come and hear the freedom song, singing
I am free, I am free
Oh – I am free, I am free (x2)
So let’s carry the Love
Let’s carry the Love (x3)
Come every people, from all different places,
Let’s represent the Father of the nations,
Brothers and sister’s, united to love
Many tribes and countries, but the same blood
Hold on, it will be okay
Have faith, we will make a change