(First, a note to the worship community: The following blog, by Brian Brown, is intended as satire. The author has respectfully requested that the reader refrain from heaping the burning coals of caustic criticism upon his frail, albeit copiously coiffeured, head!)
One of the things we’re invited to do regularly here at Lifeway Worship is evaluate songs. After years of being involved in this process, I can tell you definitively that telling someone their song is not very good, is roughly the equivalent of drowning their favorite puppy in front of them. This is probably true for all songwriters, but it seems somehow particularly problematic to tell someone who’s written a “worship song” that their song is not very good. What makes this task even more difficult is the fact that many truly bad worship songs are quite successful in the church market. (For those of you reading this blog and anxiously awaiting a list of these songs – did I mention I’ve been doing this for a while?)
After so many years of trying to handle this delicately, and failing miserably, I’ve decided that my approach has been all wrong. From this point forward, I will abandon all honest assessments and, instead, heap only praise and admiration on any and every effort submitted. This is to be followed by immediately and enthusiastically publishing and promoting every single song.
True, the songwriters will suffer due to the lack of a fair and impartial critique that could cause them to evaluate and improve their songs, and the worship community will also likely suffer by having such inferior quality music see the light of day, but those inevitable outcomes ignore the obvious advantages of such an approach – Namely, that I will be more well-liked by songwriters than I am today. That seems a far better payoff than what happens when I tell people what I really think.
Brian Brown is Lifeway Worship’s Manager of Sales, Marketing, Events & Business Development. With Lifeway for more than 25 years, Brian has a passion for worship, numbers and history. He’s well-read. He’s quick-witted. He’s worth following on Twitter @TheBrianHBrown.