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writer’s room By STeve SiLer
with steve siler—
Director, music For the soul
i Got your whole Brain right Here…
You love music. And you love Jesus. I’m making these
assumptions because you wouldn’t be reading this unless
you, or someone you know, found this article in CCM.
I believe that as people who love Jesus, and who also love
God’s glorious gifts of music and song, we’re called to a
We may be called to the act of personal worship.
We may be called to joy.
We may be called, through the act of more intentional
listening, to re-examine the way we’re living our own lives
or to the need for our own spiritual or emotional healing.
We may be called to the giving of our own gifts to lead
others into a deeper experience of God and God’s life-
transforming power. This might mean being a worship
music leader or being part of a worship music team, singing
in a choir, becoming a performing musician, or a songwriter.
This last category might manifest itself in various acts of
service. In rare instances it might even manifest itself in a
career ministry path.
For me the calling has presented itself in all of these
ways at various times. I think that is why today I find
myself writing this piece. It’s the introduction and opening
statement in what I hope will become an ongoing dialogue
as we seek to discover what God’s purpose for music, and
more specifically Christian songs, may be in the time in
which we live.
I believe my background, which includes many years
writing pop music in Los Angeles and television music for
a New York based company before moving to Nashville
and embarking on an eleven year stint as a Contemporary
Christian music staff writer, gives me a wide-ranging and
fairly unique perspective on the topic.
Additionally, being the founder and director of Music for
the Soul, a ministry bringing the light and hope of Christ
through song to people living through life’s darkest, most
difficult moments adds another layer of perspective to the
You’ll find I have no shortage of strong opinions. The
printed word can be tricky. Sometimes the stories and
thoughts expressed in plain black and white with no vocal
inflection or facial expression to qualify them can come
off as unduly harsh or cynical. Statements meant only to
express an opinion or a personal point of view can come off
as sounding arrogant.
So, consider this the blanket apology for anything you
read here, now or in the future, that leaves you wondering,
“Who does he think he is?!”
Having said that, allow me to express my first strong
Music as represented by the gift of song is God’s greatest
gift of communication.
There is actually a biological reason. Language is
processed primarily in the left hemisphere of the brain.
Melody is processed primarily on the right. So, if I want your
total attention to convey a message to you, my best bet is
to sing it! Advertisers have known this for years—that’s
why they sing to you about everything from gum to toilet
Secondly, music is a memory device. Studies have shown
that people remember more of what they read than what
they are told and more of what they hear in music than
what they read. Why do you think we teach the ABCs with a
song? My guess is you couldn’t forget that melody if your
life depended on it.
So, with a song I’ve got your whole brain and a better
chance that you’ll remember whatever I sing to you. This
has massive ramifications for us as people who wish to
share the Gospel.
Let me leave you with a quote until next time from
someone who is even smarter than I am.
“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings
to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness,
gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order
and lends to all that is good, just and beautiful.” – Plato