We were created to create! We reflect our Creator’s image and imagination by creating and being creative. God allows us to influence His story in the world through what we “output” via our creativity.  Art has an impact! 

As musicians, singers, songwriters, set designers, and “creatives”, it’s vital that we have a Biblical understanding of art and its role within the world and the Church!  Andrew Peterson (one of the most creative people I have met) joins us to discuss creativity, and how we can be better creatives as we serve the Church and the World through God-honoring art! 

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Transcript

Alex Enfiedjian 00:09 Hello, friend and welcome back to another episode of the worship ministry training podcast, a monthly podcast for worship leaders and worship team members. My name is Alex Enfiedjian. I’m your host, and I am so thrilled to spend the next 45 to 55 minutes with you learning and growing in our craft and calling of being a worship leader. And as a worship leader, you would probably peg yourself as a creative type. You know, most worship leaders have to be creative, at least musically, but I know many of you also are creative in other ways as well. And maybe you song right or maybe you run your churches, social media and graphic design or maybe you run your churches website, in whatever way you find yourself being creative for the kingdom of God. I think you’re gonna be so helped and encouraged and inspired by this conversation that I got to have with Andrew Peterson. Andrew Peterson is a songwriter probably best known for his song is he worthy that Chris Tomlin sings, but he’s also an amazing author and just brilliant, creative mind. And I think you’re going to learn so much about the theology of creativity, and how we should approach creativity in a dark and broken world as image bearers of God. So there’s so much good stuff in here, and I know you’re going to be blessed. So I’m not even going to talk anymore. Let’s just dive right into the conversation with Andrew Peterson about the theology of creativity. Hey, everybody, I am here with Andrew Peterson, songwriter, musician, author and stone stacking wall builder, Andrew, how you doing? I’m doing good. Thank you. I want to ask you about that in just a second. Now, if the listeners are familiar with your name, they probably know some of your work, especially some of your songs like recently is he worthy, that beautiful song that you wrote was picked up by Chris Tomlin and kind of made popular on the radio and in churches, we sing it in our church, and I just want to thank you for that song, man. And when I get to the line where it’s like, does our God intend to dwell again with us? He does. Like I always get teary eyed and I’m not even like an emotional guy at all. So thank you. Yeah,

Andrew Peterson 02:07 the gospel is like, what I love about songs like that is like I get I get emotional when I do that song, too. And it’s because all those little lines are like verbatim scripture. It’s all there. You know, it’s not there’s not a much poetic license being taken. So you can kind of hang your hat on it as truth. It’s pretty amazing.

Alex Enfiedjian 02:26 Yeah, I remember talking to Jenny Lee riddle. And she said the same thing about revelation song. She’s like, it’s just all the passages about God on his throne. So like, She’s like, I didn’t have to write much. But now but you Come on, you put so much beauty and poetry into that song. So you got to will give God the glory. But we’ll give you a little bit of credit. Yeah, well, yeah, for sure. Also, another thing that you may or may not be known for, but I want to encourage the listeners to just check this out, like this book series that you wrote called the wingfeather. saga is, I’m going to just say it, it’s to me better than Narnia, the Narnia series, which is like, my kids, and I have a nine year old daughter and a six year old daughter, man, and we devoured those books, the whole series, it was so so well written and the ending I won’t give a spoiler, but blew my mind and saw, man, so you’re one of the most creative people I know. And so that’s why I wanted to have you on the podcast to talk about creativity, the theology of creativity, the creative process, you know, as Andrew Peterson understands it, and your experience with it. So real quickly, though, I would love to just poke into the wall building stone stacking thing, because like, I think it’s pretty self explanatory what it is. But I would just love to ask you this question like, what are some principles that you’ve learned in stone stacking that apply to other areas of your life? And I’m sure there are many, but just throwing that weird question out there.

Andrew Peterson 03:49 That sounds weird, right? That’s You’re making me think already. I think so just for your listeners sake. Like I started doing this because here in outside of Nashville, where we live, we live kind of in the country. And a friend of ours gave us the gift of a 30 year garden garden plan. And the first thing on the on the list was this front garden, like a cottage garden that was enclosed by a stone wall, and I priced it and it was $100 a foot if you get somebody else to build you a stone wall, and it’s about 100 feet, that’s 10 grand, right? So I was like, no way. And so I just kind of looked around and realized that there’s a bunch of rocks around Nashville, and I started throwing them in the back of my truck. And it took several months, but I eventually collected, I didn’t pay a dime. And I just youtubed it. And so in the process the one of the cool things about it was that a that belong, kind of you get into this feeling of flow, like once you get a big pile of rocks, it was really satisfying to reach the point where about a week into the process, I could look about 20 feet away at a section of the wall and see a little gap and I could see a rock and I would know before I put the rock in the gap that it would Fit. Yeah, and it would glide like in like a glove, it was just kind of amazing that your body ends up intuiting what needs to happen next. And once you get into this, this rhythm, you know, and you start, you’re constantly turning the rocks every which way to try to find a way to piece it together. And it ends up being this, this really meditative process. But what I was gonna say what though was that like, my friend who gave me the garden plan, she did not plan for there to be this archway in the wall that we have. There’s this Roman arch that I built, no mortar is just held up by gravity. And so I kind of just was building the wall. And I was like, I think I think an arch could be kind of cool here. And then when she saw it, she was like, What a great idea. I’m so glad that you improved on my design. And so I think that that’s the one of the cool things is that it’s like, the Lord invites you into this creative process. It’s like he says, Hey, here’s a template, but also put an arch in if you feel like it, you know what I mean? Like, like, like, he invites us to participate with the architect in the building of this thing. So that was one of the things that I remember being struck by was that it wasn’t like she was she gave me this recipe that I wasn’t allowed to add a little more butter if I wanted, you know,

Alex Enfiedjian 06:10 I love that. Do you add a lot of butter to your cookies? Oh, man, if if at all possible. So okay, well, let’s let’s talk about there’s a few things that are already in there that we’ll we’ll touch on in a little bit, like getting into a state of flow, you know, and also like co laboring with God as the CO architect, but I would love to just hear your thoughts about the theology of creativity, like God is the Creator were created in his image, right? And we mirror the creator’s image by creating and being creative. So I’d love to hear some of your of your thoughts about how you understand creativity from a theological perspective.

Andrew Peterson 06:48 Well, I it’s kind of a not a moving target, but it’s like something that I’m still kind of getting to the bottom of him anyways. Like, just recently, somebody pointed out, and I didn’t know this. I’m not a Hebrew scholar. But somebody pointed out that the word create in Scripture is only ever applied to God. People don’t create we make, but God waits. Wow, is this cool, distinctive, right that like he’s the one who makes something from nothing. We take what he has made, and we rearrange it, and we add the arch to the Stonewall. And so I like that idea that like, we’re just kind of like, playing around on the floor with a bunch of Legos that somebody else made, you know, it’s kind of how it goes. And so a lot of my thinking about creativity was informed by Madeline L’Engle. And her book, walking on water, which is a marvelous book, and then a lot of it was from Tolkien, it was from his essay on fairy stories where he, he coined the word sub creator, he was like one of he argued that one of the highest uses of human creativity is world building. And, you know, I’m sure he was a little bit biased, because he was a world builder. But there is this sense that, like he was creating, the way he put it in a poem was we make in the manner in which were made, God created us. And he made us to be sub little creators, basically, to go around, set loose on the world to, to speak light, you know. And so what I love about that is that it means that it’s not just artists who are called to this, it’s everybody. I talked about that in the book, the idea that, you know, when people say that they’re creative, they are creative, versus they are a creative, there’s a difference there, that’s really important, I think, because to say I am a creative implies that other people aren’t creative, which is not true, everybody’s doing it. So you’re always adding to the story of the world, whether you like to think of yourself that way or not, you are an image bear, and you are speaking light into the world. And one of the things that we do is we bring order out of chaos, and we fill the void. Like in in Genesis one, you know, there’s this idea that in the creation account, two things are happening first, God is bringing order out of chaos, and then he fills the void with things. And so that’s kind of what being artist is, you know, and for that matter to being a humanist. And so that’s, that’s a kind of a flyover of the way I tend to think of it.

Alex Enfiedjian 09:07 That’s amazing. I mean, you said something so profound, we are always adding to the story of the world. It’s like, wow, God allows us to participate at that level of creation. And that really does reflect like the not that we are like gods, you know, obviously, but the autonomy and the honor that he’s bestowed upon us to contribute to his creation, and I love that concept. I’ve never heard that that only God is the Creator, and we make. I’ve never heard that. That’s amazing. So yeah, so I love

Andrew Peterson 09:40 it. Like one of the things that I’m working on a book right now, like my COVID book, you know, the thing I did while I was in lockdown for a year was it’s a book called The God of the garden, basically an expansion of those chapters in adorning the dark that are about the stone wall and about our property and kind of it’s framed around trees in my little trees and Anyway, another it’s another way to think of it is that a lot of times we think in America, about pristine wilderness as like this high ideal of creation. So when we have the state parks are kind of sequestered off. But wilderness isn’t what we were meant for, we were meant for a garden, like, I put Adam and Eve in a garden. And what a garden is, is this overlay of creation and culture. Right. So there’s this wildness, but then there’s also these, these people that are like settlers on the world who are taking that and creating something else that is more than just wilderness, it’s a garden, you can walk around. And so a garden is an overlay of culture and creation. And I think that’s another picture of what it is that we do is God has given us the wilderness of his creation. And he said, Go and make it more beautiful add to the beauty of this thing. And so yeah, one of the things that I love that I also just learned this is that when God tells Adam and Eve to work, and to keep the garden, the next time that phrase is used in the Old Testament is for the the priests in the temple, they’re called to work and to keep the temple, right. And then there’s this picture that the, you know, in the new creation, the whole world is God’s temple. And there were all these priests walking around, working in keeping in caring for this place. And so when I think of writing a story, or drawing a picture, or writing a song, it’s like, Okay, this is this is a little picture of me as a priest, in God’s creation, doing my best to work and to keep with the tools that I’ve been given the story that I’ve been given into the chain and into something that is more beautiful, somehow, that’s so good. And something you said, he said, I think creation and culture is the garden and what I thought of the word cultivated, because when you were saying culture, it’s like, oh, those are related terms. Like we can cultivate a garden. And anyway, so it’s very fascinating.

Alex Enfiedjian 11:48 Yeah, man, I’d be curious to ask like, what is what is your definition of art? What is art? And what is the purpose of art in the world? as a believer?

Andrew Peterson 11:58 Oh, man, I saw this question ahead of time. And I was like, Ooh, that’s a hard one. I honestly don’t know how to articulate a good definition bar, I haven’t spent enough time really thinking that through. But I think what art isn’t, is self aggrandizing self expression. I mean, I guess you could call it that. That’s the thing is, like, as soon as I say something, I’m going to think of the other side of that. But like, what it ought not be is it’s merely self expression, which isn’t to say that we don’t express who we are through our art. But the end goal is, ideally, the glory of God, you know. And so somehow or another, we tell our stories, we paint our pictures, we adorn the darkness, you know, as best as we can. But like, it’s at its best when love is what it is grounded in like art as a way to love. And so I don’t think that our artistic creative works are exempt from the mandate to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to love the Lord our God with our heart, mind, soul, and strength. And so it kind of repositions what artists for when I was a kid, art was for impressing girls, you know, because I wasn’t a sports guy, which the irony is, is like, I don’t know, many girls in the 80s, that were impressed by Batman comic drawings, you know, but that was what I was into at the time, with the, the, it’s kind of like a very self serving thing. And it’s not like God can’t redeem our bad mode. But what you’re shooting for is this idea that art is a way of laying down our lives for another, and loving people somehow, by telling them the truth, as beautifully as you can. Hmm,

Alex Enfiedjian 13:40 yeah. And like, even in your book, or books, the wingfeather Saga, it’s like, you didn’t necessarily say Jesus or preach the gospel, but you told more beautifully than I could ever, like, articulate, you told the Gospel story. And you told the truth. So that’s interesting. So we can use art to propagate lies, which the world does, or we can use it to propagate the truth into the darkness. So I never thought about that.

Andrew Peterson 14:09 Yeah, I think that’s, that’s it. And you know, the fun thing about it as a fantasy not like, you know, when I write a song, a lot of times, I’m, you know, I have something that I’m trying to say, very specific thing that I’m trying to get across a lot of times, you know, and there’s, there’s a spectrum, some songs are more vague, and they’re just there to, to kind of like product at the idea. But other times, it’s like, no, I really actually, like, is he worthy, it’s like, I actually want to write a song that that draws attention to how good God is and the story and, and so this is kind of a tangent. I don’t know if it’s true, but they chop it out. It’s true, but the you know, in adorning the dark. I talked about this idea that, you know, when I first moved to Nashville, in the late 90s, it was like cool to say, Well, I’m not a Christian artist. I’m an artist who’s a Christian. And I get that It’s a wrestling with calling and naming what it is that we’re doing. And, and at the time, I was like, yeah, that’s, that’s me, I’m an artist who is a Christian. I’m not a Christian artist. But what that does is it’s built into that as a little bit of snootiness about people who are called to explicitly tell the Gospel story, right. Like, like in that what’s built into it, too, is this assumption that if if you are a Christian artist, if you’re explicitly Christian and content that it’s not art somehow. But that doesn’t apply to Michelangelo, you know, doesn’t apply to the cathedrals in Europe, that like is high art, and explicit presentation of the gospel can coexist. And I think it it has to do with calling. And it has to do with the fact that if you were trying to convey the truth of the gospel in art, then it actually, it demands even more of you artistically, or you have to it doesn’t let you off the hook, it does the opposite. And so anyway, I just kind of reached this point where I was like, you know, I don’t want to say any more than I’m not a Christian artist, when most of my songs mentioned Jesus explicitly. It’s just kind of part of the deal. So then, once again, working on my new book, I was heard somebody talking about Genesis one, and how when God creates trees, it says he created them to be pleasing to the eye and for bearing fruit. So some trees are made, just because they’re pretty, and other trees are there because you can pluck fruit from them and eat them. Right? I think arts the same way, I think that some art is just beautiful. And it is it there’s mystery involved, and it exists in the world, and it just makes the world more bearable. Like, I’m glad that these movies exist glad that these novels exist, they need to be in the world. And then there are other kinds of art. And, you know, it’s him writers and Christian poets, and Michelangelo, whoever, who are writing things that are like good for fruit, like, they’re beautiful to look at. But they’re also things that that are there to nourish, and to edify, very specifically. And so I that’s kind of where I, where I land on the Christian art thing. And I don’t even remember what your question was,

Alex Enfiedjian 17:03 it doesn’t matter, because you just you spit out a bunch of gold. So let me ask you this. You know, you have a lot of worship leaders who they write songs, and maybe they’re trying to write songs for their church, but maybe half of those songs don’t even see the light of day. So I guess my question is, does creativity always need to have an audience or like the golden poppy that pops up on the far side of a hill in Afghanistan, and is never seen by anyone? It’s served its purpose simply by being a poppy? Like, does? I know, that’s a very good, you know,

Alex Enfiedjian 17:35 I love it.

Alex Enfiedjian 17:36 I love a way to say it. But like, does creativity matter? If it’s not seen?

Andrew Peterson 17:41 Yes? Is this short, simple answer, because God clearly demonstrates, you know, that beauty matters, even if it’s on the far side of the mountain. However, I would say, God in that case, is the audience. You know, like, I don’t want to say that, like, you know, some of the great poets, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and George Herbert, who wrote their poems, you know, 400 years ago, my understanding is that they were never published in their lifetime. They had these poems that lived in their journal. And that didn’t stop them. And you know, Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime. He really wanted to, but he just didn’t. But these guys like, you get the sense that they were like, committed to making these things for the Lord, their own edification, and they were making these things because they were compelled to do it. And then somebody found them and published them. And 400 years later, they affect us, you know, yeah, that’s wonderful. But if that happened with them, imagine the untold people who wrote poems in journals, and they were lost forever, you know, right. And that is not lost. My brother is a playwright and novelist, and he’s brilliant. A few years ago, he committed to writing a poem a day, just because he was like, I’m just gonna learn to try to learn poetry, a poem a day. And I think it was summertime. So he had written 150 or so poems, he went to the beach and lost the journal. He had his leather journal, every poem was lost. And I was just devastated. I was like, Are you kidding? And he was like, oh, it doesn’t matter. I was like, What do you mean, it doesn’t matter? It was like, well, the point wasn’t, you know, because I was going to try to publish them. The point was for me to learn poetry. And you know, none of it was lost, because the work was also being done in him. Yeah, process. So, you know, there’s a sense in which that’s very true. So, at the same time, though, like if it’s just self expression, if it’s an if it’s not love, and it can be a dead end. So at some point, I think that like, what longer and said art isn’t really art until it’s experienced by another. Wow, there’s an exchange that happens when someone else here’s the thing and then now you’ve got a story. And there’s a connection and it’s a part of their world and yours and now it’s like it’s taken on a new life. And so that’s not to like denigrate the people who were afraid to share their stuff or they’re doing it for their it’s between them in the world. But at the same time, like Be brave enough to share it, you know? Yeah, doesn’t have to be great. It you just have to start doing the work of letting people in writing people. And so that said, you know, for the worship leaders who are out there working on things like it’s crucial to be a student of the craft, you know, you’re not just Anyway, I’m tangent ting again, that word. But does that get your question?

Alex Enfiedjian 20:25 Absolutely no, I love it. And I think a few years ago, I did an interview with Andy rozier, from Chicago, you know, vertical worship. And he said, because they have a little cohort of songwriters. And not everybody is really, like, allowed to be part of that cohort, because not everybody has the same gifting. But his encouragement to everybody is like, Hey, guys, like write songs for the Lord. Like, even if you’re not part of this cohort, like write songs for the Lord, feel free to submit them, but let that time that you spend writing that song, just be your time communing with God? And if if that song never goes anywhere, and never serves any other purpose than you communing with God, like that was a very high and holy purpose, you know? Yeah, yeah. And you mentioned something too, about the poetry and the poems about how I think it was your brother or your brother in law, you said the work was being done in him. And I’m sure you’ve written hundreds, maybe 1000s of songs that people have never heard, you’ve probably written hundreds of pages that were never published. But each song and each page is equally as important. Maybe they’re not at all as equally as good as each other. But they’re equally as important because they contribute to or lead you to the next iteration of creativity, right? It’s like it all stacks on each other. So it’s never wasted, right?

Andrew Peterson 21:42 Yeah. And I almost feel like there are two conversations. One is the conversation about art for its own sake, just as, as a, like an expression of your delight in the Lord, or you’re wrestling through something. And that’s kind of what’s happening there. And then there’s the career question like, okay, I want to actually do this for a living, I want to like commit my life to learning a craft and trying to learn it really well, and to communicate in that way. I would never want to tell people don’t write poetry, just because you won’t get paid for it. Right. But if you step into a career, where you’re like, I’m gonna try, you know, I don’t think in the next 10 years, I’m gonna write a great song. But in the next 20, maybe I’ll write a few, you know, the long game that you’re interested in, and it’s like, finding a way to grow as an artist. That’s a whole different thing. You know what I mean? That’s where like, in many ways the conversation changes because you are now talking about becoming a student of a craft as opposed to art or poetry or songwriting as a way of of communing with the Lord.

Alex Enfiedjian 22:48 So yeah, that’s good. Yeah. And I love to stay not on the How do you become a songwriter side? Because I feel like there’s a million podcasts about that. It’s like, I just want us to really, like do some good, deep work around creativity. So I would love to hear I know everybody’s different. But how do you stay inspired and creative, just in general? Hey, we’ll get right back into the episode. But I just wanted to tell you briefly about four brand new courses that I’ve created for you. Now, if you’re like most worship leaders, you got zero professional training to be a worship leader, you were holding a guitar, they saw you and they handed you the ministry and they said lead and you’re like, how do I lead? Well, I’ve taken the last 18 years of my experience as a worship leader, and have boiled it into four very practical courses just for you. So if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed with your ministry, or discouraged with your ministry, if you look out at the congregation, and they seem disengaged, or your song sets are lacking power and passion, or you don’t have enough commitment from your worship team members, and they’re maybe not showing up excited, or prepared for services, or maybe you’re just unsure if you’re being successful in your calling as a worship leader, if any of those things apply to you. These courses are literally going to give you the answers you need. And you can get all four courses for just $99. And if you enter the promo code, WM t podcast at checkout, you can get 25% off that price. You can also buy the courses individually if there’s a particular topic you need help in and I would say that your churches should be paying for this for your training. So just literally send the link to your pastor and ask him or her to buy it for you. You can get the courses at worship ministry training comm slash courses. And if you serve in a third world or developing country, you can get a full scholarship just scroll down to the bottom of the page. Click the FAQ about scholarships fill out the form and I will gift you the courses absolutely free. So again, don’t let lack of training hold you back from an excellent ministry. These courses will give you the exact answers that you’re looking for. Again, all the info is in the show notes or just visit worship ministry training comm slash courses. Alright, let’s jump right back into this awesome conversation with Andrew. How do you stay inspired and creative just in general cuz sometimes it can you just feel like you got nothing, nothing to get.

Andrew Peterson 25:03 Yeah, um, for years, I joked that like a sure way to stay productive as an artist is to have a mortgage payment. Like it kind of forces you to like, Okay, I’m not messing around, I’ve got to do this thing you know, it’s it. Yeah. When I went to college, it was this little Christian College in Florida, it was like, I paid somebody to make me read my Bible for four years. And so you actually put things in your life that forced you to, to do the hard work, because most of it isn’t super fun. A lot of it is frustrating and miserable. And I don’t actually enjoy right when you said earlier, you’re like, maybe I’ve written 1000s of songs that nobody’s ever heard Actually, that’s not true. Most of the songs I’ve written have been on my records, you know, I have a lot of half songs. And I’ll work on something. And once I’m disillusioned with it, or I feel like I’m barking up the wrong tree, I abandon it, I got it. I may circle back around in two years. But most of the stuff that I do, I it’s like weeding a garden, like when I’m like, I gotta go do it. Because I know that if I want the garden to be pretty, I got to get rid of this, these weeds, but man, it ain’t fun. That part. And so the same thing with songwriting, when, like I’m about to make a new record or something, I’m like, deep breath, like, here we go, you know, it is a scary process. The blank page is intimidating, you feel like you’ve said everything there is to say, there’s the, you know, all the self doubt, the self loathing this, you know, there’s a real spiritual battle that’s going on in you and you’re working on stuff. It’s worth it. But but it’s not. I’m always envious and a little skeptical of the people who are like I write because I have to, I sit down, I just wake up and I just write because it’s all coming out of me. And I just want to be like, wow, what would that be, like? So many other interests, you know, in, I think that’s can be a good thing is to spend a few plates at once. So that kind of like writing a few songs at once. If you get stuck on one, you can just pivot and work on on the other one for a while. But for me, one of the biggest, most important life giving practices has been getting outside and doing things that were in real communication and contact with the made world like the actual, non cerebral, not theoretical, actual dirt, actual stones shoved into actual slots and walls. I think that if you’re in like an artistic career, you spend so much time in your head that you begin to think that that’s all that there is you know, and there’s a there’s a great book called Living into focus that I read years ago by Arthur Boers. And he talks about how, especially if you are a person who has a job that requires a lot of head work, that you need to have a focal practice, which is something that gets you in contact with creation, in community with other people, it inspires a sense of off, it requires discipline. So for me, it was rock wall building, and beekeeping and gardening and, and those things like, like, ended up being providing the subject matter for like whole albums, you know, because the heavens declare the glory of God above proclaims his handiwork. You know, it’s like all of creation is preaching sermons all the time. And in our last 100 years, most of us don’t garden anymore, we’re not farmers anymore. We’re inside a lot of the time we do this computery head work. And so we’re, we have cut ourselves off from this megaphone of inspiration and gospel preaching that is happening just kind of spilling out of creation itself. So it has been like, I can’t overstate how important it is like, you don’t need a lot of land, like get it get a raised bed, literally buy some tomatoes at the hardware store and grow something. Yeah, I guarantee you that it will enhance and kind of augment whatever it is the else that you’re doing.

Alex Enfiedjian 28:54 So good. So all the worship leaders who are stuck on their Planning Center screens and their smartphones and their social media need to go get outside. I really, really believe that deep Yeah, yeah, I feel you. Now I see that outside this coming into your writing and into your songwriting and all those things. And like, I want to talk a little bit about the wingfeather Saga, because this book, and I’m just gonna tell the listeners like you just have to trust me and by all four of the books, okay, even if you don’t have young, you know, because it’s it’s probably aimed at like, like, I’m 35 I loved it as much as my nine year olds, so and my six year old, so anyway, but you created entire worlds histories maps, deep, complex, intricate, believable characters. I thought people like CS Lewis and Tolkien were an extinct breed because we live in a digital distracted generation. And yet you proved me wrong with like, you have all these backstories and like footnotes and all sorts of dialects and all this stuff, right? Well, I would love to know like, how Do you stay focused enough to actually think deeply and get into that state of flow and push the ball forward in your creative pursuits? Because I think the biggest killer of creativity is a fragmented thinking, which is what we’re all fighting. So how does Andrew Peterson fight against fragmented thinking?

Andrew Peterson 30:20 Man fragmented thinking I hadn’t heard that phrase before. But I know exactly what you mean, say that, especially this year, right? In the last 12 months or so with COVID. Like, I’ve talked to so many people who tell me that it was really comforting when somebody was like, I just can’t focus, I sit down, and I can’t get anything done. And our brains are dealing with all this anxiety and, and everything’s kind of up ended. So I totally get that. What for me, I heard somebody say one time that being a writer and having an internet connection, is like being a carpenter and having a television on the back of your hammer. I think that’s so true. The internet is just the worst. And so if you’re trying to get something real done, right, yeah. And so one of the I mean, it’s really, it’s really simple. But I downloaded an app called self control. It’s on my computer right now. And I, when I’m, I’ve got a chunk of time to write, I turn on the app. And basically, it limits the internet for the amount of time that you set. So Ron, even if I restart the computer, I still can’t go to Twitter, or Facebook or anything. And the funny thing is, you add the web pages to this list. And I would open up my computer, I’d sit down to start working in your brain starts trying to find a way out, right? Yeah. And I’d be like, I wonder what the exact degree it is outside. And I would find myself going to the Weather Channel constantly, you know, or weather calm. And so I had to add that to the thing. And then I’d be like, I wonder if anything bad has happened in the world, I added to add all the news, you know, so the list keeps getting longer because your brain is just, it knows that it’s connected to this window. It can, it can get the endorphins, you know, and so that’s the biggest thing to me. And the other thing is getting into a rhythm. It’s like, like I with the wingfeather books, I remember that I had a goal of 2000 words a day, and I would wake up in the morning, I’d have my coffee. And I start writing, usually at the coffee shop, I’d go to the coffee shop down the road and camp out and I wouldn’t allow myself to eat lunch until I had written 2000 words. And it was just an unbreakable rule. And a book is about 100,000 words. And so if you adhere to that rule strictly you can have a first draft and 50 days. Two months, you know, and that’s that’s amazing people. When you look at like Dickens and these guys that have these immense libraries of work by the time they died, it’s because they wrote I heard I think it was him wrote 500 words a day that was it. Anybody new that? So getting in a rhythm where it’s just like a part of your day? That’s that’s a thing.

Alex Enfiedjian 32:48 So it’s a habit. Yeah, that’s so good. And and being mean to yourself by not letting yourself eat. So that? Yeah, that’s good. I like that. Now, something you kind of said about, like, just showing up at the coffee shop and forcing yourself to do it. It reminds me I think, is it Stephen King who said like, you know, amateurs wait for inspiration, and the professionals just show up and do the work? Yeah, like, it’s kind of like that, right?

Andrew Peterson 33:10 It is very much like that. Yeah, they had a book on writing was was really helpful. When I was first starting working on the book, I remember there was a point where I was addicted to reading books about how to write books. And there’s a huge market for it, you know, you go to Barnes and Noble, you can see whole sections of like, how to publish your first novel, whatever. And a lot of people were making a lot of money off of people’s procrastination. I mean, and I went and met with a novelist here in town, and I said, Hey, I’m trying to write my first book, what do I do? Which books do I read? And he said, Stop reading those books. Like, the only way you’re going to writing write the book. Yeah. So that’s the thing is, it’s just you just have to decide to do it. Yeah. Anne Lamott, I heard her say one time, like, if you want to finish the book, you are the project you’re working on, stop not doing it. It’s so simple, but it’s just so true. We know it. You’re not doing it, just do it.

Alex Enfiedjian 34:06 Yeah. And maybe there’s some worship leaders listening and it’s like you whatever that project is that you just keep distracting yourself away from like, God wants you to bring that into the world to birth that into the world. And this is Andrew Peterson and Alex Enfiedjian. His way of saying just do it, y’all, Nike Just do it. So let’s see what we can see birthed into the world through this

Andrew Peterson 34:26 play. Another another good idea is to bite off more than you can chew. by committing to something like sometimes we’ll put a date on the calendar for a show and I’ll be like, okay, there’s no way to have it. Now. I’ve got to do it. I’ve got to come up with that concert or whatever it may be, you know, right. So you’re forcing your own hand is the thing. And so sometimes, it’s a committing to a project that you have no idea how you’re going to get done, you know, and one that you can’t do alone. So, you’re going to be like, well, I’m just gonna have to do this and trust that those people are gonna They show up to help me finish this thing. And they will they just do. So. So that’s the thing you can’t you have to relinquish quite a bit of control, be willing to fail miserably. And just kind of step out into the thing. It’s all often about building the bridge while you’re Crossing the Chasm. You just kind of like, you don’t know you’re making it up as you go. And and there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s part of the deal.

Alex Enfiedjian 35:23 I love that it’s such a practical thing. So like, put the night of worship on the calendar and publish it to the church. And now you have to do it. Yeah, good. Yeah. Yeah. I’d love to hear a little bit about like, planning versus spontaneity, in creativity, like a lot of it sounds like you’re showing up with a goal and you’re just going to hit that goal. How much of it is spontaneous? Or does the spontaneousness come in the structured vnus?

Andrew Peterson 35:50 a? Yes, I would say that’s it. Yeah, there has to be a little bit of structure, but the barest framework that leaves room for spontaneity, you know, when I was like, not to keep going back to the book writing thing, but there’s so many overlap, it’s all kind of the same. But like, I know, when I was working out the wingfeather Saga, there would be chapter synopsis that I would write. And so I would, you know, just a paragraph maybe of what happened in each chapter. And I would write about five chapters of those, until the story got so hazy that I didn’t know what came next. And then I’d go back and write the actual chapters, right. And so in the writing of the chapters that I had kind of like written the bullet points of, inevitably, the story would have shifted by the time I got to where the outline was. And I’d have to scratch those next few chapters and start the next chapter Synopsys. So you just like, lay out this like really loose framework with the full expectation that I’m probably never going to get to where the outline said. And so I think songwriting is that way to man, like, it’s amazing how many times you, you have a clear sense of like, what the song is supposed to be. And then the song just defies You like it? No, you can just feel like it won’t let you do the thing you want to do. And it’s, it takes a long time to recognize that push and pull and kind of learn to, like, well, maybe that maybe the course is supposed to be something completely different than I thought it was gonna be. And, and that’s when you invite community in and you get co writers and you the process becomes about how do we make the song what it wants to become? Not? How do I look as cool as possible? How do I, you know, hold on to some sense of having control over the thing.

Alex Enfiedjian 37:32 That’s so huge. And I think just that little nugget of bringing other people into the process, obviously, inviting God into the process as a co labor with you. And it’s interesting that the art itself is kind of a co labor with you like that piece of art kind of has its own agenda that it wants to like, it’s got its own path that it’s gonna run, like with your book or with the song, we’ve all experienced that. But then like, bringing in the community piece as well, I think is is so huge. Man, I’d love to ask you in terms of like, creating versus editing, or creating versus refining. Do you see those things as separate? Or do they happen at the same time? Or do you just like, let yourself get all your words out? And then come back and tweak it? How does How do you see that?

Andrew Peterson 38:18 Ah, I think refining is the fun part. The creating is the real difficult part. I don’t co write very often, but my daughter is a songwriter, and I’m really really good songwriter, and she will still text me new songs. And I do the dad thing where I’m like, Oh, that’s amazing way to go. And it, you know is but then after the first couple of lessons, I’ll be like, do you want feedback? And she’s always like, yes, hit me hit me Give me more. And and I love that feeling that kind of like rephrasing things and making it so that the the idea of the song is cohesive, like that kind of stuff is I geek out. It’s like a crossword puzzle, almost like, I like moving the stuff around. So the refining is my favorite part. It’s starting with nothing. And right getting the first draft done that is really, really difficult. They to me feel very different. Yeah. And so having verse chorus, verse chorus, bridge chorus, is the hard part and then playing it, you’re free your friend. And all of a sudden, the songs words are very apparent. But you’ve got the hard work done, you know, now you you tweak these ideas. I always say that, like that first performance of a song is like taking your mom to your favorite movie, and that’s when you realize how much bad cussing there is in it, you know? Yeah. Oh, man. No, I forgot I didn’t really realize how bad this was. Um, and so that that’s a crucial part of the process is like, share it with somebody and then all of a sudden, you’re exposed and you got to tweak but the tweaking like I said is the real fun part. You can also over tweak, you can also

Alex Enfiedjian 39:49 how do you know that? That was one of the questions How do you know when a work of art is done? Like how do you know that this is what it was supposed to be? How do you not over tweak?

Andrew Peterson 39:59 I don’t No, that is that is the question of the ages you just don’t know. I like for there to be there needs to be some humanity in the song. When I think of over tweaking, I think of removing every every little odd angle, you know, that’s on the thing until what you have is this smooth and perfectly round, perfectly autotuned perfectly structured thing that is so slick that it isn’t even human anymore. kills me. And it makes me think of rich Mullins who I was a huge am a huge rich Mullins fan. One of his bandmates told me one time that uh, you know, the hammer dulcimer. He’s got a million strings on it hard to tune and they were in batch. They were in the studio, Michael, this friend of mine was tuning the dulcimer it took him like an hour, just meticulously tuning that all summer to get it ready for the studio and rich walked by and saw I mean, it was like, Oh, thanks for tuning that. Make sure you bang on it a bunch to get it out of tune before we record it. Or it won’t sound like a dulcimer Wow, isn’t that great. And it’s, it’s like if it’s so perfect that it can lose its character. And I think that that’s an analogy for sometimes what we do with songs like there. Somebody said one time that like, the better a person’s voice is the harder they are to believe. But when you think about Tom Waits, or the singers who have this, like little bit of like, cool, pitching us or their humanity is in there, you know, that’s not a hard and fast rule. But the heart behind it is that like, we have been given these tools, thanks to the digital age, which are really helpful, but they also can suck the life out of things, you know, yeah. They allow us to just kind of like refine, refine, refine. And that’s why people still love hearing folk music and live music is because we need wrong notes. We need a little bit of pitching us to remind ourselves that we’re human.

Alex Enfiedjian 41:48 Yeah, it’s not just all digital robots created by computers. Like it’s just, it’s like, there’s no soul. I have ever seen a sticker that says Like, drum machines have no soul, you know, which is all of our music nowadays. You know, even worship music, it’s all to the grid. autotuned even my churches livestream like I like it, because it’s like it tightens it up. But it we started adding a little bit of auto tune, just, you know, tighten up the vocals a little bit, but it’s like, you’re right, then there’s at least in the room, it’s not you know, at least in the rain, you get the real gritty, like human experience. But

Andrew Peterson 42:19 that said, thank the Lord for auto 10. Yeah. So, you know, there’s like things about it. I’m like, oh, man, I’m so glad we were able to fix that little thing. Yeah, I don’t have to go redo the whole take, right? Yeah, yeah. So I don’t want to I don’t want to sound like a Luddite. But at the same time, I think that we just have to find the balance between being human and excellence. Like if I can get both of them together. That’s, that’s where the real magic sauce is. And you know, I think I like not to keep harping on it. But one of my favorite rich Mullins album titles is winds of heaven stuff of earth. And like, both of those are phrases from two different songs. But I feel like that conveys what I loved about him was that he had this ability to write with this lofty prose, not lofty prose, lofty poetry, but also very grounded and earthy. So he would have these big, beautiful Old Testament sounding lines, along with lines about Kansas and motorcycles that mash up of humanity and glory, which is the incarnation of Jesus, right? Like Jesus is fully human and fully God. And so in our songs, like if we can do that if we can find a way to get to this, like breathtaking beauty that is also very earthy and grounded in like, in like the kind of and I don’t want to say imperfection, but in the humaneness of Yeah, of what our lives are, like with the mess, the grime and the glory. There’s something there, you know, that a lot of our modern songs are missing.

Alex Enfiedjian 43:45 Yeah, yeah, the realness and of reality that we all experience. It’s like, we’ve even lyrically, we’ve polished, it’s just all christianese you know, half the songs are just like Christians don’t really, it doesn’t really say anything. Like, where Earth meets Heaven, you know, like, it’s like, no, what does it look like when it’s this? And the podcast listeners, like I can’t see your hands, Alex. But like, what does it look like when it’s Earth kisses heaven? And like, what is that feel like? And what do we say? And how do we experience that instead of just like, I have my nice little grid of Christian lyrics that I put into a box, and I put this guitar effect on the guitar. And it’s just like, it’s so

Andrew Peterson 44:24 it’s so easy, we have that we have that little arsenal of like you say, christianese in it, we need a rhyme. And so we sacrifice the integrity of the line or the integrity of what we’re saying, in order to make the line land. And I just like, like, to me, it’s not that, you know, songs are necessarily bad. I just get a sense of laziness. And I don’t mean to sound snooty when I say that, but just, you know, I’ll be in church and it’ll be some new song and I’ll be like, man, all you had to do was work. 10 more minutes on that phrase. Yeah. Or you know how I’ve studied James Taylor and Paul Simon, and the hymn writers and the great poets, people who like words or their currency, you know what I mean? Like, care about words, care about how you say things and like, like how much meaning is packed into these little phrases. And there’s more to it than just goosebumps and sounding like everything else. Like if like, the long game is about caring about those things deeply. And so that it gives you this extra nudge to stay up 30 more minutes that night, to really find the right answer to the question that the song is asking, you know,

Alex Enfiedjian 45:32 yeah, I would love to ask you words, he said words, right? Words matter, whether we’re preaching, whether we’re writing, whether we’re communicating to our team, whether we are writing a song, and you know, you’ve written a lot of books, and you’ve studied until your friend told you to stop studying, you study how to write. And I’m going to make an observation. And then I’d love some additional thoughts from you. But well, let me ask you a question. The question is, what are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned about creating with words using words? Let me let me make one observation that I see in your books and in your songs, and especially is he worthy? I noticed you open a question loop, you create a mystery that the listener wants to resolve, and they’re waiting for the answer. For example, is he worthy? Is he worthy he is or in the wingfeather Saga? You You build all these unanswered questions into the chapters. And then the listener wants to keep or the reader wants to keep reading because it’s like, I have to close the loop. So that’s one writing technique that I see you utilizing just brilliantly. But what are some other things you’ve learned about using words? Well,

Andrew Peterson 46:43 well, thank you, I appreciate that. It’s very kind of you. To me, it’s about narrative, when I moved to Nashville back in the late 90s, you know, it was before the worship, movement. And so back then, you know, the songs that were on Christian radio, were more like singer songwriter type songs. And then I don’t know exactly how it all happened. But suddenly, there was this big worship explosion. And one of the interesting things about it, is that, not all the time, but much of the time, we also lost narrative, we lost this, the fact that a song has an arc that it follows. And, you know, we kind of come out of the gate with a catchy hook and catchy chorus, and whatever, and there’s no real progression, thought that the song leads you through. And, you know, that’s kind of just a preference thing, I just, those are the kinds of songs that I like, you know, I like feeling like I went on a little journey and three minutes. You know, I’ve had some songs on the radio, but my music didn’t translate terribly well, for Christian radio, as it would it became. And I’ve, you know, found out later that the, the way they choose a lot of the songs to get played on Christian radio is testing. And so they get a bunch of their target audience in a room, and you literally listen to a five second section of a song. And that’s how that how much they have to vote on whether or not they would change the channel or stay on the channel. Which means that there is no narrative, there is no possibility that you can develop an idea musically, that you could start really small and, and the song grows and becomes something else by the end, like you can’t, that’s gone, you know, on the radio. And again, there are definitely exceptions. And I’m not bashing radio, they’re they’re doing what they can do. But I think that’s, that’s part of it is like I’m fascinated by from a songwriting standpoint, how so few words can convey an idea and have you crying on on the interstate? in three minutes, right? It’s fascinating to me, and poetry is even harder poetry even, you’re even more naked, you’re stripped down to just words, you don’t even have like the the advantage of a modulation, you know, to really bring home an idea. You’ve just got words, and so fascinated by the fact that words have this life changing power built into them. And so I don’t know really how to answer the question except to say that like, if you as a songwriter, even if you’re writing worship songs, or children’s worship, songs, whatever, like it can only help you to become a student of words like, like, take seriously your craft enough to actually figure out what poetry really is, you know what I mean? If you if you go to an art museum, and there’s the painting that you hate, maybe you’re the one with the problem, right? Maybe you’re the one who needs to humble yourself enough to go, what is it that this painting is saying and he was dropped as the docent explains it to the group, you know, and then you can look at it again and see something better in your grant and grow. So I would just encourage the people out there who are songwriting or whatever craft you’re involved in, take it seriously enough to actually like, become a student, like pick somebody who’s really well known and really well respected that you don’t like and spend a week trying to figure out why they’re a big deal, you know? Yeah. So you kind of got to do your homework and become a student of the thing like I missed it. Find sometimes that some songwriters don’t delight in words. I could probably ask you this. I remember in eighth grade, my English teacher wrote the word edify on the chalkboard and she said, This is my favorite word. edify. What are your favorite words? And so the class was all like, Oh, wow. So we started thinking about it. And for a long time, edify was my go to because I just love the sound of it. I love means, but then Confluence has overtaken edify. I love the word Confluence. For when two rivers come together, there is a ring to it, Annie Dillard said that Sycamore was the most pleasing word. And in the English language, so like delighting in the actual sound of the word and the rhythm of it, you know, then you get into like, when you’re writing your songs, you’ve got more tools in the toolbox to kind of let go, you know, words have power that you don’t really realize there’s more underneath the ground than then we give it credit for sometimes. Hmm,

Alex Enfiedjian 50:58 I’m very glad you didn’t ask me what my favorite word was? Because I was like, What is my favorite word? I don’t know. Peterson Peterson. I hope you’ll think about it this week, though. Seriously, I will. I will. I will take you up on that. I’m gonna write it down on my to do list right here. Okay, so just two more questions. You know, criticism, obviously, is a big part of being creative. You have to put your work out there, like you said, and people misunderstand you. I’m sure people have misunderstood the wingfeather Saga. I think you even wrote a little part in the front, like, hey, parents, like you might think these books are a little bit dark or disturbing. But here’s why I’m doing it. I’m sure you’ve gotten criticisms and misunderstandings about different things you put out there. How do you handle criticism? And how do you let it inform the future of your creativity?

Andrew Peterson 51:47 I think one of the best defenses against criticism is community is having the voices that are out there that are bashing you or, you know, I’ve had a little bit of that the internet has created this environment where we can be meaner than we really are. And it’s hard. But there have been risks that I’ve taken where I’ve been like, okay, here’s a song that I’m pretty sure people are gonna get mad about. I vet those things pretty seriously with people that I love and respect. And make sure sure sure that I’ve thought through the process, right? That I’ve thought through everything, so that I know that even if I do get criticized, I can sleep at night, knowing that I checked with my community and made sure that this is true from a gospel standpoint. And so and yeah, it’s gonna happen, you will survive it. And also, sometimes they’re right. There’s this funny when I was young, I was in college, I did a concert in outside of Orlando. And I remember, I got a letter in the mail from that church about a week later. And I was so excited. I was like, Did I just get my first fan mail? And I opened it up. And it was from this old lady in the church who just laid into me, told me everything I did wrong, everything I said wrong. But she said things like, you know, you weren’t well dressed. You rambled too much. You didn’t respect our time, because you went 30 minutes long. She just kind of went for it. And I called the pastor, I was like, I was like, I just got this mean letter. And he was like, was it from so and so? And I was like, Yes, he was like, Oh, don’t worry about her, I get those letters on. And so I kind of put it away. And I was doing a talk at a some event. And I was like, You know what, that might be a funny icebreaker. I’m going to get that letter out and read it as a joke. And I dug it out and read it. And I agreed with everything. She said, Wow. I was like, Oh, my goodness. Like she was absolutely right. I absolutely rambled. I didn’t present myself. Well, I did well. So I was kind of like, it was easy for me at the time to blow it off. But I needed to hear it. She didn’t say it in the nicest way she could have. But the point is like criticism, sometimes it’s like exactly what you need, you know. So I don’t know, but communities the real answer to that. The other thing I was gonna say was Flannery O’Connor, who? This great American author who was a Christian Herbes stories are super difficult, like really hard to understand. You know, I’m a fan and I still don’t know what to make of some of her stories. She was a Christian. That’s like me with the Bible. Yeah. Yeah, totally. And and so there was this weird sense that she talked about how, how willing she was to be misunderstood. She was like I am, God is the one that I’m trying to, to write for. And I’m putting these things out into the world with the hope that the Holy Spirit is going to use these things, to do his work. And apart from my obedience, and me working as hard as I can to make the thing as good as I can. At that point. It’s not in my business, like it goes out into the world. And then it’s God’s business, what he does with it, and she had a pretty extreme version of that, but I think a little bit of that is just kind of one of the best things we can do. We write the song, plant the seed, what is it the ball watered the seed, we’d gotten rid of that whole thing. So I think that like, if we are sure that in the confines of our church and our community that what we’re saying is what we mean to be saying that criticism just kind of becomes a non issue.

Alex Enfiedjian 55:14 That’s so good. That’s so good. All right. So here’s my last question for you, Mr. Peterson. I’d love for you to give like an encouragement to the worship leaders and the pastors listening. How would you like to see the church be more creative? How would you like to see the church be more creative? Now? before you answer it, I want you to tell our listeners where they can connect with you online, tell them about where they can get adorning the dark, tell them about the rabbit room, you know, where they can follow you on social whatever you want to say there. And then we’ll get back to that question. See, I’m pulling in Andrew Peterson right here I they want they want the answer. So they’re gonna have to Yeah,

Andrew Peterson 55:50 nice. also giving me time to sort out how to answer that hard question. I would say So Andrew dash Peterson comm if you leave the dash out, it will send you to the Andrew Peterson who is a thriller novelist. So unless you’re into that, don’t go there. So Andrew dash Peterson, you can just google me. And then the rabbit room rabbit room calm, which is a ministry I’m a part of that is kind of supports the arts and is a celebration of the way God speaks through story art and music. A lot of really cool stuff there. We publish books and, and have conferences and that kind of stuff. And I love what their room is doing. And then you can get to there from my website, too. And then the wingfeather Saga comm or my website? Yeah, that’ll get you there. And same thing with adorning the dark, like, it’s all Google will.

Alex Enfiedjian 56:38 Awesome. Yeah. And I’ll put links in the show notes for everything. So first of all, before you answer, Andrew, I just want to thank you personally, for your faithfulness to pursue creativity with a gospel centered heart, because it has impacted my life. It’s impacted my children’s lives. It’s become a central part of our life, the characters in your book, and I just thank you for that. So thank you for being faithful, and for creating well, and and thank you for this conversation. So now, how would you like to see churches be more creative?

Andrew Peterson 57:08 Well, thank you, Alex. I’ll answer with a story. My son, the same one we were talking about earlier, who’s an art student, when he was about 15 years old, we go to this little Anglican Church here in town. It was Trinity Sunday. And the pastor asked Aiden, without even checking with me, he just went straight to the source and said, Hey, can I commissioned you to paint the Trinity for Trinity Sunday, which was like a month later, like, so think about that for a second. Imagine trying to paint the Trinity painting concept that none of us can understand. And so, Aiden, my son, spent the next month like researching ancient art and iconography and all this kind of stuff to try to, like, get his head around the Trinity, read the Bible, a ton, studied it. And then, you know, spent a long time painting this amazing painting, that Aiden framed himself at 15, you know, and showed up that Sunday, gave it to the pastor and he had an easel set up next to the door. So everybody who filed into the church looked at the painting, and UHD and odd and I was the dad, like, so proud of my son, you know, but then the pastor gets up, and he puts the easel next to the pulpit. And he preaches the whole sermon, and he’s referencing the images. And then he takes the painting down, and he gave it to the front row and said, pass this around while I’m talking. And so I sat there in the back weeping. A because I was so proud of my son, and the good work that he did. But be because I can’t even imagine what a profound difference it would have made in my life as a 15 year old kid, if the church had looked at me and said, hey, there’s a seat at the table for you. There is a way for you to serve and to use your gifts here. And we want to celebrate those things. I can’t tell you how much time and pain it would have saved me. Because it was part of the reason the rabbit room exists is because I have this real heart for people who are kind of creating an isolation or who are beset by voices that are telling them they stink or that they’re nobody wants to know what they have to hear what they have to say. But like the kingdom is all about this wedding feast where God says pull up a chair, you are invited to this feast. And so finding a way for the people in your congregation and their diversity of gifts to demonstrate to them that they are seen, and that they are valued. And that there there is a seat for them, is I see all these beautiful signs of that in the church. This is not a gripe. This is me saying that I see that happen. And I get really excited about it. That’s what I would say, the more you can push back in this idea that creativity is limited to the arts, the better, like creativity is cooking and architecture and you know running a business and hospitality all kinds of things that all those things are creative pursuits, and the arts only make up a small piece of that pie. And so just like ennobling, the good work that everybody can do. One of the calls of the church.

Alex Enfiedjian 1:00:01 Yeah, thank you, Andrew for just so much wisdom, so much gold. I’ve been helped and encouraged by this conversation I know our listeners have. So thank you for making the time. I know you’re a busy man. And you’ve got some walls to stack I’m sure. Thank you so much. And it’s great to talk to you. Yeah, you too. Man. Do you feel so inspired to adorn the dark with your creativity with your truth filled creativity. I hope this episode was really helpful to you and encouraging to you if it was please help us by forwarding it on to a friend just shoot them a text say, Hey, I really want you to listen to this and I want to know your thoughts. You can also tweet at me on twitter by tweeting at W mt podcast. And just let me know that you listened to it and that you liked it and let me know what you liked about it. Also, be sure to get the worship leader courses that we’ve created just for you. You can get all those courses at worship ministry training comm slash courses. And be sure to enter the promo code WM t podcast at checkout and it will get you 25% off the full bundle. You can also buy the courses individually. So you just scroll down to the FAQ section at the bottom of that page. And you can see the individual course prices there. And if you need a scholarship if you’re from a third world country or a developing country, India, Asia, Africa, Central America, those types of places. If your church can’t afford to buy this for you, please scroll down to the FAQ fill out the form and I would be glad to give you these courses so that you can serve your church well. Alright, that’s it for this month. I will see you next month for another helpful episode complex you guys