What’s like learning to ride a skateboard? Songwriting of course. Well, that was one of the pearls of wisdom from ace worship leader Brenton Brown (left) at Creation Fest this week in a worship workshop on writing songs for the Church.
Brenton – who has given us songs such as Lord Reign in Me, Come Now is the Time to Worship, Your Love is Amazing and a whole host of others – suggested that learning to write well was like becoming a good skateboarder: it took a lot of practice and you often got it wrong but persevering was worth it.
In just over an hour, sitting quietly with a guitar on his lap, he quoted a few experts – including Winnie the Pooh – but offered a lot of his own expertise including the truth that songwriters have barely 100 words to get across the point that preachers often expend thousands of words on. Therefore, he said, a great song should be a one-point sermon. Simple, but right on the button.
After the seminar I had the chance to sit down with Brenton and talk to him for a few minutes for a radio interview and he was such a gentleman. As a writer, it was a privilege to have heard such wisdom put so simply and with no pomposity. He readily admitted it was a thrill to hear congregations sing his songs but that the big rush was often just in the moment when a new song was finished and you knew, to stay with his original picture, that you’d worked out how to stay on the skateboard!
Creation Fest runs until Friday at the Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge. Entrance is free.