What you make matters. No matter what that thing is, your work is essential. Here’s why I think that:
This Summer will mark my 20th year as a professional artist. While my first album was released in 1998, the process really started a year before that when my landlord told me that what I made mattered.
My first thought when he said that: “It does? Really?”
My landlord was a man named Frank Tate, who owned 5 Minute Walk Records at the time. He told me he had grown tired of the popular expressions that dominated the religious landscape and felt like I could make something that connected with the folks left feeling disconnected… folks like him.
Fast forward to 2017. Poll after poll retells a story about the decline in church attendance and the lack of participation in traditional, religious settings. “Religion in America is dying!” They say.
But I don’t buy it.
I don’t think religion or the practice of faith is dying in America. I think the metrics we’ve used are insufficient for tracking the movement of God among us; particularly the movement of God in/through you.
Which is why I I want to pass on to you the gift Frank Tate gave to me: I want you to know that what you make matters.
While cultural prognosticators look for signs about what movement or program is “next,” I’m betting those signs are showing up on your dining room table, on your Facebook wall and your Instagram feed. I think they’re showing up in your songs and poems and meals and the conversations between you and your neighbor. In short: I think *you* are what comes next.
What you make matters. I think the work you make is uniquely postured and positioned to connect with the people you’ve been given to; to provide a sense of place and family, wholeness and holiness, meaning and purpose.
Later this month, I’ll be unlocking an online course designed to help you discover and execute your creative process. Just like I’m using the @ Sea podcast to highlight the works of great culture makers, I designed the online course to highlight the essential work you are doing…
The household you run,
the poems you write,
the book you’re working on,
the neighborhood you cultivate,
the company you help elevate,
the songs you compose,
20 years ago, a dear friend sat me down to tell me what I made mattered. I want to pass that on to you.