KOTM Christmas Series Song: You Are My Rescue
Right now we’re in big time Christmas mode, so I’m going to blog quickly about a Christmas project we just finished in KOTM. Kids on the Move revolves around series (I Love My Bible, I Belong to God, etc) - those series revolve around weekly big answers (“My eyes belong to God, Jesus Rescues Right Now) - and those big answers revolve around one central truth or verse. For the last 5 weeks we’ve been in a series leading up to Christmas called “To the Rescue.” Our mission is to teach kids that WHEN YOU NEED HELP, JESUS COMES TO THE RESCUE.
One of the greatest ways we can help kids remember these themes is through our songs. Earlier this year we decided to do our best to write and record a song for each series we teach. If you haven’t heard any of these songs yet, you can check out I Love My Bible, Jesus Is Alive Right Now, or By Faith. Our series ”To the Rescue” is no different. For this we challenged ourselves to write a killer worship song - that song is You Are My Rescue and you can download it here on Seeds. We’ve been working pretty hard to refine our songwriting process and I get asked about it a lot, so here is that process in a nutshell.
STEP 1 - GET THE WORD OUT
COTM is blessed to have several musicians and singers (staff members and volunteers) who love songwriting. Once our theme was nailed down, I sent an email to this list of people, sort of an open call for demos. I included the series info, what sort of feel we were looking for, and the demo deadline. Demos submitted could be super polished or as raw as iPhone recordings.
STEP 2 - LISTEN AND GET OPINIONS
Stephen Posey, Andrew Dale and I listened to the demos. For this project, three were submitted. Honestly, we could have recorded any one of them and had a solid song, but we’re not in this just for fun. We want to get it right. We listened to each tune many times. We got opinions from other folks around. We asked questions of each song like: “Is it catchy? “Is it enjoyable to listen to? Does it communicate the theme? Is it the right song for the series?” After much deliberation, we chose to take the best of two songs and mesh them together.
STEP 3 - LAY OUT THE MAP
This is something we learned early on: DON’T WASTE THE CHURCH’S MONEY. God blesses our diligence to protect the tithe. As much as we can, we go in the recording studio with not only a game plan, but even a demo of our own. Andrew Dale will often record our final version in Logic before we step into the studio. Sometimes we’ll even use guitar, drum, or keyboard tracks that he’s recorded on his laptop. This saves us TONS of time! (Check out I Love My Bible and listen to the drums. They’re straight from Andrew’s laptop.)
STEP 4 - APPOINT A PRODUCER
For us, songwriting is a group effort. We want the opinions, but in the studio, you need someone to make the final call. The producer needs to be someone who specifically knows the heart of the series, after all why are we recording the song? Often in the studio it will be myself, Andrew Dale, Kenneth Weston and our audio engineer. Andrew’s working on instrumentation and Kenneth’s chiming in on vocal parts. 9 times out of 10 everyone will be on the same page with where the song should go. For that rare 1 out of 10 times, the producer can step in, listen to the opinions, and make the call. Assign a producer at the beginning.
Let’s keep in mind, this four step process is not the Bible. You might hate working like this, but it worked for us on our last project. I’d love to hear about our songs being used in your kidmin services. If you’re using them, drop me a line on Twitter, by emailing me or just comment below.
I hope this helps.