Recently, I was privileged to be one of the judges for Waves of Glory, Wet ‘n Wild’s Battle of the Christian Bands. I LOVE this event because it gives local, unsigned Christian artists the opportunity to perform at a major theme park.

Even before the winner was named (Congratulations – Alma Vertical!), the judges and organizers were discussing how to make next year’s contest even better. We talked about changing the scoring sheet to include, among other things, how the music made us feel. What was its IMPACT?

As a songwriter, I am constantly critiquing my own songs. In addition to the usual checklist, everything from alliteration to song structure, I’ve added some basic, yet revealing questions:

Do I like this song?”

“Do I enjoy singing this song?”

“Does this song move me?

Chances are, if I don’t like singing my song, my listeners won’t enjoy hearing it either.

Now, we know nothing is impossible with God. If He can speak through a donkey, He can minister through a dull song and an uninspired singer.  Yet, what a joy it is to be in tune with the Spirit and to have a song minister to you and through you!

I’ve experienced that difference, both as an artist and as a member of the audience. If the listener is going to be moved by the song, the song needs to move the singer—to have a deep impact in the heart.

Bear with me as I attempt an analogy from science (those who know me, know this is a stretch). As I recall, molecules stay relatively still when they are cold; turn up the heat, and they start moving and bumping into one another. Seems to me, this is how God works through us. He ignites us with a passion that burns deep inside our hearts and moves us to action. As we share our passion, whether through a song or an act of service, others are moved and stirred to action. The chain reaction may be small, our families or communities, or it could be huge, shaking our nation, or changing the world.

What impact will your songs and your ministry have? God knows and time will tell. What you can do is pray. Pray to be a co-creator with God, for His Word to flow through you with passion and power, for songs that will burn in your heart and touch those around you.

And remember, if you want your songs to change the world, they have to change you first.