Excited about the third week of reviewing some awesome worship leaders Creative Process. You can catch up if you are behind (Jon Egan, Paul Baloche). Also, don’t forget, we are giving away Dre Beats. To enter you simply have to retweet this post or post in on your Facebook page. We will randomly select a winner at the end of the campaign.
Today we get to chat with Sarah Macintosh. Sarah is a prolific writer and worship leader. You can check out this video of her for some context:
Hope you enjoy!
1. What does your creative process look like?
- Like a clean mess. I take in hordes of info, reading , reading, reading, listening, watching listening some more and then I run or some other quiet activity and let my right brain gather everything together. Next is the sitting down and letting it all tumble back out. Sometimes I am holding a guitar and words and melodies fall out together, tripping on each other, while other times it is only words thrown across paper.
2. When you write worship songs do you identify a target audience or focus on theme?
- Being in contact with the church, speaking with, singing with, communing with allows me to hear her and identify what she would love or even needs to be singing. I listen and then I write. It is crazy how varied the types of people who make up the church are and yet her stories are all the same. We are broken, we are joyful, we are hungry, we are desperate for a revelation of our Savior who we yearn to worship. I try to write songs that answer those heart cries that I hear ringing out among those Christ seekers I am listening to.
3. Do you have a favorite place to write or create?
- Hmmmm, I have a spot in my house that has a chair in it where I read. The room has what I call my library in it of over 800 books. I like to take in words and ideas and thoughts and creativity and then sometimes I bring out my guitar and sit in that chair and start attaching melody to my own words and ideas and thoughts that come pouring back out. That’s one of my favorite spots to create.
4. What inspires you the most?
- Creativity. A fresh perspective. Honesty. Christ.
5. When you feel you have hit a creative block, how do you overcome that moment?
- I am a runner. I have run for the past 22 years, 5ks, 10ks, halfs and a full marathon, and have found that the most amazing things happen when I push past the point where I think I have nothing left in my legs or lungs or even mentally to give. I have taken this learning into the creative world I live in and know that to continue, to keep writing, even when much of what I feel I am writing is junk no one should ever hear, will eventually bring me down the creative homestretch. One foot in front of the other will always get you somewhere.
6. Do you prefer to create in community or on your own?
- In the past, I only knew creating on my own, but more recently I have found myself in clusters with other creatives and have been blown away with the things I have seen come out of it. I have also loved seeing growth I have seen in my own creativity as a result of it.
7. What is the hardest part of creating worship sets every week (or as often as you lead worship)?
- Most recently I have been traveling quite a bit, sometimes leading worship for churches that I am not familiar with. The hardest part in doing this is trying to make sure I am gathering songs together that are right for that group of people. I want to create a set of songs for worship that are what those people need to have come spilling out of their mouths in worship and it is sometimes harder when I don’t know those people. This leads me to asking lots of questions about the church and where they are at, what they are learning or going through as a body.
8. How do you balance original songs with songs that are leading the global church when you are creating a set?
- When you have people like Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown, John Mark McMillan, or Hillsong writing songs that are having such a huge impact on the global church then I think there is a reason why their songs should make up a majority of the worship set. God has done something awesome in the writing of those songs that is allowing worship to come naturally to the global church and that is something that I want to see more and more. As of right now my songs are new and people are being introduced to them so I take the task of their introduction very seriously. The original songs that I sing are always the last ones I choose in a set for worship. Sometimes I even wait till the moment I begin strumming my guitar in the set to decide which one it should be.
9. Who is the one writer you have not worked with that you would love to write a song with?
- King David. Ha! If only I could’ve dressed up as a sheep on some hillside nearby him while he wrote. Ahhh.