Bruce Springsteen said that a song requires three things: a lyric, a melody and a 3rd element. “Unless you have that and touch that, you have not created something special, something real, something lasting.” (in a live interview with Elvis Costello on Spectacle April 2010).
Could it be that which scratches the surface of something anointed, something supernatural, something transformational? Every song writer I know would want to channel some of that.
Springsteen claims he has spent his entire life, as he puts it, “trying to write his way out” of the staunch religious worldview of his upbringing.
In some ways, I resonate with that. I’ve spent a good deal of my own time playing religious games. Religion is an addictive cyclical pursuit of human quest. I try to work harder to become a better person entirely through my own effort. And it leads nowhere.
Religion also robs me of creativity. I keep doing the same things I’ve always done. My “songs” all sound the same. My programs look like they did 10 years ago. What I write or think about has a familiar feel to it. Productivity wanes. Religion pickpockets that 3rd element from right under my nose.
How do you reverse the effects of religion? How do you get close to having a 3rd element in your life? What is it anyway?
Craig Groeschel said, “I believe that God makes “IT” happen. It is by Him and for Him, and we can’t create it, manufacture it, put it in the bottle and study it. Someone can bring it, and another could kill it. It’s not a system or a model. (speaking at the Leadership Summit 2008).
Don’t settle for fancy lyrics and sweet melodies…don’t go anywhere or do anything until that 3rd element is a part of the design.
Create some space for God to work that 3rd element magic in your Sunday school class or home group bible study or youth worship band practice. When He shows up everything changes.
Do you know someone who does this well? They appear unusually aware of God’s presence and confident in God’s ability to handle any setting. On top of that, they quite effortlessly recognize and facilitate for others powerful transformative moments.
Treat these people like gold; employ them, get coached by them, have them speak at your events, listen to them and learn.
What do you think? Tell us.