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Everything I Own – Making Artistry, Ministry, and Industry Play Nice Together

In a recent email I sent out to those on my email list, I talked about Centricity’s recent decision to release “Everything I Own” as a radio single. We are offering you the radio version for free and I thought for long-time fans it warranted a little explanation. So here’s the longer version of what I wrote in that email:

“Centricity Records has bravely decided to release “Everything I Own” as the next single to radio. I say brave because it’s not the typical kind of song you’d expect to hear on radio (both lyrically and musically). But it is a song that we feel says something important, so we’re opting for a single that has more heart than it does dance mix potential. 🙂

Centricity played the song for some of radio’s big decision makers who felt that most stations would not play the song on account of the lyric “demons of lust” being stronger language than their audiences are accustomed to.

I’ll be honest and admit to being frustrated and offended by this initially – how can I hope to minister and really get to the heart of matters if I have to be afraid of how Christian radio’s more timid listeners will react? It’s this kind of thing that I sometimes fear is hurting Christian music as I wonder if we are guilty of “tickling ears” as the bible warns against. Are we trying too hard to give listeners what they want instead of what they need? (This is especially relevant when you consider that lust and pornography are at the top of the list of issues plaguing our culture.)

But the story of the gospel is the story of God coming down, meeting us at our level. So after months of prayerful consideration, we all decided that the song’s message was important enough for us to be willing to meet radio listeners where they’re at and make a minor lyric change for the radio version. The song’s value goes far beyond one line, and if changing it helps get this song heard, than we decided it’s worth it. I take comfort in thinking that for those who might hear the song on the radio and go on to listen to the original album version, the original lyrics we changed will actually take on new emphasis!

In the end the changes felt less like compromise and more like sensitivity, and as weird as all of this could have been, the new lyric is quite lovely. We hope radio embraces it and that it is a blessing for those who hear the song and take it to heart.

With the new lyric we also gave the radio version a musical treatment that makes me wish we would have thought of it for the album version! My friend Matt Patrick added some gorgeous guitar work that really sweetened the track and we have ended up with something that we’re all really excited about. We hope you will be too!

We wanted to offer the song to you for free as our way of saying thank you for your support and friendship. It will be available as a free download for the remainder of April on my myspace page (click here, and then look for the song in the music player and click the download button.) If you like it, please share it with others. (NOTE: If you don’t do myspace, you can also download the song from here)

Thanks so much for your support! Consider this a little glimpse into the hard work of making artistry, ministry, and industry play nice together.


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