26: Go Backstage on Songwriting in Ministry with LT. Erin Wikle

What is it about music that connects to something deep within us? And how does someone who writes songs set out to share work that is so personal?

That’s what Lt. Erin Wikle is sharing on this episode of the Do Gooders Podcast. As a Salvation Army officer, or pastor, currently serving in Santa Monica, California, her ministry faces the effects of addiction, the reality of homelessness and more.

Yet she also gets to lead people in worship. 

As someone who first sang in a worship group at age 6, Wikle explores what draws her to music, shares her favorite piece of music—which might surprise you—and walks us through her own creative process to writing a song.

Her new song, “Wait For You Here,” is available wherever you download or stream music and all proceeds go directly to The Salvation Army.

As she will tell you—music can be used to help uplift, encourage, and articulate the human experience—if any songwriter or musician can compose to that end, ministry is taking place.

Show highlights include:

  • Why is Erin is a follower of Jesus? She can’t imagine getting through life without faith in Jesus.
  • Live missionally: What does the world need? Be super-intentional about your actions based on God’s priorities, not your own.
  • Erin got into full-time ministry by viewing it as a privilege to bring hope and healing to those in need.
  • What it’s like to lead people in worship, and why Erin enjoys it: Amazing to witness others experience and express freedom of being under the Holy Spirit.
  • What music inspires Erin? Singer-songwriter types that put poetic language to music.
  • Struggling and feeling overwhelmed, Erin wrote her new song, “Wait for You Here,” about the determination Christians need to not grow weary when waiting for the Lord.
  • Songwriting process: Creative outlet is unique and can happen at any time. Starts with pen and notebook, sitting down at the piano, authentic inspiration, combination of chords, and writing lyrics.
  • Coming full circle: Writing and singing songs isn’t trivial, but makes you vulnerable for the benefit of God’s glory and others. 

Good words from Lt. Erin Wikle in this show:

“We see depravity every day. We see the effects of behavioral health issues every day. We see the effects of drugs and alcohol on men and on women who just really can’t get out of the cycle of addiction.” 

“As I grew, I really began to understand the beauty and the importance of worship.” 

“I have a deep appreciation for musicians who are willing to be wholly who they are as artists without feeling the pressure to do mainstream music.”

“Anything that I’ve written for myself, I want it to mean something to someone, as well.”

Additional resources:

Download this episode wherever you get your podcasts. Find show notes for this episode and more at Connect with Lt. Erin Wikle via The Salvation Army Santa Monica Corps.

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