Tradition has to be something established and that continues, and that we can remember. What I’m trying to do with my music, even though I’ve borrowed from Southern Gospel or Gospel in chord forms, is to make sure that we’re comfortable enough and we have handles. And we know what we’re getting into but at the same time bringing something that is current and maybe even outside of our Christian music traditions.
Learn what you can from others, but most importantly learn to “be yourself.” God will never anoint who you want to be, He anoints who you are. You may not be the most talented, the most handsome or beautiful person, but God has chosen you to lead your congregation into His presence and you cannot do that by trying to be someone else. Be authentic and God will make a way for you.
The music for the church that moves me the most, personally, is music that comes out of musical community. Songs that come out of groups who are living and loving and learning together seem to have a particular potency—whether that’s two or two hundred people. So my advice would be, find your muses and your mentors and write about the things that are touching your lives.