The Nashville Project


I mentioned in a previous post about an important trip I was going to take, and I promised to tell you more about it later.  Well, here it is.

On November 11th, I will be packing my bags and heading to Nashville, Tennessee for the next eight days to work with a very talented producer and record a 5-song worship album.

It will be 5 of my original songs (or possibly 4 of my originals and 1 original arrangement of a classic hymn), and I am writing the songs with the intention of having them be corporate worship songs that would be sung during a church service.

This is something I have been wanting to do for quite a long time, and I am so excited and so honored to have the opportunity.

And, as always with a project like this, I also have a lot of fears.

I don’t know if you have the same feelings as me, but it seems that it is often in areas where I know I have been given the most gifts, and in the things that I should be the most confident about that I feel the most insecurity and the most passivity.  For instance, I have been involved in music for literally my entire life.  I grew up with two parents who were part of a bluegrass band.  They got me in front of people singing when I was very young.  I have been leading worship for close to 15 years and I have been writing songs for close to 10 years.  These things should be easy for me now, but sitting down to write 5 worship songs is, for some reason, very scary to me.  So scary that I often avoid doing it.

My ultimate vision in The Nashville Project is to use this high-quality record to sort of “sell” myself as a worship leader to churches/schools/whatever in my surrounding area.  I would love to be brought into each of those communities for a one-night worship celebration where I can then speak on issues of sex trafficking and other world poverty (both of which I am very passionate about ending).  In this way, I can raise more awareness and more funds for those issues than I could if I just stayed in the circles of which I am currently a part.

I also hope to use the sales from the album itself as a way to raise funds for those issues that I am passionate about.  And that brings up another topic that is frightening for me – money.  Money itself doesn’t frighten me, of course.  But the thought of fundraising and then spending such a large chunk of change on something like this ($5,000 to be exact) is extremely hard for me to do.

I look at $5,000 and see how far it could go in terms of rescuing more girls or feeding more starving babies, and to spend that money on a 5-song album seems silly, to say the least. I have always thought, “If I’m going to ask all of my friends to contribute money for something, why wouldn’t I ask them to give a gift to International Crisis Aid or to sponsor a child through one of the many sponsorship organizations or to give it to some other cause?”

Then I had a conversation with a friend of mine, who pointed out that yes, I could raise $5,000 from all of my friends and send it away to help other people. But if that $5,000 is what it takes to make a quality product which can then be used to build a platform to someday raise twice or triple or even MORE of that amount, maybe the investment is worth it.  I checked that logic with some wise people in my life and with the Lord, and it seemed to make sense.

{I have to say, though, even in writing all of that, I feel a tiny itch in me to call off the entire project, because it is just SO MUCH money.  But so far, I have gotten only green lights to keep moving forward, and I am trying my best to trust in that.}

Then there are fears and insecurities like, will my producer think I’m talented?  Or am I the only one who like the songs I write?  Or even, will my voice be able to withstand 8 days of intense usage?

While expressing all of these concerns to a friend recently, she told me:

The dogs of doom stand at the doorway of destiny.

In other words, when you go the direction you are called to go, there will probably be lots of opposition, lots of fears, lots of dread.  But you have to walk through all of that to get to where you need to be and fulfill the plan that has been laid out for you.

So that is exactly what I am going to do.

There is (as you can see) a lot that goes into a project like this – a lot of thought, energy, mindspace, fear, excitement, processing, joy, anticipation, hard work, and I have been feeling pretty desperate for Jesus during this time.  I wanted to let you all know about this project, but I also wanted to ask a favor from you.  It sounds trivial and cliche, but…

…please pray for me.

In order for this fundraising, this trip, and this project to be successful, I need other people surrounding and supporting me.  I believe very strongly in prayer and that when we pray, things happen that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.  I believe there is a lot of power in groups of people gathering together to pray over a certain idea, and I want to tap into that power.

So, how can you pray?  Here it is:
For good inspiration to write these songs.
For courage.
For a spirit of unity between myself and the producer.
For peace.
For the fundraising.
For success in my dream for this project.
For the Lord to use me as a tool “to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners…to comfort all who mourn…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” (Isaiah 61)

Thanks for listening.  And thank you for praying.  I so appreciate you all.

~Anna Joy


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