Brett Rush Interview
I can remember as a young
homiletics student a former professor of mine, Vern Hannah, talking about
some legendary preacher from days of yore who said, 'First you tell 'em
what you tell 'em, then you tell 'em what you told them and then you tell
'em what you are going to tell 'em'. Pastor Brett Rush from Shiloh Tabernacle
located in Quarryville Pennsylvania must have heard something similar because
recently he confided in me, "It (songwriting) has given me the opportunity
to capture some of the (bigger) themes of God's Word. If I capture them
in a song I can in essence preach them over and over again. People can
take them home and play them in their car. A lot of my songs come to me
when I am preparing a sermon. Later that week I will try and make it into
Rush said the key to reaching
out to others is in lifting the lessons of the Bible out of the text, making
them real to the individual and demonstrating applications to life situations.
In speaking about his song
"Talk To Me" Rush said, "When people hear "Talk To Me" I hope people understand
Christians need to learn how to listen and care. We are so quick to think
that we have the answers. We never take the time to listen. We assume others
know where they ought to be because of decisions that they made or the
circumstances that they find themselves in. My hope is that people who
are hurting will hear the song and know that there is someone out there
who wants to take the time to listen. At the same time (I hope) the song
will propel others to want to be somebody who will take the time to listen."
"When someone is feeling
hopeless and in despair I am not going to pound the word of God over their
heads. What I want to try and do is build a relationship with them that
will last. Hopefully through my lifestyle and God in my life they will
begin to see how the promises of God are real and true," he said.
"Come Home" the number nine
track on the CD is a song that draws its inspiration from the parable of
the Prodigal Son. It is a song that Rush believes everyone will find meaning
Now in his eighth year as
pastor of Shiloh Tabernacle, Rush's ministry was re-energized earlier this
year when he took part in a mission trip to Kenya. The trip came under
the umbrella of Intercontinental Christian Ministries (ICCM), a work that
Shiloh Tabernacle has helped sponsor for several years.
Rush said, "I led worship
and preached in all the crusades. We saw many people come to Christ. I
have never experienced the presence of God like I did (in Kenya). In Kenya
(the people live in) utter despair. The poverty is unbelievable. I think
they said the average Kenyan makes two to three dollars a day. When they
find Jesus they find meaning in life. (By comparison) I don't think we
(in the United States) know what it means to trust God."
He says he had one experience
that struck him as funny. "I worked really hard to memorize John 3:16 in
Swahili. (When I spoke) everybody just paused and stared at me for a second
and then the interpreter translated it into English," says Rush.
"I got a renewed passion
for not only ministry but for God himself. Just to see the absolute trust
these people have in God really spoke to me," he said.
ICCM operated three medical
clinics and a dental clinic while Rush was in Kenya. In addition to the
crusades, ICCM also is involved in planting new churches.
Our conversation drifted
back to the CD Invitation, ""Face To Face" is a song I wrote two days after
one of my best friends had passed away. He was forty years old and the
lead guitarist in our praise and worship band at church. He was a healthy
guy and there (didn't appear to be) anything wrong with him." His friend
died at work and eventually the cause of death was linked to an undetected
Rush gives a lot of the
credit for the way his CD turned out to producer Eric Copeland. Of the
first twenty songs he presented to Copeland he said the producer only initially
agreed to record two. Rush said he remembered thinking, "You have to be
kidding me. Eventually we did use more of those songs but that was a wake
up call for me. He really encouraged me to work hard and I believe that
is why I am at this point." The two of them collaborated on several of
the songs including "Everyday You" and "Come Home."
For his part, Copeland said,
"It can be a treat or a nightmare to try and develop a songwriter. Sometimes
they can get deeply offended by a small suggestion to change a word, or
an idea and restructure the song so that it makes sense to the listener.
Brett valiantly went along with my ideas even though it meant sending him
home to Pennsylvania (from Nashville) with only two of his songs approved."
"Everyday You" was a song
that Rush and Copeland collaborated on. Copeland said, "In the case of
"Everyday You" he (Rush) had a great idea and a worthy hook but there wasn't
much structure. We had to shape it into something. As it turns out, it
is the first single (that was) released from the CD." The song was picked
up by the American Family Radio network.
Although Rush's musical
endeavors are in their infancy, the album Invitation includes some great
songs such as "Wash Me Away." The song is lifted by some great strings
arrangements. Copeland noted, "It is like Dorothy opening the door to Oz
when the strings get bigger and the mix widens."
Rush said, "I am excited
about the doors God is opening."
By Joe Montague, exclusive
Joe Montague is an internationally
published journalist / photographer. His ministry is dedicated to the memory
of his late son Kent David Montague who went to heaven at the age of 18.
All copyright and distribution rights remain the property of Joe Montague.