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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 a song."  
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 in. 
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 cardiac problem.
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 rights reserved

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. 


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