Interviewed by Lay Leng (LL)
In commemoration of the 7th anniversary of Archippus Awakening, Pastor Susheel John (SJ) has composed a song! I caught up with him to find out more the story behind the song.
LL: You have written a song for the 7th anniversary of Archippus Awakening! Many have expressed that the song has touched their heart. For Archippuses, the lyrics are especially significant.
SJ: I am glad to hear this and realise that it is the grace of our Lord that has done it.
LL: How did you first receive the idea to write a song?
SJ: Song writing is not something new for me as I’ve written a few over the years. But I had not done so for the last decade or so. I guess you could say I’ve been occupied with my assignments. From early on in my involvement with Archippus Awakening, I had wanted to write songs about things Archippian but didn’t have any inspiration to do so. Nothing really “clicked” as far as song writing was concerned. Of course, perhaps part of me was also thinking it would have to be a really good one because Henson is no slouch when it comes to music and song writing. But no pressure! In any case, I didn’t really follow up on the composing thread since my pastoring and MAP assignments are sufficient to fill up my time. However, when the idea for the 7th anniversary celebration first came about and I was asked to take care of the worship segment, this idea to write a song to commemorate the occasion just came and it didn’t go away. So I decided not to put off that “prompting” and got down to writing.
LL: Which part of composing the song was most enjoyable and which part most challenging?
SJ: This is an interesting question. When I write songs, I work on the melody and the lyrics at the same time. I wrote “Awakening Your People” in two sittings. I knew what I was going to write about at the first sitting and wrote out the first verse and chorus then. The challenge was then to really make myself sit down and finish the song. That was the first challenge – overcoming the momentum of the routine. I think the second challenge was to stay the course! I had considered not using the song at the anniversary celebration because of all the possible “what if” scenarios. Of course, there are other challenges with writing songs – figuring out the melody, rhyming words etc but I think those two were the most challenging ones. I should also mention that recording and producing the worship segment video was not a smooth process. Unreadable and or corrupted video and audio files caused hiccups in the process but the Lord brought us through it all. Many thanks to Christina, Evelyn, Faith and Elaine for their help in the recording. As for the most enjoyable part of the process, well, all of it is generally enjoyable. The creative process is fulfilling especially when the Holy Spirit is involved. Personally, though, the most enjoyable and humbling part was hearing others sing it. It is only by Christ’s grace.
LL: How do you hope for the song to be blessing?
SJ: My prayer is that the Holy Spirit would use this song as a prompter for those who have not heard the Archippus Awakening message. May they develop hunger pangs for more of their King. And for Archippuses, I pray the song will help them remember to align with the four traits of Archippus and to journey with kindred Archippian spirits. I discovered long ago how songs help us remember. Most of the scripture I know, I know because of the songs I learned growing up. What is preached for three hours can often be sung of in three minutes. So I hope the song helps us all to remember.
LL: Archippuses would most appreciate the words you have used in the song. Share your thoughts on the song lyrics.
SJ: Share my thoughts on the song lyrics… I thought I had shared my thoughts IN the song lyrics. HAHA! I didn’t get to see a lot of the comments at the anniversary celebration as I was using my iPad but I was encouraged by the ones I did see. So thank you if you did post a comment! The song is based on the four Archippian traits (Almost Anonymous, Aware but not Apathetic, Assignments not Activities, Anything but Aimless) and the call to “gladly join the ranks of others…” as stated in the Archippus Affirmation. Each of the three verses and the bridge focus on a trait. In some sense, the lyrics describe how I see Team Archippus. We are almost anonymous, ordinary people, breaking down denominational/institutional barriers for the sake of the Archippian cause. For me, this is probably the most enjoyable part of being in this team – as Henson might say, real “ekklesia”. We are aware of the kingdom’s advance and the state of the world but will not turn away in apathy. We have a renewed sense of purpose because we are on kingdom assignment which we are aiming to fulfil by grace. In doing all this, we are not going through life aimlessly. Finally, the song is written in the plural “we” because we are in this together! Archippus Awakening was started by one but now involves many! To God be the glory!
LL: Amen and Thank You Pastor Susheel.
AWAKENING YOUR PEOPLE
An army of ordinary people
Not looking for fortune or fame
Breaking down barriers
In coming together
One Spirit, one heart will prevail
The call has gone out for awakening Your people
To do all that You have assigned
In step with Your Spirit
Aligned with Your kingdom
For the name of Jesus Christ
We will arise
All around us Your kingdom is moving
To recover the hurting and lost
We will not turn away
As Your Word shows the way
And we willingly choose to obey
May we be anything but aimless
The upward call remains our goal
To hear You say, “Good and faithful servant,
Come now and rest within My fold”
May we gather with renewed kingdom purpose
Receiving Your love and Your grace
We will number our days
We have no time to waste
We’ve been purposed to finish the race
Words & Music by Susheel John
Listen to the song.