God Has Come Song Interview with John Pape

God Has Come Song Interview with John Pape

God Has Come song interview questions. Get to know about the song song by John Pape.

For those who haven’t heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in making music?

I was raised in the suburb of San Diego in the city of El Cajon.  Growing up my interest in music start early on. In elementary school a played violin in the school orchestra and sang in the glee club.  Although I did not continue with the violin, I did later in High School pick up the guitar.  It was a Christmas present.  It was probably prompted by my parents because while digging out a footing for a retaining wall being built, I would “air guitar” the shovel.  Also, I remember building a makeshift guitar out of an old wooden box, a board, screws and copper wire.  Perhaps that was the clue they needed.

Along with the guitar I also got 6 lessons.  I am dominate left-handed but the guitar is about the only thing I do right-handed. It was at that first lesson the teacher forced me to flip the guitar over. I learned a few basic things then after that I basically self-taught myself to play. 

One day at lunch at school, I met a someone who also played guitar and we struck up a friendship.  We would jam and improvise for hours.  Then another friend asked if we would like to play at a wedding.  We probably only knew 3-4 songs at the time. We said yes.  This was the start of the first band I was in.

I started songwriting in my early twenties and love the artform.  It provides an outlet to express thoughts and ideas.  My hope is that the songs I share will touch the listener in an emotional or impactful way.

 Tell us about your new song single ‘God Has Come‘ and what the inspiration behind it was?

Why I wrote God Has Come?

The premise behind the song is found in scripture.  Specifically, the bible verse Isaiah 12:2.  This single verse is packed with God’s love.  First off God is the source of salvation.  We all have this in common, there are times in life where we need to be saved. 

These could be dark and lonely times.  It could be moments of distress and anxiety   However, to acknowledge God is my salvation leads to the behavior of trust and peace.  Afterall, peace is the opposite of being afraid.  Some translation end with the word “victory”.  And that is what Christians get when putting their entire trust in Him.

My hope is that this song will encourage Christians that God is our salvation especially when facing spiritual battles.

What inspired the song God Has Come?

The song God has Come is inspired by a verse in Isaiah 12:2

Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’

First off God seek our individuals in their time of need.  His timing is always prefect.  God brings salvation.  As a Christian the belief is that Jesus is Savior.  In some sense this verse is prophetic in nature regarding Jesus.  Jesus is God and he came in human form to bring salvation to the world.

As Christ followers one is the thing that needs to be done is to let the world know through Christ you have victory.  You have victory over death, sickness, oppression, addictions, and so many other things.  When we focus on God and his salvation it gives believers victory.

What message would you like people to take from the song God Has Come?

The message I would like to express with this song is one of salvation comes from God and we have victory. This comes from the perspective of my Christian lifestyle. Christianity is one to the most influenced who I am. Faith is not something to be placed under a bushel, it is something to be shared with other. In life there are times of joy and time of sorrow. There are difficult and stressful situation we all face.  In my songs the hope is to instill the abundant life though a relationship with Christ

How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?

There are several influences that has shaped my style of music.  In some ways it is eclectic.  My early influences were primarily shaped by my passion for the guitar.  The styles of music would include blues, rock, new-wave/punk.  Becoming a musician I’ve grown and expanded my styles.  As a songwriter the style would be more of singer/songwriter, folk and Contemporary Christian Music.  Growing as a Christian songwriter here are some of the people who influenced my style. Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Benton Brown, Sonic Flood and many other.

How would you define success in your career as an artist?

Success as a songwriter would be where the song serves the listener.  When it comes to praise and worship music an even greater success would be creating a song that build a better relationship with God.  In actuality in the end success would be to glorify God.

What does the next year hold for you?

I have several songs in the wings that are ready to be released.  My desire is to release a different song at least one a month for the next year.  I also want to continue writing more songs.

How did you get involved with making music?

When I first playing the guitar, I had a mentor that encouraged improvisation.  Improvisation stimulates creativity.  I lot of material can be created, some of it good, some not so good.  But gleaning motifs and sounds can be the genesis for a new song.   Really it about messing around until something sparks. 

Do you have any plans to release more music in the near future?

Yes, there are plans to release more music in the coming months.  My hope is to release a song every 4-5 weeks.

What first got you into music?

My first musical experience was playing the violin.  I was about 10-11 years old.  My parents took me to a concert and there was a violinist.  Apparently, I told my parents that I loved the sound and wanted to play the violin.  That got me into the elementary school orchestra.

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

Over the years I have done many genres of music.  There are actually 2 type of music I make currently. The first contemporary Christian Praise and Worship music. With this style I want to be a resource for the church.  I desire to create songs that help people connect with God.  In addition to Contemporary Christian Praise and Worship music I also compose corporate instrumental music. This is the kind of music that is used in television, film or advertising.

What is your creative process like?

As a writer, the creative process begins with an idea.  Usually, it is a word or phrase.  It could be inspired by verse in the Bible.  Then I compile a ton of ideas and thoughts that are related to the original idea.  Ideas then pop out as the process of taking the ideas and translating them into lyrics.  Then the lyrics are edited and refined though rewriting. 

As a musician, ideas are developed by messing around as I improvise melody ideas.  Again, these ideas then get sifted through and refined.  The melding of words and music is then worked out.  When it comes to the song, I do like to work within the framework of the standard song form. The songs are then recorded as a rough demo.  Then the work in the DAW is started.  I like to start with the foundation of bass and drums then build other instrument on that foundation.  Eventually a song is produced and recorded.

What is your definition of worship?

Worship is the act of giving devotion and honor to God. Worship includes all area of life for the Christian believer. It not just a song we sing.  It is found in our fellowship, Bible reading, and in prayer.  As the word say. Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord.

Describe what worship looks like and why it’s more than music.

Music is only a tool to help the Church communicate with God with the hope that the words reflect our devotion to Him.  But it not the only way to worship.  There are so many ways a person can worship God. There is worship found in being a servant.  It can be found in prayer time.  It can be found listening to the Word. 

Do you have a personal mission statement?

My mission is to glorify God in all that I do. To do that my actions and deeds need to edify, educate, entertain and encourage others.

Explain your call to ministry.

As believers have a call in their life.  To define my call would be to look at my life experiences both the good and the bad. Then I would look at the talents I possess.  These are given by God to glorify Him. Next, I look at my Spiritual Gift.  This unique blend of attributes is what defines a calling.  I believe my calling is to encourage, education and edify people around me.  One way to do that is through music.  Of course, that is not the only way as I have a call of ministry to my family.

The Bible instructs us to “play skillfully.” Do you work hard at your craft?

This is one of my favorite verses in the bible.  It shows me that God want the best.  One way is through work.  The only way to play skillfully is though learning, practice and execution.

Who are some of your favorite Christian songwriters?

Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Benton Brown, Paul Bloche are what come to mind.

Tell me about your testimony. How did you come to faith in Christ?

But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.

John 5:34

Ever since I remember I was somehow involved with music. In elementary school I learned to play the violin and was in the school orchestra. Also, I sang in the Glee Club. When I got older, I received a guitar as a Christmas present. I spent all of my spare time learning everything I could about the guitar. I played in several Garage bands in High School and my College days. Then I began to write songs. I learned by listening and copying artist that I liked. I learned from other musicians. Music was everything to me.

“The cross is foolishness to those that are perishing.”

Corinthians

All this time I was missing something in my life. I somehow knew it had a spiritual element to it. So, there I was exploring things that at the time seemed to be spiritual. I looked to the stars for the answers in astrology. Then, I looked at the Greek and Roman gods Mythology for answers. I was seeking but never finding the truth. These things always came up short. All though this time it was my belief that the “Christian thing” with Jesus was a rather foolish approach to spiritual enlightenment. As I look back at my journey, I now realize that I was on the wrong track. I thought I was seeking God. But as the Bible says – No one seeks God. The real truth is, God is seeking us. He just needs to get our attention.

God was able to get my attention one day. I was presented with an invitation to church one day by the mother of a friend of mine. We entered this little church and the preacher was preaching about Jesus. He explained that we are born sinners and our eternal destination was rather bleak. But that God so loved us that her sent His Son Jesus to get us out of this mess.

How? Believe that Jesus rose from the dead three days after dying on the cross. And the power of His resurrection saves us from the ugly future that awaits us. Jesus gives us the ability the have fellowship with God for eternity. It was a pure Gospel message of salvation. At the end the preached asked if anyone would like to receive that give of salvation. It was at this time a vision came to me of Jesus asking me to come to Him. It was as though the lights turned on for the very first time.

Now I was placed in a rather peculiar situation. My lifestyle, which involved my music, put me in places that I began to feel uncomfortable. The lifestyle of a secular musician is one that makes it difficult for a Christian. There were influences that did not fit a new life in Christ. There was a spiritual war. It was at this time that I set aside my music. This break lasted for a couple of years. As I look back, I realize that music was an idol. And God needed to clean out the idols in my life. Of course, that’s not the end of the story.

One day I was reading my Bible and I read the parable of the talents. This truly stirred up my heart. I began to pray about my talents and how they could be used to glorify Jesus. Then Jesus revealed to me that day that I was to take my love for music and use it for his purpose. I then took a walk and as I was walking, I saw a piece of paper on the ground. You know that voice that speaks to you. It said John, pick up that piece of paper. At first, I ignored it. But as I passed by this piece of paper, I really felt that I better do what the voice said. So, I picked up the piece of paper. It was a photocopy of some music. But not just any music it was Christian Music!

Now, I knew that God had a plan and purpose for me. I immediately went to the store and picked up a local tabloid paper called the Reader. This is a local free newspaper. This publication has a special classified section for musicians. There was an ad requesting a bass player for a Christian music group. Now mind you my primary instrument is the guitar however I did have a bass that I used for recording. Within a week I was rehearsing with this group of Christian musicians. It is amazing how God works.

The next phase in my journey placed me in at the Horizon School of Evangelism. This is an extensive ministry school that concludes with a one-month practicum. It was at this school that my classmates learned that I knew how to play guitar. They asked me to play some Worship songs for the daily devotional.

My first experience was a total disaster in my mind. Even though I was in a Christian Music Group the songs were primarily Christian Rock music and I learned only the bass parts. To compound the problem, I was rarely if ever sang publicly in front of people by my self – There was the lead singer and I was always the guitar player. I did possess great knowledge and skill in my instrument. But it was that day I learned humility. I set out on my own strength. What a mistake. I quickly learned that worship music is very special and requires the proper mind set. It not about my ability and me it’s about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’s purpose. It is my desire to be used as a vessel to glorify Him.

Ever since the first time I was placed in a position to lead worship, I can testify that God has been molding and shaping me. Though His Holy Spirit he is guiding and directing my path in life. I truly find it a privilege and honor to be placed in this sacred position. I know that there is much further down the road. All I can do is allow Him to shape my future. And then someday when He calls, I will be there in heaven offering my song of praise to God.

I now lead worship and write songs to glorify God the Father the Creator of all things above and below.

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