Steve Siler is a Dove-award winning songwriter and the founder and creative director of Music for the Soul, a ministry that has touched millions of lives and helped people to engage with the truth on difficult issues — from suicide to pornography to eating disorders — creatively using the power of songs and stories as a bridge to hope and healing.
For more than a dozen years, Steve has led conference sessions and spoken at church events around the country. His new book, Music for the Soul, Healing for the Heart, is part memoir and part instruction manual on the ability of music to heal.
Steve and his wife reside in Kentucky.
In the first chapter of Music for the Soul, Healing for the Heart: Lessons from a Life in Song (Music for the Soul, May 2016) you reference “a long and fascinating detour.” What was that detour?
Well, to go point by point… It was writing a tribute song for a baseball announcer which led to working with several legendary celebrities on a song for a charity that fights blindness which then led to writing a theme song for a Chippendale’s male strip club which then led to having my first pop dance single on the radio. Does that sound like the pathway to working in ministry and writing for Christian music to you?!
All of these events led to a powerful epiphany that I talk about in the book. In retrospect it’s as if God was waiting… waiting… waiting… for the right time. “Ok, now Steve is ready to hear my message for his life.” The mission statement for my life’s work came out of that epiphany.
And how did the book come about?
I feel a great responsibility to be a good steward of the resources God has blessed us to create because I’ve seen the difference they can make in people’s lives. So I met with an agent for a consultation about ways to get more attention for the ministry. He looked at all of our CDs, DVDs, and discussion guides spread out in front of him and said, “This is all great.” Then he turned to me and said, “Where is your book?”
My friends had been asking me to write a book for years, telling me that the stories I shared with them would be interesting to others. Because the ministry requires so much of my attention I always felt I didn’t have the time to write a book. What I understood after that meeting was that writing the book would be helpful in raising more awareness about the ministry and would result in our resources reaching and helping more people. So, I made a schedule and spent six hours a day, five days per week writing until it was done.
What’s the primary takeaway you hope to leave with your readers?
The answer is in the question! I hope to leave the readers with hope!!
Life is difficult. We’re all broken at one time or another. There are a lot of stories of wounded-ness in the book. But ultimately they are stories about an active God who renews us, transforms us, and heals us.
Because I’m a songwriter these stories are told through a musical lens. But whatever one’s path or one’s work, I believe God is active in the story. I hope the stories in this book will help readers be able to see and recognize God’s hand and miracles in their own lives. Additionally, I hope readers come away understanding and appreciating more deeply God’s gift of music because I think there is a rich blessing in it for them if they do.