How to Release Music at Your Church w/ Robby Busick

Robby Busick joins Loop Community Founder Matt McCoy to share his advice and expertise on helping churches release their own music. Robby worked with Bethel Music for eight years in publishing and on their record label. He is also a songwriter and has founded The Indie Friend to help churches and indie artists get started releasing their own music.

[Matt] How do you introduce new songs to your church without interrupting your worship flow?

[Robby] I think it does depend on the church environment. You should first create a culture for writing and releasing your own songs as a Worship Pastor and allow feedback. If you haven’t had conversations about it, it may disrupt the worship. Some practical tips are to only introduce one new song at a time, make sure your worship team has really practiced it, communicate to your congregation that you’re trying it out and explain why you wrote the song for your church.

[Matt] If a church has written and recorded their own songs, what is the next step they should take?

[Robby] Most people when they call me say “How do I do what Bethel did?” But it starts at stewarding the people in front of you. It starts with stewarding the heart with which God is working in your specific environment. If you try to do what other people have done, you become an imitator and you won’t stand out. The only way to stand out, is to be authentic. If you’ve done that, then you want to make sure you have buy-in from senior leadership, you know who is involved on your worship team, and you have the album ready.  

Then, the first thing to work on after that is a plan for how you want to communicate this album to the world. You can upload it to a distribution platform, but the marketing of it can get tricky. As a church, you don’t want to be salesy. The way you communicate the album is very important. When you have done the work of what the mission you have is, your marketing can be a ministry opportunity.

[Matt] Should a church expect to get their money back when releasing an album?  

[Robby] A lot of churches will say it’s not about money, but you should be collecting royalties when releasing your own property, so that you can be good stewards with that money. Now, if you’re pouring $50,000 into a project as a church and you aren’t an established brand as a church, you’re not going to see that money back. But there are many other reasons for why you should create an album. You have a congregation of people who want to be engaged with songs that are specific to their church outside of a Sunday morning. That’s a good reason to write and release music! If you need to make the money back from your album, you probably shouldn’t release music as a church. Your return on the investment is the Kingdom.

Watch the full interview with Robby below for even more tips on releasing music at your church!