Interview with Timothy J Miller

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first book I ever read just for the sake of it was C.S. Lewis' "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." Mom hooked us with it while driving in a station wagon across the country to visit my grandparents in California. I couldn't wait to find out what happened next, so I started reading ahead. Not long after finishing reading the rest of the Narnia series, I read "My Side of the Mountain," and the choice was made. I liked books!
Describe your desk
To the left of my computer keyboard is an unruly stack of papers, bills, and manuals coverering up my laptop. Beside that is my Bible. Behind that is a short row of books including Allan Eckert's "The Frontiersman" and a very unused copy of the APA Publication Manual. My computer widescreen display is bordered all the way around with tiny post-it notes like little sunflower pedals saying things like, "Send note to Curt," my brother's street address, and "145, 147, 149." Add an assortment of almonds in a bag, two flash drives, an empty eyeglass container, a plastic fork, and a bottle opener, and you've pretty well gotten the picture.
When did you first start writing?
I started journaling the summer between my 10th and 11th grade to help clear my head and sort through my relationionship with God and it's impact on my life. Soon after that I began writing music, so that was the first time people were exposed to my attempts to express my heart. Later in college I published my first collection of short stories, "Shaman's Voice," followed by a colaborative effor with my wife Anita as we wrote the 1st and 2nd edition of the "Adult Bible Memory Program" for - you guessed it - the Bible Memory Program. As my life focused more and more on worship leading, my writing followed.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've written worship-related articles for several worship magazines. Now, as I look toward more lengthy works, indie publishing seems to be a great way to grow as an author while connecting through my social network of worship folks from over the years. I really like the immediate feedback possible from readers. The whole process feels more natural, like a conversation.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Something about helping others grow and thrive resonates to the deepest core of my being. So when something I've written helps people become more fruitful, more effective, I get very excited. That's why I love hearing readers share their stories of that impact.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Regarding worship-related topics, I was influenced early on in several key ways. My childhood church was a vibrant non-denominatinal campus church that didn't tie into one set style; I remember services led with orchestra, organ, piano, choir, folk and rock-ish bands.... I learned that style is just a tool, a package. We listened to a wide variety of music at home as well. I also learned to ask questions and to arrive at my own conclusions rather than simply accept what others thought. Camps played a big part as well because they incorporates an intimate, passionate worship that was rare at mainstream churches in the early days of contemporary Christian worship.
What do your fans mean to you?
I don't think of my readers as fans. We're all in this together, each trying to impact those around us. So we're partners.
What is your writing process?
I write differently than I think. I tend to process on an intuitive level. When writing, I'm much more organized. I start by researching a topic that seems to be on my heart from the Lord. I seek out people in the key audience to get their perspective and discover what matters most to them. Then I outline my key points before going back to fill in details. Then it's edit, edit, edit. Once the piece seems to convey what I wanted to say, I pass it by some key people who are willing to give me honest - and tough - feedback. More editing. Then it's publication time.
What do you read for pleasure?
For fiction, I like O.S. Card's ability to show characterization. For non-fiction history, Allan Eckert, particularly his Narratives of America series. I read my Bible daily- that's the foundation and testing ground for everything else.
How has your background impacted your writing about worship?
Early on I realized that the Lord wanted me to spend my life pointing others to Him. Music seemed to be a natural avenue for communicating that message. So I studied music. I played in bands. I played at church. I attended workshops and festivals. I went to concerts. For a long time I was a church volunteer. Then I was asked to go on church staff part time, and eventually transitioned to a full time position. Lots of water under those bridges. Family makes a big difference - their sacrifices have made my involvement possible. But it says something significant (and rewarding) that my kids and their spouses are all involved with worship themselves in their own churches now. That's deeply rewarding to me.
What are you working on next?
I'm researching several topics, two of which are rising to the top. The first is an ebook to help small churches with extremely limited resources (volunteers, time, funds...) to develop effective worship experiences for their congregation. The second topic is to help pastors better understand their worship musicians and "get" this worship music thing that sometimes seems so vague. What do you think?
Published 2017-01-15.
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Books by This Author

Building Grace: Connecting Relationally As A Worship Team
Price: Free! Words: 2,050. Language: English. Published: October 27, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Christian Rituals & Practice / Worship & Liturgy, Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Christian Church / Leadership
These 14 tried-and-tested techniques will help you build connections of trust, ownership, and unity between your worship team members. The excercises in this FREE 1,884 word white page are drawn from over 30 years of working with musicians and broken teams by author Timothy J Miller. Download now and start building a cohesive team right away!