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Jesus, Thank You appears on the Sovereign Grace album Worship God Live. You can find links for sheet music & downloads here.
Pat Sczebel is an associate pastor at Crossway Community Church, British Columbia, Canada who says “I don’t consider myself much of a songwriter”. His son Joel has also written worship songs for Sovereign Grace.
What was the initial inspiration for ‘Jesus, Thank You’?
I don’t have any specific method that I work from. Most of my songs begin in a quiet time with the Lord or on my way to or from the church office worshiping the Lord as I go.
I was having a time with him and freshly amazed by his mercy… pondering the mystery of the cross. The verse was my asking why? Why would You, the perfect Holy God make a way for me a sinner to be reconciled? The chorus was the only appropriate response to mercy… JESUS THANK YOU!
The first verse and the chorus pretty much came all at one time – I don’t think there was any adjustments at all but several were made on the 2nd verse. It started with 2 verses and then my son wrote a 3rd verse which I thought was the best one and then in the recording process some of the guys felt that it was too long so they cut my son’s verse.
How long did the song take to write, from initial idea to final draft?
The 1st verse and chorus – 20 minutes [but] I probably spent 6-8 months writing the rest of the song. It was still in process right up to the time of recording it on Worship God Live.
How much rewriting did you do?
There was a lot of rewriting the 2nd verse. I find it can always be difficult to know where to go after the first verse and chorus. It’s crucial that you hold on and wait for the right lyrics rather than settling for something that has been said many times before. I think that’s our greatest temptation – settling for lyrics that have been used in many songs instead of doing the hard work of coming up with a fresher way of saying it.
How did the song come to feature on the Worship God Live CD?
There is an interesting story! I had sent it [to the Sovereign Grace songwriting panel] about 6 months before a songwriters retreat. One of the guys at Sovereign Grace told me that the song was lacking on many fronts and he suggested I file it away and use it here locally if I thought it worked but that was about it.
I attended the songwriters retreat with 3 other songs, all of which they thought were pretty rough and in need of some help. Feeling a little sorry for me Bob Kauflin asked if I had anything else. I mentioned that I did have one other song but that I had already sent it in and another guy on their staff said that I should file it. Bob asked me to sing it and was very encouraging and felt that it needed to be recorded.
You just never know what God will do with your stuff!