Friday, August 29, 2008

If my house concert career were a sentence...

I suppose you could call this a semi-colon.

As of a few weeks ago, I have taken an almost full-time job with these people. It’s a long story, but here are the basics.

They bought the building that Community Church meets in. They didn't kick us out, but instead fixed the place up and said "let's all meet here!" Then they came to me and offered to pay me good money to help them out. They wanted to pay me to not travel for a while. They said they’d give me real, actual money to mentor/train/teach the people in their worship ministry to be a little better at their jobs and a little more certain in their callings. After 13 years of being basically self-employed and full-time-traveling-the-country, this is kind of a dream job for me. Most of you know that I’ve kind of always considered myself a “shepherd” type of person. I like playing music and pretending to be a rock star and all that, but my passions are writing songs and exploring the vastness of the Kingdom with others. The fact that I can make money doing those things is so great it almost feels scandalous.

So this job is, at least at this time in my life, a great thing.

A steady pay check (something I've never really had) means that Staci and I can pay off debt. It means that we can adopt more babies. It means that I can sleep in my own bed with my wife a lot more. It means that my sons don't have to say "please don't leave Daddy" every weekend.

Anyway, they’re totally cool with the fact that I still live with and co-lead these people. How about that for a Kingdom of God perspective? Two churches getting along, sharing a building and a worship leader? I'm working for and helping to lead both of these groups of believers. That’s where the “almost” in my “almost full-time” description above comes in. Since we all meet in the same building (but at different times), it actually works out really well.

It’s officially an “interim” position. I don’t know how long it will last, but once it’s over, I’ll probably go back to doing more traveling.

So, as you may have already guessed, that means I’m going to be doing a lot less traveling for now. I’m not done traveling. I’m not done with house concerts or leading worship for other churches and ministries. But I am trying to devote an appropriate amount of energy to the job that I’ve been hired to do.I’ll be blogging and explaining more as things progress, but I felt it was only fair to let my dozens of adoring fans know that my calendar will be looking a little different for a while.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in booking me for something, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m still in.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

But then again,if you need to recalibrate the system:

There's always stuff like this.*

*No holograms were used in the making of this story.

I'm not sure what discourages me more:

This article, or all the Christians that will defend their favorite celebrities when they read it.

I can't imagine God would be happy about this.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Producer's Corner

One of my many jobs is producing/recording records at this place (we don't update the site very often, because we're too busy churning out hits). I've been doing it for many years, and I've had the great privilege of recording some killer projects, like this, this, this, this, this, this, and this, to name a few (basically, I just gave you a link-list of great CD's that you should most definitely buy). What a cool job.

From time to time, I've thought about writing an occasional article/story/etc about my experiences in this field. I'm no expert, but I have been making inexpensive, decent-sounding independent records for a while now. So I guess that qualifies me to at least wax philosphical or whatever.

Anyway, the bad news is that I still haven't written anything. The good news is that my current first-call drummer (and good friend and co-laborer in the kooky lovefest that is Community Church), Michael Steele, has written something on his blog. I like what he has to say for several reasons. But mainly I just like how he explains, in simple, easy-to-understand language, what a new/aspiring session musician can expect when getting into studio work. I don't know how many of you will find this remotely interesting, but I thought I'd send it to you anyway.

One added bonus is that the article links to new music (recorded at The MixLab) by this dude, who is extremely talented, and a cool guy to boot.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Something somebody else said

This is so worth reading (thanks Johnny). Obviously I don't agree with every word of it, but it sure is interesting to hear these kinds of thoughts from someone who thinks some of the same things that I've been thinking. I, too, am pretty sick of all the slickness and kitsch and plastic posturing that we do in the name of "reaching" people. And I suspect that much of the world sees right thru it, the same way they see thru the spin-doctor game-playing of politicians or the "reality" of reality tv. Anyway, there's no reason for me to elaborate. I'll let her do it.

By the way, as an experiment, I went to google images and typed in the phrase "trendy pastor," and this was the very first picture that came up. I'm not saying it means anything. I just think it's interesting...

In other news, they gave me "name credit" on that cool video that I referenced a couple of weeks ago. Did some of you harass those poor (but creative) folks? I really hope not. They seem like nice people, and they make really good videos. Either way, I can no longer use this particular situation in building my case as a misunderstood, underappreciated, brilliant victim. And that just makes me feel sorry for myself. Why me, Lord?