This summer I was interviewed by Scott McClellan from Collide Magazine. Click here to download the article.


8 thoughts on “Interview

  1. Hey, I saw your show in toronto last night. Thanks for such an awesome night! Keep up the good work!

    By the way, awesome content on your site. Love how you are politically active and are open about your faith! Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks for posting this. I’ve been wanting to read it for awhile.

    I agree with 90% of what you say. I’m not sure about the part where you compare Christian music to Christian banking or the part where you discuss ‘Third Day’. I may be misinterpreting what you’re trying to say or I may be taking it out of context.

    Before I explain I’ll just say that I think it’s a pretty widely known thing that music is an accepted tool in the process of worship. You’d be hard pressed to find a church that doesn’t use music in their service, whether hymns or CCM. In fact, music has been used to put forth the text of scripture all the way back to the early church by way of Gregorian chants. Christian music has been a huge part of religion.

    First of all, I don’t really see the comparison between a drummer in a Christian band and a Christian banker. Maybe I am completely missing what you’re trying to say. By all means correct me if I’m wrong, but it would seem to me that a drummer in a Christian band is simply using his talents to assist in the worship of God for individuals. A Christian banker would be for all intents and purposes, useless to the average Christian’s spiritual life. In my church the music ‘pastor’ is a member of a secular band outside of church. I doubt he would tell you that he feels his creativity is being hampered when he leads the church in worship. If my church began playing Jimmy Eat World in the worship service, I would have to question it. So I think restrictions on lyrics are a necessary thing.

    I’m not suggesting you should take the job as a Christian drummer by the way. By all means please continue doing what you do. 😀

    Second of all, I don’t get how you can say that a band like ‘Third Day’ is NOT a ministry. I don’t listen to CCM at all, but I can’t discount the fact that millions of people are spiritually moved by their songs. If the fact that their music has a pricetag on it is the reasoning behind calling them a business, then I’ve got to disagree. If that is the rationale, who isn’t a business these days? Go into any Barnes & Noble and tell me that the books in the Religion aisle haven’t ministered to anyone. They have a pricetag don’t they? I don’t see music as being different. In that line of thought wouldn’t a church itself be a business? I mean we pay 10% of our income in order to receive the ‘goods and services’ from the pulpit and to aid the church in various ministries. Wow, that may sound a little crass, hopefully you get where I’m coming from.

    To me, worship is a very personal thing that should be as objective as possible, if that makes sense. Everyone worships a different way, and if ONE person gets something out of a ‘Third Day’ record, then I’d say it’s a ministry.

    Anyways, I may have completely missed what you were trying to say. Please don’t hesitate to correct me. 😀

  3. Kyle,

    Not to respond for Zach, but my take on his illustration of the “Christian banker” exposes the prevalent mindset in the typical evangelical culture, which thrives on a separation of secular vs. sacred. This is a culture that implicitly says, “There are musicians who are Christians, and there are Christian musicians… God is most pleased with the latter.” It’s the same culture that would be pleased with a banker who decides to put a Christian fish on her business card as her “witness.” Silly. (Steve Turner’s book, Imagine, is a great read along these lines, as it relates to the arts)

    >>>”In that line of thought wouldn’t a church itself be a business? I mean we pay 10% of our income in order to receive the ‘goods and services’ from the pulpit and to aid the church in various ministries.“

    Mmm, yes I think many would agree that far too many churches are inherently businesses… particularly when tithing is viewed as you have described.

    Anywho, on a related note, I’d also like to pass along the link to an interesting little documentary showing at the NYTimes about the American worship music scene:

    After viewing this, I can’t help but feel that a monster has been created over the years (unintentionally)… or maybe I’m the only one that feels that way.

  4. kyle,

    thanks for the comment. my comment about the banker was just to say that I feel it’s silly for someone to tell my I should be in a “christian” band or be a “christian” drummer. If I were to become a banker, would people be asking why i wasn’t a “christian” banker? if i were to be a burger flipper at burger king, should I be a “christian” burger flipper? that analogy was my attempt at pointing out how the sacred/secular distinction is very silly, in my opinion.

    in regards to your take on your worship pastor’s situation, i think you’ve totally missed my point. my point wasn’t that if you are a worship pastor and you play christian themed music that your creativity is inherently hampered. my point is that most “christian” music is set apart by it’s own industry niche in order to cash in on the captive audience that is trapped unknowingly inside the bubble of the christian sub-culture. and anyone playing to a captive audience doesn’t need to work as hard at being heard…..does that make sense?

    as far as third day goes, i guess it comes down to what your definition of ministry is. a band, such as third day, who signs corporate sponsorships with chevrolet doesn’t strike me as a ministry. just because people are “spiritually moved” by their music, doesn’t mean what they do is a ministry. if that’s the case, then Marilyn Manson could be considered a ministry. If all it takes is for ONE person to be moved, then we ministered to a crowd in New Jersey tonight. Jimmy Eat World is a ministry and send your support check to……. 🙂

    I think Food for the Hungry is a ministry. World Vision is a ministry. Your local Church is a ministry. Third Day is a business. This is not to say that Third Day hasn’t had a positive impact on their fans, but if that equals them being ministers to their fans, then that seems to me to be a very shallow meaning of the word.

  5. Thanks for the clarification. I think I can say that I now agree with 100% of the article.

    I definitely agree that the ‘Christian’ label is overused to the point of being trite. I think your point about creativity being hampered ties into that to a certain extent. While I’m not ready to say they are handcuffed by their niche (only because I’m not in the industry and I admittedly never listen to anything from the industry on a regular basis), I have noticed that their music is under much lesser requirements in order to connect to their audience. They simply follow a formula that is widely accepted because it is sold in a Christian bookstore. It’s like the South Park episode where Cartman starts the Christian band and simply transplants Christian lyrics into secular music.

    “The body of Christ…” 😀

    Like you said, on the Third Day thing the semantics of ‘ministry’ is where I think I was missing your point. I guess at the core, a band like Third Day is not so much a ministry as it simply corroborates and relates to the beliefs and feelings of the listener (much like most bands). Whereas a church FEEDS a person and allows them to grow.

    So yeah, I think originally I pretty much got where you were coming from, but just needed the clarification on those questions. Thanks!

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