Creative Christian Moments
“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”
Blog Article 25: Email Interview with Kingdom
“Let You kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” In many Christian churches around the world, the Lord’s Prayer is often recited and read as an example of the totality of Christ’s power as God. The quotes of Jesus from Matthew 6:10 speak about beseeching the Lord to mold our carnal fallen world to the model of His perfect world of heaven. As Christians, the concept of “a glimpse of heaven” sprouts up when the Holy Spirit moves in power such as when we read a Godly inspired book, watch ministries of hospitality blossom in desolated communities, the process of restoration occurring in relationships in statistically impossible situations, or random acts of kindness to undeserving individuals. Following this same pattern of “a glimpse of heaven”, I believe I have seen the physical manifestation of this reality in the worship music of a band echoing the truths of the Gospel message. They call themselves Kingdom.
In their own words from their official website, they state, “KINGDOM is made up of normal people dedicated to fulfilling the great commission of making disciples of Jesus Christ” (Kingdom, 2014, para. 2). Their statement reflects humility, a welcoming inclusive stance on ministry, and an arrow like focus on their purpose of the glorification of Jesus Christ. Through their music, they invite their listeners to partner with them in worship.
I first discovered the music of Kingdom while listening to the infamous ChristianRock.Net Internet radio. Their song “God of Fire” was playing and was incredibly catchy. Through conversations via Facebook, Kingdom agreed to participate in an email interview to introduce my readers to their music and their views on a variety of topics relating to Christianity in arts; particularly the purpose of influential Christian music.
Barry Irwin Brophy: For those who may not know about you or your band, could you tell us a bit about yourself and the band?
Kingdom: Kingdom was never really intended to be a band honestly. It all started in 2011 when Jordan (lead vocals) wrote and recorded a song, now known as ‘Flood Song”, to give to a local ministry for at risk teen girls called Mercy Ministries as a Christmas present. While unbeknownst to him, our guitar players mom had taken the song and entered it into a contest where the winner gets the opening slot for the rock and worship roadshow…and we won! The problem was, there were no more songs, there wasn’t even really a band, so Kingdom was formed. With Jordan on lead vocals and guitar he recruited his longtime friends who had all led worship together for years at their local church and went into the studio to record a few more songs that would eventually be their first record. The members of Kingdom consisted of Jordan (Vocals/Guitar) Veronica (Vocals) Steven (Drums) Sean (Guitar) and Justin (Keys). Nate (Bass) later joined the band in 2012, solidifying the lineup. Since then we have been given the opportunity to travel and lead worship all over the country as well as release two albums with DREAM records and have two songs chart on Christian rock radio. Even though we have broadened our audience, we remain what we have always set out to be, a worship band that seeks to write and perform songs that glorify Christ regardless of the venue or environment we are in. We aren’t really interested in being a “Christian rock” band, or writing songs that are sort of about Jesus, we write songs about Jesus, we serve in churches that are about Jesus and hopefully live lives that are about Jesus.
Barry Irwin Brophy: How did the individuals of the band come to faith in Jesus Christ?
Nate: We have all had different roads to Christ. Some of us were born under church pews and some of us come from broken homes, but we have all found that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. It all starts with someone sharing the Gospel with someone else, that’s what we always strive to do with our music, it’s the only message that matters.
Barry Irwin Brophy: Tell us a bit about your current music projects. Music videos, new songs, tours, etc.?
Kingdom: We are doing some traveling over the coming months leading worship at conferences and churches mostly in California, but we will be headed up to Oregon and out to Arizona as well. We love to travel but our first priority is our home church, so we just have to make sure and keep a balanced travel schedule. As for our next album, we have already started writing and hope to get into the studio this fall.
Barry Irwin Brophy: How has God been using the band to spread His Gospel message? Any stories?
Kingdom: It has been pretty humbling to see how God orchestrates the events of this band. We always say we are the least hard working band we know because the opportunities we have gotten are totally undeserved. Regardless of what event we do we always share the gospel message, our lead vocalist, Jordan, is a preacher, so he can’t really help himself, it just comes out. We have a particular song called “Victorious” that has become our “come to Jesus” song, we have heard a lot of great stories of people finding faith in Christ through that moment in our set, it’s probably our favorite song to play because of that.
Barry Irwin Brophy: I hear a lot of negative talk about how Christian rock is not an effective means of sharing the Gospel. What do you think are the biggest obstacles within the Christian Church institution in America and how can we change to be more effective in preaching the Gospel?
Nate: The term Christian rock is an interesting term because it suggests that “things” can be Christian, like a Christian car or something. People are Christians, and what they do represents Christ, but I understand the need to identify things such as music or movies. One of the big issues I see in Christian music in general, not just Christian rock, is that the lyrical content is so vague, the song could just as easily be about a boyfriend or girlfriend as it could be about Jesus. If you turn on Christian radio, you will most likely hear songs veiled in ambiguity and metaphors that are supposed to communicate the saving gospel of Christ. I think it just comes out of lack of trust in the sufficiency of the Gospel to save. We need to stop trying to compete with the world, trying to make Christian knock offs of pop music and embrace the fact that we are not supposed to fit in, we should sound different and our message is clear and unchanging.
Barry Irwin Brophy: How do you think your music will influence the coming revival?
Kingdom: We believe that there is a resurgence of Christ centered worship music, and by God’s grace we will continue to write and sing songs about God, to God, and for God.
Barry Irwin Brophy: What advice would you like to give to Christian musicians just getting started? Please provide any helpful tips or painful lessons of what not to do.
Kingdom: Start small and prepare big. When I decided to use my musical talents for God I started playing worship for my local church, started writing songs for my local church, and my band mates and I had hopes that we would.
Barry Irwin Brophy: What software, equipment, etc. would you recommend to someone on a tight music budget or just getting started?
Kingdom: Long answer: Depends on the goal. If you are recording, I would always recommend Pro-Tools, but you can make beautiful things happen with Logic Pro as well. If you are talking about playback in a live environment, Ableton live is the only way to go… It is a brilliant way to play back tracks, back up a set with midi clock, edit on the fly, etc. You could spend thousands of dollars in either case (recording or live playback) on plug ins and digital instruments. But if bang for your buck is the name of the game, I would recommend buying an ableton license, downloading Ableton Live, and using it for recording and playback. If you know what you are doing, you can make music just as well in ableton live and anything else. Just be prepared to invest in a good sample library no matter what you do. These softwares are simply the tools, what you are building is what really matters. You need good sounds, tuned drums, flawless tones, and a lot of talent to do anything in the music industry.
Steven: Short Answer: No matter what you do, it’s going to cost some money. But here is the bang for your buck.
Logic Pro (Recording) & Ableton Live (Live Playback)
Omnisphere (Digital Samples)
Addictive Drums or Steven Slate Drums (Drum Samples)
An Apogee Duet Interface
and borrowing everything else (Vocal Mics, Recording Space, Guitars, etc)
Barry Irwin Brophy: I’ve also encounter many struggling Christian musicians who have given up on pursuing their calling because of chaotic hardships in every form imaginable. These guys and girls are really in the fire right now and have been severely burned. If you were speaking with them one on one what would you say to them?
Nate: The tough part about pursuing your calling is that it requires trusting that God knows what He is doing, and sometimes that means His idea of what our life should look like is different from what we think it should be. Ultimately, our lives are designed to give God glory and we can do that in so many different ways, but we live in a culture that says if it isn’t “big” it isn’t successful, and many in the church have adopted this philosophy. If you have a dream and a desire to do something great, then go for it, you never want to look back and think what could have been. If you are going to fail, fail big time! But don’t get caught in the trap that you are only glorifying God when you do something big, God is glorified in the simple things like loving your neighbor and being an integrous employee at work. I would say bloom where you’re planted, never give up on your calling, which is to glorify Christ, in every way that presents itself, glorify Christ.
Barry Irwin Brophy’s Closing Thoughts on the Interview:
During the interview process, the responses from Kingdom and especially Nate really resonated hard truths about the call of the Christian artist. Sometimes I feel that when I present an interview, it’s like the answers were directly specific to me. I am sure many of my readers may experience the same, too. Nate had some challenging words at the end of the interview about how tough it is for us to trust God with our own callings. Personally, I can reflect on my own life and see chances that appeared frequently only to be snatched away from me in an instant. But what I find encouraging is the importance of holding onto the small embers of hope of God’s faithfulness; even when circumstances and relationships argue against what we know in our hearts we have been called to do by God. The men and women of Kingdom understand the importance of their music ministry and I look forward to how God will use their music to glorify His name.
As always, you can support Kingdom through prayer, purchasing their music, hosting them at your church or event, and reaching out to them on one of their social media pages. Kingdom’s desire is to worship God with others and as I finish this blog, I wish to leave my readers with Kingdom’s own statement.
“Although we love music, we have no desire to be another Christian rock band, our heart is always to bring people into a deeper understanding and relationship with Jesus through worship and the word. We also believe in edifying the body of Christ and each member of KINGDOM is on staff or serves in a ministry at our local church” (Kingdom, 2014, para. 2).
Pursuit of the arts is often paralleled with our ability to serve in ministry and I challenge all my Christian readers out there to do likewise and watch God blossom your gifting to reap the fruits of your labor in the near future.
Official Website: http://www.worshipwithkingdom.com
Booking Agent: firstname.lastname@example.org
“God of Fire” Music Video – Kingdom, YouTube, 3:37, posted by Kingdom Band, November 21, 2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdjG4hmZbTM (accessed June 4, 2014)
Kingdom. Group Photo. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=675713315789610&set=a.185756164785330.47688.183622581665355&type=3&theater (accessed June 13, 2014)
Kingdom. “Who We Are.” Kingdom. http://www.worshipwithkingdom.com/who-we-are.html (accessed June 12, 2014)