In an era where technology moves faster than the speed of everyday life, it’s easy to consider people “outdated” like the first black and white computer my family owned when I was a child. Those were the days when TVs had knobs and I danced around the living room to music of the early Christian Music Pioneers like 2nd Chapter of Acts and Honeytree. New generations bring new things, and sometimes we classify people and their styles of worship as “outdated” and not useful for us today. But are they?
Recently I took a series of trips to find out that very thing while producing a film called “Pioneers.” Being a music artist myself, I have a lot of young independent artist friends, so I called them up and said, “I have an idea! If you could ask a veteran artist anything, what would it be? Be honest!” And they were honest, and vulnerable, and really shared their struggles. Then I traveled the USA to meet with the Pioneers of Christian music, those who have been in ministry 30-40 years, and asked them to speak into the next generation and answer their honest questions. I was hoping to meet with 5 Pioneers and produce a 90 minute documentary. The final product included 12 Pioneers, a documentary, and a 4-hour mentoring series, simply because I had such an overflow of footage! The Pioneers were real and articulate while sharing profound wisdom and truth that superseded any generation gap!
There are so many stories I could share… filming Phil Keaggy in his living room… driving through snowy mountains to meet Annie Herring … filming “Easter Song” with Matthew Ward in the Rockie Mountains… capturing Honeytree’s classic “Pioneers” song in a special way by a pond near her house. I met some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever encountered.
And I learned a powerful truth: that if we throw away the elder generation like we do an old computer, we miss out on God’s message for the next generation. Those who have weathered the storms of life earn maturity in the Lord, and this can’t be measured by Facebook fans or YouTube hits. Those are the people I want speaking into my life! The ones who have earned their stripes in faithfulness and obedience, no matter the cost. And, unlike technology, the Kingdom of God doesn’t change much, though the forms of communication and the way we share it may. I hope you’ll take a moment to check out my journey and be as moved as I’ve been by the hearts of these “Pioneers.”