Keeping Up With The Jones 2.0 (how to not covet Chris Tomlin’s success)

Keeping Up With The Jones 2.0 (how to not covet Chris Tomlin’s success)

June 4, 2013.

 

Release day. It’s 3am and I’m awake… It’s not nerves, it’s not stress, it’s a 4-year-old with an ear ache that ended up crowding me out of my own bed.

So here I sit, having checked itunes 3 times in 30 minutes for any kind of indication that people are buying the new music, paying attention, in short: LIKING ME.  And not just liking me, but liking me more than Chris Tomlin, or David Crowder, or Hillsong United.

If I could have permission to be completely honest? I wonder how much of what I do and create is actually more inspired by my need to be loved, and my not-so-subtle competitions, than by the desire to please and honour the one who I’m actually singing about?

Success in a Christian music career is just so terrifyingly measurable. Retail scans, radio spins, CCLI charts, booking enquires, Facebook likes, twitter followers – all numbers, that ultimately, at any moment, give you incredibly accurate access to your score.

 

Deep breathe.

 

What I need to keep reminding myself (almost daily) is that all of these numbers are ultimately useless to define any kind of real worth in those that pursue them.

And make no mistake, every aspiration has its numbers. The athlete has his stats, the model has her weight/age, and the stay at home mother has her Instagram feed. It’s keeping up with the jones’ 2.0 – not just keeping up with the material things possessed by others, but also with the perception of who those other people are. Its no longer a contest of having more or being more than others, it’s a game of just simply being perceived (on all of our feeds) as having more, and being more than any others.

I’ve had to learn and re-learn the lesson of ignoring the numbers and pursuing Christ-security more times than I’d like to admit, and truthfully I know there will be many more learnings in the not-so-distant future.

But for now, on this first-solo-record release day, ill pray for myself the simple prayer that I pray almost every show over those that gather to worship God and “like” me:  “Father, release the security of knowing that before anything else in this life we are sons and daughters of the almighty. Complete in Christ. Amen.

 

So easy to say, so hard to believe.

 

Here’s to release day!

 

Now go buy my album!!

 

Or just leave a comment and join the conversation…

 

or both?

 

So grateful,

 

 

t.

65 Comments

  1. Tim, I have to be honest, I was kind of shocked to see you separated from Starfield. After I bought the first Starfield album I was a fan for life. I also got the privilege of seeing you guys play live at a church in Greensboro, North Carolina a number of years ago. I know what you mean about comparing yourself to others, like Chris Tomlin. I often find myself wanting to throw in the towel writing Contemporary Christian Music, especially when I compare myself to KLOVE standards. Most of us Christian music songwriters don’t have the budget to create radio-ready hits. We do however, have a desire to create music that glorifies the Creator of this universe and lifts up the mighty name of Jesus. I know many Christian artists out there that have unbelieveable talent but can’t get there music played on KLOVE and there’s something terribly wrong with that. Whether your new album does well or not Tim, stay focused on Jesus. God Bless, Mike

    • Mike, thanks for contributing man 🙂 KLove is just another opinion…. of course, its one that has a lot of power to influence a lot of other opinions, but it doesn’t define the artist! It’s a very narrow interpretation but its still legitimate for millions of people in their encounter with the grace and love of god. Trust me, it’s a club I’ve worked as hard as anyone to gain acceptance into but at the end of the day it’s just that: a club. Not THE club, just a club. Peace.

      t.

  2. I know exactly what you’re saying/feeling, Tim! When I released my first record, I told God, “If you want me on the road, I’ll go. If you want me home more (not only to be an available mom and wife, but in my “mission field” here), I’ll stay.” Yet, I still found myself measuring my business/music/talent by “likes” and sales. I am Rhonda (mom, wife, friend), but I’m also “Rhonda” (singer/songwriter/artist…product). I can be misperceived and become very confusing… I suppose it comes down to who I am in Christ and the rest falls into place.

  3. Tim,

    I feel that I am dealing with this same feeling (although not on the level you are or in the same area) just about every day. I’m working hard to build a business where I can help others and just by nature I desire to be the go to name in my area. The person whenever anyone talks about what I do, my name comes up as the person who can help or knows what to do in that area. I want to have success both monetarily (so I can take care of my family doing what I enjoy doing) and socially (earning recognition and respect for what I do). But I have to constantly battle putting God before all that and knowing that I need to do all I can to point out and upward before pointing to myself. It’s so hard!

    I respect and appreciate that you go out each and every time with that prayer. All I can tell you is that you are not alone. I too am looking at the numbers every day hoping that I’ll be accepted and “liked”. I need to take your prayer and make it my own each and everyday. “”Father, release the security of knowing that before anything else in this life we are sons and daughters of the almighty. Complete in Christ. ” For Your glory!” Amen. (with my slight addition)

    Take heart and I do want to share that I bought the album this morning, listened to it on the way into work and worshiped Our Lord the whole way. When Glorious came on I had tears in my eyes just remembering again how awesome our God is. At one point the sun was shining through the clouds in rays of light that just made it an awesome start of my day. So thank you for your work and your contribution to the Kingdom. The solo album is fantastic.

    Now, quite checking the numbers and get Starfield together and get another album out!

    In Christ!

    Steve

    • Ha haa, Starfield will rise again. Promise 🙂 thanks for the kind words man… Be blessed!

  4. Amen, bro! As a struggling, worsHIPster songwriter (I don’t say to dishonor God, but to exploit even my vain tendencies), I recycle these same thoughts very often. And it can be so easy for me to get cynical about the success of others. Romans 12:15 constantly challenges me to “rejoice with those who rejoice” in their accomplishments and record deals and such. Paul would know… many churches didn’t validate his ministry, and he always was trying to differentiate himself from the “super apostles” that ruled the ministry charts of his day. But still God’s Sprit uses him to challenge you and me, to rejoice, be grateful and content. I pray God’s rich blessings on your new record, and an overwhelming peace/contentment over you and your family as God is the one ultimately responsible for our breath, our direction, and our success in His Kingdom. Much Love from your Brother and fellow-worshipper of our Most High, JimmyG

    • LOVE this comment jimmy 🙂 a hardy amen I say! My only defence in my constant struggle with jealousies is prayer. It’s hard to legitimately pray favour and blessing into another’s life whilst still coveting that blessing…. Well, hard, but not impossible 🙂

  5. Great post and so true – in a world where even ministry “success” is tied to numbers, it can be easy to forget we are just slaves for Christ. We often want to be the #1 slave not realizing what servanthood actually means. A battle that can be easy to say in the mind but slow to translate to the heart. Thanks for sharing!

    • The #1 slave. Love it. Great comment! Thanks!!

  6. I experience this longing for human affirmation too, and in so many ways. When I was in college I became friends with this older adult, a great man of God, who inspired my walk at that time. Tracey (yes a guy!) was the type of man, public speaker, leader, and father I wanted to be. So naturally, bc I liked Tracey I wanted Tracey to like me! Tracey had this…quirk…while others were praying. If he heard something he liked, he would let out this “ahhhh.” So, I eventually found myself trying to pray things to get the Tracey “ahhhh” approval. Instead of talking to God, finding myself in connection with Him, I would say ridiculous things trying to get that “ahhhh.”

    So as an aging youth pastor struggling to ask the question “what’s next,” I find myself with the gift of creative teaching…preaching sounds outdated…and wanting to pursue honoring God with that gift. I’d love to be a teaching pastor, teach at conferences, write books. But the way, I think, that happens is by getting noticed by others, others saying “yeah, he has that gift. He’s good!” So I find myself, so very often, talking and writing and forming my thoughts to gain the attention of others. I wonder many times where the balance is and if I’ve lost touch with why I have this gift in the first place. If I never get huge amounts of people to affirm my teaching, does that mean the gift doesn’t exist, that it’s not valuable to the Kingdom??

    Thankfully my baby is sleeping through the night, otherwise I would be up late thinking about this too.

    • Jon, I’ve thought about your comments a few times this week and related 🙂 love your honesty in uncovering the need for approval. I’ve so been there, looking for the “ahhh”. And, on the flipside I’ve also found myself doling out the “ahhh’s” at times… It’s a different kind of approval/manipulation tactic but its just as sinister.

      Keep living those little ones! Blessings!!

      t.

  7. Thanks for being honest! I am an aspiring artist, and as I have been praying about which direction to pursue my music (main stream secular or record with a christian label) I often have the tension of which one would make me more popular! When really my goal is to make Christ more famous! I have to continually seek God and check my motives with him! Sometimes I feel like I’m such a bad person! I’m glad that I am not alone in this!!!

    • You’re not alone Karin 🙂 thanks for the post!

  8. Hey Tim, thanks for your honesty. I personally appreciate it when bigger artists like you talk about your struggles openly. I’m sure it can’t be easy dealing with image in the music industry. I actually wish the radio stations would play your music a lot more, not to boost your ego or anything. I guess that just means I’ll be buying your new album. 🙂

    2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:2

    • Thanks jay 🙂 feel free to buy it for all of your friends as well ha haaa

  9. Tim,

    I rarely read blogs, let alone respond to one but this one came across my screen and I somehow felt compelled to respond.

    I remember when the band first step foot on Telus stage and having to deal with you in a different way that most people. Yes, that was quite a few years ago…but more importantly, I remember saying that these guys are going to go places. Not because you were the most polished back then (I chuckle cause you were good, but you’ve come a very long ways), but it was the group’s heart and attitude that stood out. Then I observed you in a number of places, ran into you in northern Alberta and more recently, observed you leading worship in Edmonton and talking about making a difference via World Vision.

    Soft humble hearts that are focused on what is truly most important are the hardest to keep because they are the most very vulnerable from all angles including within. However, I believe that has been the true source of your success.
    I’ve seen what happens when they get caught up in perception and keeping up with the Jones.

    It’s easy for me to say from the sidelines, and very hard for you to do…but I would like to say forget mass perception…stop looking at the stats…the great ones play their game ( insert hockey analogy) and focus on improving, but try to eliminate noisy things like stats and commentary. They are lagging indicators which speak of the past, not always telling them what great things are around the corner. Chasing the stats or status will only divert the minds and focus from where it needs to be. They let the stats chase them as they put key ‘voices’ in their ear, stay focused, and continue to break new ground towards their goal.

    If we were all honest, everyone fights this battle…you just face it on a larger scale and slightly different way. If we didn’t, peer pressure would be powerless. Thanks for your honesty. Do whatever it takes to continue to fight that normal human tendency and continue to remain focused on your heart and your mission…be a leader in that area. People will continue to see Christ lifted up and it will draw them to the One who rightfully deserves all the praise and glory. That’s what it’s all about….serving Him with you have lots to serve with. Be blessed and encouraged.

    Sincerely

    Derek

    • Needed to hear this today man… Love the sports analogy. It’s way more applicable than you’d think! Keeping the right ‘key’ voices our ears. So great.

      t.

  10. Like the album / Love the man
    Raw honesty that’s not put on can be rare. It’s true, we all have our numbers, but how many of us are actually vulnerable to share what those are?
    Personally – I’m jealous of Tim’s hair! There – it’s said :p

    • Oh you, go on…

  11. Great read! Much appreciated!

  12. Hey Tim… I understand your restlessness, and struggle. As you alluded to, each of us desires to be all that we can be, and be “liked” by as many people as possible! As I read your words I’m so grateful for the reminder of 1 Samuel 16:7 that man looks at outward appearance, but God looks at the heart! May you be blessed today in the promise that if our hearts are in the right place it will be noticed by the only One that really matters!

    For what it’s worth, the music that you’ve been a part of creating over the years has been a huge blessing to my work as a Pastor and worship leader, and to the spiritual growth and maturity of my daughters. I so desire for them to seek the Lord in all that they do and your music has helped me instill that desire in them!

    We have, and will continue to purchase the music that you create, as it helps draw us closer to the only God worth serving! Thank you for your efforts in proclaiming Him to the world! Will be visiting the good old House of James today to pick up a hard copy of the new release! Blessings to you, and yours, today and always!

    Bill Holloway

    • Thanks pastor Bill! House of James eh? What fraser valley church does that mean you attend?

      t.

  13. Tim,
    I’ve been a huge fan of Starfield since I discovered the album “Beauty and the Broken.” I use a lot of your songs during our worship services on Sundays. Our church really connects with those songs each time.

    I’ve been pursuing a career in music myself and this post resonates with me. It’s hard at times not to want more than what is before me now. I wish you all the best.

    -Doug

    • Thanks Doug 🙂 so glad!

  14. I bought the album last night! Love it! 🙂

    • Boom. Tracy you’re my hero.

  15. Hey Tim, thanks for the insight and honesty. I definitely understand what you mean by wanting to be perceived well and liked before anything else, especially with all the social media available to help realize those ‘likes.’ It’s an all too human desire that I suspect we’ll have to struggle with our entire lives. But whatever your fluctuating or competing desires, I’m certain that God works through your music. There aren’t a whole lot of well-known Christian worship bands out there, and Starfield really steps up to the plate, in my opinion, to fill this position. The music is so honest, so contemplative and musically the equal of or better than anything you’d find on a secular radio station, although they can’t air religious worship music. My church has learned several of your songs, including Filled with your Glory, Hosanna and Reign in Us. And for myself, during the day when I’m at work, or in the car, your music reminds me of truths that I’ve forgotten (i.e. helps ‘renew my mind’), and the heartfelt emotion you put into it reminds me of why I remain a Christian. So thank you for doing what you do! It is much appreciated, and God uses it for His glory and for the well-being of His church.

    p.s. don’t worry, I will buy your album, and like your Facebook post. ;p

    • Coleman (if that is your real name) thank you, fr your kind words and support!

      t.

  16. I think this relates to the Starfield song “Speak Now Jesus”:
    The noise of life is overwhelming
    Drowning out the truth that I need
    Open up my ears to hear, open up my ears to hear

    What the world will tell you is that you need to be number 1,
    and beat out the competition, but the truth is that no
    matter where your music falls on the charts, it is touching lives-
    my own included. Keep working humbly with this truth in mind
    and God will bless your ministry! Thanks for what you do!

    • Encouraging me with my own song lyrics… Clever 🙂

      Thanks heather!

      t.

  17. Thank you so much for your honesty.
    I’ve been inspired by Starfield in my walk with Christ for almost a decade,
    I’m excited to see what your solo stuff has in store 🙂
    God bless!

    • Rach, thanks!!

      t.

  18. Thanks for sharing. This is very encouraging and humbling.

    • Welcome 🙂

      t.

  19. Tim, I am a longtime fan of Starfield. I have seen you live about 4 times (which is a lot for me) and one of the things, probably the biggest thing, that keeps me coming back is your humility. It is apparent when you get up on that stage that you are there for Christ and His kingdom. Sure, we all want to be liked, and sure, Chris and David are great performers. I have seen them both as well, but I will tell you why I think you guys are different. I had the pleasure of being at a National Youth Workers convention one of the years you guys were there. You went on right after Tony Campolo and it was all great music of course. Then at the end of your set, you led us in one of your songs and at the end broke into the last part of “The Stand”. It was incredibly worshipful for me and I know for many others. The singing carried on for quite some time after the music stopped until it finally died down. When I opened my eyes, you guys weren’t there on the stage. Not only were they not your own lyrics, but you stepped away from what could potentially be a way of uplifting yourself. When we were walking back to our hotel that night, we were very silent at first and then one by one all of us just started saying “wow”. It was life-changing for me. Then it was mentioned that it seemed like you had changed what you were going to play based on what Tony had said (we don’t know this to be true of course, but seemed like it nonetheless) and that we weren’t sure if Chris or David would have done the same thing. Then to top it off, you didn’t even stay on stage to be applauded. It gave us a whole new level of respect for you and how you conduct yourself. I don’t say this to say that Tomlin and Crowder are in it for something else. I have seen other christian bands in concert from time to time and have had uplifting experiences at those events. However, I can say without a doubt, after a Starfield concert I am changed and it’s because of your faithfulness to being genuine for Christ. It’s great to be liked and I’m sure you know that you are. And you’re right, the numbers are just numbers and while they might mean alot to us when they shouldn’t, sometimes they just do. You are human. Keep on doing what you are doing and that’s making music that glorifies our creator. Keep using other people’s songs in addition to your originals because it’s nice when someone is humble enough to say, “that’s really good stuff, I want to be a part of it”. Thank you for taking the adventure of going out on your own. Your music continues to be a huge part of my life, my kids lives and many others out there. And p.s. I bought the album…and it’s great. 🙂

    • Alissa, I remember that YS well, and I too was hugely effected by what tony had shared that night… God walked through the room and there was no denying it 🙂

      Thanks for the encouragement (and for buying the album) as well, it means more than you know!

      t.

  20. Wow, Tim. I love that you have been honest here, because to ignore these truths is to let them slowly creep up and overwhelm you, but speaking about them allows God the permission to handle them. I wonder how many times Chris Tomlin has to remind himself the same things? For what it’s worth, every time I mention Starfield, I say the words “my favorite band” in the same sentence. Thank you for being willing to put yourself on the line to speak the truths in your songs that you hear from God. As I write, I can see the large letters stenciled on my kitchen wall: “No greater joy is there than this, to know for what we’re meant to live.” May you be proud today of the work that God is doing in your life. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank YOU for sharing Kristen 🙂

      blessings!

      t.

  21. Brutally honest. Pretty cool of you to put this out there.

    I struggle with this more than I struggle with any other part of being involved in musical worship. I look at numbers way too much…how many likes does our page have? How many people have said they’re coming to our next event? How many people actually show up? Does the auditorium look full? I get way too hung up on this stuff.
    It really stinks that I sometimes feel like I can “get into it” more when the venue is so full there’s barely a seat left than when I can see too many open seats. My brother-in-law, my wife, and I were just talking about how we need to lead FROM acceptance (in Christ) instead of leading FOR the acceptance of the crowd/congregation.

    Thanks for your honesty, and thanks for following God’s call in your life. Your music (and that of Starfield) has blessed my life for YEARS. The US debut album from ’04 is the only album I still regularly listen to that didn’t come out in the last year. I thought nothing could top it, then The Kingdom was my daily windows-down-music-up-singing-as-I-drive album for about 6 months straight. I look for every opportunity to work one of those songs into a worship set.

    My favorite thing about what you do, though, is that I read statements like this: “The fact that we sold any CDs to more people than just friends and family, or that we won any awards, still blows my mind.” I love the attitude that you don’t just expect people to buy your stuff because you’re so awesome, lol. There’s a humility there that is very appealing. The same humility, in fact, that would allow you to make this painfully transparent post to state the obvious: You’re human, and not perfect, just like the rest of us.

    BTW, Glorious is quickly becoming my new favorite off the new album. :0)

    • Brian, your words as a fellow musician have weight. Seriously. Thanks for taking the time to comment and encourage 🙂

  22. Thanks for sharing. I appreciate your honesty. A lot of people (myself included) will be able to relate to what you said about wanting to be liked and having success and being jealous of others who seem to have more.
    In the Bible it says whatever you do, do it will all your heart as if working for God and not man (or yourself). It’s easier said than done, definitely.
    As I was reading the blog, I didn’t realize that Christian artist struggle with the same competition as secular ones do. It never crossed my mind.

    I did buy your album the day it came out and I love it! I fell in love with all the songs and my favourites are Cornerstone, 10,000 Reasons, Beautiful Things, Glorious and Praise Him.

    Don’t ever feel discouraged if the numbers aren’t as high as you’d like. It is NOT a good representation of popularity. Starfield is one of my favourite Christian bands and your songs encourage me, speak to my heart and help me worship God!

    So keep writing songs and keep singing!

    • Lisa, you favourited half the album! Ha haa, you only get to favourite 2, maybe 3 🙂

      Either way, thank you for posting!

      t.

  23. Tim, I’ve really been blessed by your music, l love what you guys are doing, and what you’re about. The Bible says “Be anxious for nothing” and we have to be constantly reminded of that, cuz without Him we can’t do anything. But as long as
    You are glorifying God, and your heart is in the right place, God will take care of the rest.
    God bless.

    • Eli,

      Amen. Nuff said.

      t.

  24. Just about everyone who I’ve shared with about “my favorite band,” Starfield has also been turned onto them, too. So I’ve always felt that it’s ever been about you, your faith, or your music that has been at issue, or why you’re not outselling all the others, etc.

    But you’re not the only one, that’s certainly for sure. I can’t tell you how many other artists I feel are far superior than those who always seem to get the top billing, yet don’t make the sales! I won’t name any names here, for I could give a giant list. And you most likely even know what I’m talking about, or many others as well.

    So, this has nothing to do with you. And I don’t wish to say anything negative about those artist who do make most of the sales, for they are very talented as well as inspirational. It’s only just some strange phenomenon. It’s like a cyclical effect, you know.. the more anyone becomes popular, the more they sell, and then, of course, the more popular, and then so on and so forth.

    And if you think about it… even in Christian music, the top names people have heard of, believe it or not, many of my Christian friends have barely even heard of even these top people! For many of them only listen to country, or the mainstream music.

    Tim, one thing I love about what you do, who you are, and was so happy when I heard your new album, is that the focus still remained totally on Jesus, and on praising Him. And strangely, though you are being very honest here about ulterior motives, it doesn’t come across at all on the record. For it’s very clear where your heart is.

    And as far as recognition… all I can say is I’ll do my part.

    • David, first of all, sweet hair, and second, thanks 🙂

      t.

  25. Having been a Starfield fan ever since your first album came out, I was very excited to see yours – I was so impressed with Jon’s individual work (Switchfoot) so I had high hopes: and now I really appreciate yours. After listening to your album, and enjoying the worshipful atmosphere it gave me, I would be happy to recommend it. I hope it spreads the fire of worship.

    I am a photographer, which is also a very competitive game, and I understand totally about running the numbers. Forgive yourself for it, because everything we look at outside of ourselves is a trap running that way. As artists, all you can hope for is that your inspiration will inspire.

    Peace be with you!

    • Twyla,

      Wise words, and you’re right. Pretty much every creative outlet is the same game…. Only you know what’s beautiful to you. Outside opinion can be helpful but ultimately you define it.

  26. Been supportin’ since 99! Love you, your fam, your growth and constant pursuit of music, innovation, Christ and everything in between. Sometimes it’s all a game, we all want that attention from the world.
    I bought your CD! And can almost hear the faint song of ‘buy our CD’ in the background..

    • Alyssa, you’re the number 1 Starfield fan – hands down 🙂 thanks for your decade plus of support!!

      You’ve been such an encouragement over the years to me and countless others in the same bizzzz

      Blessings!!!

      t.

  27. I know how you feel. As a worship leader for the youth at my church, I feel that I stress “sounding good” too much over actually praising God. But I just keep reminding myself that if I am praising God with my everything, it will sound good no matter what.

  28. I remember the first time I met you and had a chance to REALLY see/hear how you ticked. It was in Ottawa at Dominion Chalmers Church and you were the opening act for Jake – you guys were also EXHAUSTED!!!! As I observed, listened to you and, finally, to your tunes what really impressed me was your humility and genuine gratitude that God was working in your and the band’s lives.

    I remember going home after and telling my wife that you guys (Starfield) were going to be big “if they don’t buy into the ‘star’ trap. If they stay true to their roots and continue to play in the shadow of the cross, they will be blessed.” Erica reminded me of that conversation when we watched your ‘Cribs’ trailer on YouTube. (BTW, did you REALLY have to say that you had to convince your wife not to clean for two days before the filme crew came in?)

    So here you sit with your solo effort. It is important to feel loved and wanted in any business but especially in the music industry. I will stick to my original thoughts from almost a decade ago – stay true – stay humble – and remember… God is driving this bus.

    Best wishes – and God’s blessings to you and your family. I’d love to sit and chat with you again when you come back to Ottawa.

    Cheers,

    M

  29. Hey Tim! I’ve been a fan since Starfield’s first album. I have to say… after so many years, it’s nice to see Christian artists like yourself being so transparent about your life (worries, anxieties, joys, and sadness — even your home!). I work at a recording studio in L.A. and so I understand how dark the music industry can be. And I also understand how hard it is to be a Christian artist (the need to capture that artistic inspiration perfectly, and be well liked). But I know that when we’re in heaven, we’ll be able to see (and hear) the bigger and better composition that we can only dream of. And it will be perfect in glory to God.

    I’ve been reading Tim Keller’s “Every Good Endeavor” and he describes work as a way to improve the lives of the people around, not in a self-serving way. And I think you’re doing just that with your music. You’re not a number on the top20 charts. You’re a blessing to us and I sincerely thank you for it.

  30. Thanks so much Tim for these great words. You are an anointed young man! Not surprised considering who raised you. You have a wonderful heritage. God’s best to you as you continue to be obedient and walk in His Truth!

  31. Yep, the highs and lows of battling idols in our lives. I hear ya. Two good books that have helped me identify and turn from them back to the one true God are: Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller and Gods at War by Kyle Idleman. I really believe God spared me in this arena of singing since I can’t sing that well! lol But the whole approval deal is something many go through. Be thankful that you see it in yourself and instead of trying to satisfy it you can take it to Jesus for Him to take care of it.
    I must say I was bummed when I missed your last concert in NJ. I double booked myself and chose to go on the youth group retreat. I gave my ticket away to a lady on facebook (we became friends over it) She had you and your bro sign the printout w/ the ticket info and she mailed it to me! How cool that was. Keep honoring our King of kings! Hope you’ll come back to NJ (not during hurricane season) and lead a great night of worship. Oh and I look at iTunes thanks for the info on the new release.

  32. Dear Tim,
    thank you for the post. Even though I cannot currently buy your album, I really thank you for your honesty and the fact that you let us have a look into your thoughts about CCM and your life as a musician. As the other people commenting here have said, you are a blessing for us and that is important! 🙂
    Much love from Slovakia! (come back soon 🙂 )

  33. Appreciate your honesty, Tim. I have found myself, like many others in todays culture, to do number comparisons on social media. How many friends/followers do I have today? Someone unfollowed me? How dare they?! While I like to think of myself as a humble, selfless person, at times when I catch myself looking at the numbers, I see glimpses of what lies beneath; the sinful, self-centered, attention seeking nature of man. It really is a reality check, and after reading this post, is yet another reminder of where our priorities and self-worth should come from.

    I am a long time fan; been right with ya through ups and downs. Been to numerous concerts, one being the CHC floor collapse. Something I will never forget, but still look back upon and thank God for his faithfulness.

    Good luck in your solo career. Maybe bump into you around Abby some time… probably at the MCC sale. 😛

  34. You are a good hockey player.

  35. Love your heart. Can’t wait to hear the full album:)

  36. Usually I do not learn article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to take a look at and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite nice post.

  37. Tim,

    Like many I was surprised to see the solo debut. For me I was fearful that Starfield was coming to an end. I’ve lead a men’s group at my church for years named Unashamed. The first day of the group I played your song Unashamed as it suited where I was at in my life and it spoke to the reason us guys got together. The most powerful lesson ever has a simple teaching followed by “reign in us “. On repeat for about a half hour. The hearts cry of these men was to live a life pleasing to God, while we struggled with the many battles that seemed to continually get in our way. By the end of the meeting, everyman was in tears. Your song was our cry to our father to live in our more powerfully in spite of our continual falls. It is no surprise that Starfield is my favorite band, and in many ways my favorite ministry, as God uses your music to hit me where I am at. All the time. No other band, not even the Chris Tomlins, emotionally have has such a powerful effect on my life. Several years back several of us guys saw Starfield in Toronto. We came to see you, your brother, and my favorite band, but while your were playing it was not you we were meeting. It was our God that showed up at your show. We have never worshipped him more fully. I left so in love, feeling so forgiven, and so thankful I found Starfield on iTunes.
    So the solo debut, makes me sad, until at 11:40pm the day before the cd was suppose to go on sale, I purchased it. You reveal your heart in every song and this new CD is no different.

    So how can you measure your worth. Is it by record sales, or beating your competitors record sales? It is how we can take the gifts that God gave us and use them to minister to those in need. Thank you Tim for your obedience to your calling. Thank you for letting your transparency of heart and thought be on display in your music and for being an inspiration to countless people. Thank you for continually point us to a Savior, even when we don’t deserve it, or have much to offer him. Thank you for reminding us that even though we are a shipwreck he finds us worthy.

    This is where the real value is.

  38. Dear Tim,

    Thanks for sharing your prayer, the prayer really summed up what I’m needing to pray for, I’ve been in a low point in my walk in Christ but faithful as ever His word has just been relentlessly reminding about our identity in Christ and that security in that identity is what I now realize i’ve been missing. God works in such wonderful ways~ God bless

  39. First off Tim, what a great release day blog post. Thoughtful, original, and insightful. I really enjoyed reading through it.

    Second, I can’t help but notice the amount of personal responses you have put out since then. So awesome. Great to see such a personal investment into your fanbase. Keep on keeping on. Hope the album is selling better than hot cakes!

  40. I got your album “The Joy” recently from my mom, who is the only other born-again believer in our family of 7. Even though I have a family of my own now & live a couple of provinces away, she frequently encourages me in my faith through words & deeds. I just wanted to tell you how much fun your album is! I’m “thrilled to bits” (as my mom would say) to hear it first thing in the morning on a rare day off. The music is upbeat & the lyrics are both encouraging & full of truth. My 4-yr-old son even chimes in wholeheartedly when he hears the lyrics “nothing’s gonna take my joy away”. Thank you for blessing our family with your music; God has given you a fabulous gift and I’m so thankful!

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