Archive for November, 2013

November 26, 2013

FRANCIS CHAN Guest Post: What I’ve Been Up To Since Moving To San Francisco

“What are you doing?”

This seems to be the first question everyone asks when they see me, so I’m posting the ministries I am currently involved with…

1)   I’m working with my friends David Platt and Mark Beuving in developing a discipleship tool that will help equip believers to make disciples.  I am very excited about this, as I believe the greatest need in the American church is for allwho call themselves “Christian” to be out baptizing and making disciples.

2)   I’m helping my friend Chris Huang develop a conference on August 26-27. Much of the conference involves walking around San Francisco and actually doing ministry rather than just talking about it.  You can find out more about it

3)   I’m helping my brother Paul launch a new service that ministers to people who attend English services in Chinese churches.  By combining worship services, it frees up the pastors to focus on discipleship throughout the week.  We had our first service last Sunday and it was a great time.

4)   I’m involved with my friend Brad Buser in establishing a new school that will train people to reach unreached people groups.  We’re hoping to launch in about a year.  The Lord has increased my burden for reaching those who have never heard the gospel.

5)   I’m working with my friend Dave Lomas in figuring out how to implement discipleship at his church in SF.  I’ll be team teaching and helping develop leadership this fall in hopes of launching a discipleship movement.

6)   I’m teaching a preaching class for inner city ministers.  We recently had our first class, and I was pretty blown away by their testimonies.  I believe God is going to do significant things through these individuals.

7)   Lisa and I decided to write a book over a year ago, but we haven’t gotten very far.  Now that our baby is sleeping through the night, we should have some more time to write.

8)   I have been spending a lot of time meeting pastors in the area and trying to support them in any way.  I have met a lot of great leaders.  I’ve learned a lot from them and hopefully I have been of help to some of them.

I still travel and speak almost every week.  I tried to cut back significantly, but the calendar gets full somehow.  No complaints though.  I am enjoying ministry a lot. I love the new friends we have made in San Francisco.  It’s beginning to feel like family, but we miss our friends at Cornerstone a ton.  I still go back to preach there every 6-8 weeks or so.

Most importantly, I have really been enjoying my time alone with God.  I readDesiring God by John Piper again last week.  It still tops my list of books everyone needs to read.  Besides the Bible, no other book has had as much impact on my life.

November 26, 2013

What In The World Happened To Aaron Schust?

Every now and then – maybe every 1, 2, 3 , 4 , 5, 6, 7, 14 —maybe 50 years an artist comes along who so embodies the very definition of talent and goodwill, and sometimes when we’re lucky they’re even Christian artists.  And to me Aaron Schust was one such one artist.  Plucked from the squalor of utter obscurity and thrust in to the limelight, headlining the Grammy Awards, having lunch with the president, getting a personal tour of the moon, Aaron rose to the highest ranks of Christian music royalty. Remember the gold ole days when you were blaring “My Savior My God” in the car, other people thought you were crazy, but to you life was all of a sudden, in the blink of an eye . . . alright.  Now to be fair you never bought the whole Aaron Schust album, just that single but still   . . . the world was alright.  But then as fast as the new promise of Aaron Schust arrived it seems to have  . . . dare I say it—vanished.  Which brings me to my question—what in the world happened to Aaron Schust? Or should I say where in the world is aaron schust? Or should I have capitalized those proper nouns? What happened man?  Anyone? Aaron you there?  I don’t understand.  I want more songs like “My Savior My God.”  I refuse to call you a one hit wonder, because there’s got to be more man.  Let us know – where’s the new album, the latest cool single that’s a remixed, coolerized version of a dusty hymn.

Just sayin’.

Any takers want to let me know what happened to Shust or what you think about this whole line of questioning.

Be bold.  Comment.  Forget about your worries and your strife.

November 26, 2013

Skillet Releases Their New Album Rise To A Flood Of Praise

Everyone agrees – RISE was worth the wait. Nearly four years since their last album, two-time GRAMMY®-nominated and platinum selling rock band Skillet aren’t showing signs of slowing down. The new release, out today, comes as the highly anticipated follow-up to Skillet’s mega-selling project AWAKE. The praises for RISE are pouring in with the project being called one of the “Best Rock Albums of the Year.” With a Top 5 slot on the iTunes® Overall Chart and the deluxe edition not far behind at No. 7, the band is also narrowing the gap on the iTunes® Rock chart, holding both the No. 2 and No. 3 slots.

USA Today featured the release in today’s edition offering a 3 out of 4 star review and toting the headline “Skillet’s ‘Rise’ above rock boundaries.” Adding to the momentum comes Billboard’s praise of the record for “mixing new sonic flavors into the group’s hard-rock bombast.” The flood of applause has just begun, with more reviewers chiming in agreement at diverse outlets in both the mainstream and Christian world:

“Skillet is excelling at its craft.” – HM Magazine

“Every note feels like it is there to convey an emotion and there is a laudable sense of in-the-moment intensity.” –

“Bottom line: Skillet really did rise above the norm and their previous projects with RISE. Each and every song is a masterpiece in its own right…RISE is THE album of 2013.” –

“Skillet hopes to strike gold, well platinum, once again…with RISE, band clearly refuses to rest on their laurels.” – CCM Magazine

“The songwriting has more depth, there’s added diversity, the concept and lyrics are interesting and uplifting…there are plenty of potential hit singles like ‘Sick Of It.’ Current Skillet fans will find plenty to like, and new fans will be attracted to the album as well.” –

“This has all of the band’s best elements in one record. It looks like Skillet has another platinum record on their hands.” – Midwest Music Scene

“Skillet’s RISE is an achievement well worth the wait…might also be their most musically complex and diverse offering.” – New Release Tuesday

“RISE is Skillet’s strongest album yet and is one of the best rock albums that will be released this year.” – Front Row Report

“…it’s hard to root against RISE, as its commercial aspirations are matched by its certainty that, despite the endless smackdowns delivered by the daily grind, goodness will ultimately prevail.” –

The band has been building momentum around the album’s arrival with radio promotion, a social media blitz and festival show performances. The past two weeks Skillet hosted their first ever VIP fan events titled “Road to Rise” in Nashville and Chicago. The Chicago Sun-Times heralded the event stating that it “redefines the VIP experience.” In the digital world, the band did an exclusive album stream and podcast premiere with Billboard, video premieres with Revolver and Guitar World and a song premiere with USA Today, to name a few. The high media profiles lead up to the band’s late night debut on CONAN on July 11.

Prior to street date, Skillet released four tracks off the record: “Sick Of It,” “American Noise,” “Rise” and “Not Gonna Die.” The release led to “Sick Of It” and “American Noise” peaking at No. 1 on the iTunes® Rock Songs Chart and songs “Rise” and “Not Gonna Die” hitting the chart at No. 2. Their continual radio success can be seen on both the Active Rock and Christian charts with “Sick Of It” currently at No. 12 on the Active Rock chart with a bullet and the No. 1 slot at Christian Rock for six consecutive weeks. Also at Christian radio, critic favorite “American Noise” continues to receive airplay at AC radio while quickly climbing the Hot AC/CHR chart at No. 5 with a bullet.

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November 25, 2013


All of us here at Awaken Generation wanted to give a massive congratulations to our friend; worship leader and songwriter extraordinaire Joel Houston who tied the knot just a few days ago.  Details about the nuptials have been sparse, with the only real mention coming from a cryptic tweet by Houston himself.  So far all we know about the new Mrs Houston is that she is a Brazilian native and her name is Esther De Lima.  (Now Esther Houston we’re guessing).

We do know that the entire Hillsong United gang was in attendance.

Below are some pictures of the happy day.









November 25, 2013

When Did We Become A Culture That Has To Vehemently Trash Celebrities We Don’t Like

We’ve all seen it.  Those facebook statuses and tweets of people trashing celebrities they can’t stand.  The completely unprovoked personal attacks on celebrities we see on tv all the time.  And I have a question:  when did we become this unkind, malicious, hateful people who have to, so passionately, trash celebrities we can’t stand?

I just went to facebook after game 3 of The NBA Finals and saw this update:

“LOUSY role model, overrated as a player and yet anointed by David Stern to be the face of the NBA. I do not have the words to say how good it feels to see the Spurs send LeBron down in flames – BY 36 POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!”

And I had two instinctive responses; first I wanted to comment and second I wanted to unfriend this person.

Yet this status updates is a perfect example of this disturbing trend I’ve been noticing the past few months all across social media. And to state it frankly, it saddens me.  I’m saddened that we’ve become a culture that has to trash celebrities we don’t like with the most hateful and almost violent rhetoric.  And it seems like Twitter has just poured fuel on this fire.

There are definitely a select few celebrities who seemed to have invoked and incurred the wrath of many a twitter user and I don’t understand why. Tim Tebow, Dane Cook, Lebron James, Barack Obama are some of the names that come to mind of celebrities who no matter what can’t win with a large percentage of the masses.  But this new trend is more than people stating their dislike, its a venomous, malicious type of trashing that I’ve not seen before.  Its personal attacks with the most foul things you could say to another person, and it seems to be fashionable.

I mean I get it, I get that there are certain celebrities who rub us the wrong way for whatever reason, but when has that general and benign dislike morphed into the kind of personal attacks that seem to be the norm now?  I remember the days when if you didn’t like a performer or entertainer or whatever you’d change the channel.  Now it seems people intentionally watch performances of celebrities they hate so they can trash them on social media.  So you don’t like Tim Tebow? then why watch him play football? So you don’t find Dane Cook funny, then why watch his special on TV and attack him personally on Twitter? And why feel the need to tell the world that you don’t find him funny, and that you never will, and how you think those who like him are the worst of the worst?  I don’t get it.  So you don’t agree with the policies and values of Barack Obama, do you have to wish him the worst tragedy and unspeakable pain and call him despicable names? Why?

Can’t you say, “sure, I don’t agree with his views and decisions and stances but he’s still a decent human being.”

There are so many celebrities and entertainers I don’t particularly care for, and that’s why I just change the channel. There are some tv programs I don’t care to watch, some interviews I don’t care to hear, but I don’t feel the urge to take to social media and trash that celebrity.  I don’t hate them personally, so for me this vehement hatred is really a mystery, I don’t understand it.  Why don’t you just change the channel and find something else to watch?

And the worst thing about this trend, is that I see so many Christians part-taking in this as much as the next person.  In fact ,in the Christian sub-culture this trend has taken on a life of its own.  If its not conservatives trashing Rob Bell or Steven Furtick, its moderates and liberals trashing Mark Driscoll and John Piper.  And Rick Warren seems to be getting it from both sides.  Aren’t we supposed to live by a higher standard?  Aren’t we supposed to be the very exemplars of generosity and grace?  That’s what especially bothered me about the status update above?  Honestly, I think we can do better.

November 24, 2013

David C Cook Signs Kyle Idleman, Bestselling Author Of Not A Fan To Multi-Book Contract

David C Cook announces the signing of bestselling author and pastor Kyle Idleman to a multiple-book deal. The first book in the contract will be a book about the process of true, biblical life transformation jumping off of Jesus’ most famous parable The Prodigal Son, which is planned to release in the spring of 2014.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kyle Idleman to the David C Cook family of content creators,” said Alex Field, deputy publisher at David C Cook. “I resonate so much with Kyle’s heart for ministering to people, changing lives, and helping his readers (and listeners) to know God better. We know that the unique and powerful way that Kyle writes about discipleship and encourages people to follow Jesus will speak to generations of readers for many years to come.”

Kyle Idleman is the Teaching Pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, the fourth largest church in America, where he speaks to its more than 30,000 members throughout the year. He is the author of the books Not a Fan, and the recently released, Gods at War. He is also the presenter of the award-winning video curriculum “H2O: A Journey of Faith,” “Gods at War,” “The Easter Experience,” and the “Not a Fan” DVD teaching series. Idleman speaks at regional and national conventions and conferences across the country and regularly teaches at some of America’s largest and most influential churches.

“It is a joy to be working with the folks at David C Cook,” said Kyle Idleman, teaching pastor at Southeast Christian. “I so value their ministry intent, organizational mission and marketplace capability. As we have gotten started on The Prodigal Son book, I appreciate their spirit of partnership; and look forward to honoring God, collaborating on content and impacting lives together.”

Don Gates of The Gates Group serves as the literary agent and ministry partner. There will be robust national marketing and publicity campaigns planned for Kyle’s book launches.

November 24, 2013

Popular Blogger And Pastor Of Seattle’s Quest Church, Eugene Cho Signs 3 Book Contract With David Cook

David C Cook announced its partnership with pastor and activist Eugene Cho. Cho is the founder and executive director of One Day’s Wages, a movement of people dedicated to alleviating global poverty through donations as small as one day’s pay. Cho is also the founding pastor of Quest Church in Seattle, WA, and the founder of Q Café, a nonprofit community café and music venue in Seattle.

“We are thrilled to join Eugene in his calling to do justice and to love mercy,” says Don Pape, VP of trade publishing at Cook. “Eugene already reaches thousands of people through his teaching and his blog, and now his books will reach even more individuals and churches around the world.”

Cho, who is represented by Chris Park with Foundry Literary + Media, has signed a three-book deal with Cook, with the first book likely to release in fall 2014. As Cho says, “I have great respect for the work David C Cook does in the United States and internationally. I look forward to seeing where this next season of ministry leads.”

Born in Korea, Cho moved to the United States at age 6 and grew up in San Francisco. After spending several years on the East Coast and in South Korea, he now lives in Seattle with his wife, Minhee, and their three children.

November 23, 2013


Louie Giglio preached at Lakewood church today, Sunday, 27 May 2012. And we have some pictures.


November 15, 2013

Ruth Haley Barton, Bestselling Author And President Of The Transforming Center, Signs Six-Book Contract With InterVarsity Press

Award-winning author Ruth Haley Barton has signed a six-book contract with InterVarsity Press. Barton, president of The Transforming Center, a spiritual formation ministry to pastors and Christian leaders, will releaseInvitation to Transforming Community, the first of six books in the Transforming Church series, in Fall 2014.

“I am very excited about publishing a new series of books on becoming a transforming church with IVP,” Barton said. “This series will include a ‘big book’ addressed to leaders which will cast vision and clarify the major components of a church or ministry organization committed to becoming a transforming community plus a collection of smaller books designed to guide community members in studying and learning together in small groups and educational settings. Developing resources that equip and empower leaders to cultivate transforming communities is a natural next step for me and for the Transforming Center. We are so pleased to be taking it in partnership with IVP!”

“The Transforming Center is doing significant work equipping leaders in the church to have a transformational impact on the lives of the people they touch,” said Jeff Crosby, InterVarsity Press associate publisher and director of sales and marketing. “Throughout its existence, both IVP and, more personally, I have been honored to be a partner with Ruth and her team. I look forward to collaborating with them on the launch of this new collection of books.”

Barton published her first book with InterVarsity Press, Equal to the Task,in 1998. She has published five more books with InterVarsity Press, including Invitation to Solitude and Silence (2005 Christianity Today Book Award), Sacred Rhythms (2006 Logos Book Award), Longing for More, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership and Pursuing God’s Will Together (2012 Leadership Book Award).

Cindy Bunch, Barton’s editor and associate editorial director said, “It has been a delight to be Ruth Haley Barton’s editor for the past 15 years and to follow her journey as a leader in the area of spiritual formation. We are very pleased to be continuing the relationship long into the future. Ruth has some very important work ahead of her as she helps churches bring spiritual formation into the center of their ministry.”

November 12, 2013

Latest Christian News Featuring Love & The Outcome, William McDowell, Everfound & The Sonflowers

Love & The Outcome Are Top Winners At GMA Canada’s 35th Annual Covenant Awards

Integrity Music Releases Stand Up, The Debut Album From UK-Based Worship Leader And Songwriter Luke Hellebronth

Worship Leader And Pastor William McDowell Approaches Life By Withholding Nothing

Everfound Premiers Music Video For God Of The Impossible

The Sonflowers Pen First Book, Release Made To Shine Devotional For Teen Girls

How Did The Preachers Of LA Get So Rich

For King & Country Named Artist Of The Year

Worship Leader And Pastor William McDowell Releases New CD/DVD Withholding Nothing

Jason Castro Announces New Tour

Separated At Birth: Chris Tomlin & Michael J. Fox

November 12, 2013



Nashville, TN – (November 7, 2013) –Last night in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, Word Entertainment’s Love & The Outcome were the evening’s top winner, taking home four of the five awards they were nominated for at GMA Canada’s 35th Annual Covenant Awards. In addition to being crowned “New Artist of the Year,” the Canadian duo reigned in three additional awards including “Song of the Year,” “Recorded Song of the Year” and “Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year” for their debut single “He Is With Us.” The single has skyrocketed to the top of the charts in just a few short months and currently sits at No. 7 on the Canadian Christian Radio Chart and No. 8 in the U.S. on Billboard Christian Songs Chart. It is the lead single from their self-titled debut album which was released on August 27 to critical acclaim. Tomorrow Love & The Outcome will embark on the “Winter Jam Tour Spectacular,” the No. 1 tour in the world (1st quarter), for 11 dates through November and an additional 47 dates in January, February and March 2014. On November 30, they’ll join NewSong on their “Very Merry Christmas Tour” for 15 dates.

“We are blown away by the love and support of the Canadian Christian music industry and all of our friends and family who have walked this road with us,” said Love & The Outcome’s Jodi King. “We toured this beautiful country living out of our Jetta for two years which is where the song ‘He Is With Us’ came from. We are so amazed by how God is using our story!”

For Chris and Jodi, Love & The Outcome is both a name and a literal life story. The duo sold their Winnipeg condo en route to a high-stakes musical road trip that has seen them criss-cross Canada, Liberia, the Philippines and China, winning over fans both emotionally and spiritually with their blend of effervescent pop. After signing to Word Records in 2012, they retreated to the mountains of Washington state to record their powerful debut, produced by Mosley along with Ben Glover (for King & Country) and David Garcia (TobyMac). In 2013 the duo have been on the road supporting Francesca Battistelli on her “Hundred More Years Tour” and NewSong for their “Swallow The Ocean Tour.” For tour dates and further information please visit



About Word Entertainment
A leader in the music industry for over 60 years, Word Entertainment, a Warner/Curb company, is a unique, comprehensive entertainment company comprised of multi-faceted artist service departments including publishing, merchandising, booking, and online initiatives. Word Entertainment represents some of the top names and brands in music, including Meredith Andrews, Chris August, BarlowGirl, Francesca Battistelli, Big Daddy Weave, Jason Castro, Patrick Ryan Clark, Everfound, for KING & COUNTRY, Group 1 Crew, Love & The Outcome, Dara Maclean, NEEDTOBREATHE, Point Of Grace, Sidewalk Prophets, Skillet, Switchfoot and We As Human and is home to 25 Entertainment, Word Distribution (representing Curb Records and Big Idea/VeggieTales among others), Word Print, Word Films, Word Music Publishing and Word Label Group’s Word Records, Word Worship and Fervent Records.

November 12, 2013

Integrity Music Releases Stand Up, Debut Album From UK-Based Worship Leader And Songwriter Luke Hellebronth

Hellebronth’s Song “Spirit Break Out” To Be Featured In Major Motion Picture
Integrity Music announces the global release of Stand Up, the debut album from Luke Hellebronth, co-leader of London’s Worship Central, a staff member at Holy Trinity Brompton and writer of the song “Spirit Break Out,” soon to be featured in a major motion picture.
Stand Up, which is available through digital service providers including iTunes and Amazon, was produced by Hellebronth’s fellow Worship Central leader and songwriter Ben Cantelon and executive produced by Tim Hughes. The project features seven studio-recorded songs and two live tracks, all written by Hellebronth with co-writers including Cantelon, Hughes, Nick Herbert and Aaron Keyes.
The album unveils the depth of Hellebronth’s talent as a writer with songs that range in tone from urgency and optimism, as in the title track and “Our Generation,” to plaintive and personal as with “Miracle of Grace.”
… Fully embraced by prodigal love / Wrapped in compassion, I’m held in delight
The life in Your laughter, joy in Your wine – “Miracle of Grace”
Also included among the nine tracks is “Spirit Break Out,” a song that has quickly moved beyond the UK and Europe thanks to Worship Central’s 2011 global release of a live album by that title. Kim Walker-Smith followed this, covering the song for her album Still Believe and Integrity featured it on the iWorship Now/Next collection released earlier this year. The song will reach an even larger audience next spring when it is featured in the Paramount film “Noah,” starring Russell Crowe.  On Stand Up, Hellebronth and Cantelon give “Spirit Break Out” a stronger, darker treatment, reminding listeners of the fine line between intercession and worship. A live video recording of the song featuring Hellebronth and the Worship Central team can be viewed at “Spirit Break Out” (Preview) .
The complete tracklist for Stand Up is:
1. Stand Up
2. Love Like This
3. Awesome Is He
4. Miracle Of Grace
5. Ready For You
6. Who You Say You Are
7. Spirit Break Out
8. Now Is The Time For Us (Bonus – LIVE)
9. Our Generation (Bonus – LIVE)
 Luke Hellebronth serves as worship pastor at London’s Holy Trinity Brompton church (creators of the “Alpha” course). He also works with Worship Central, helping train local worship leaders and equip churches around the world. His passion is to use music and lyrics to help people worship and connect with God. Additional information, including acoustic versions of his songs and accompanying chord charts, can be found at
November 12, 2013

Worship Leader and Pastor William McDowell Approaches Life by Withholding Nothing

“… You have to be willing to become invisible. It’s never about you. Nothing in the service is about you. People aren’t coming to see you. They are coming to experience God.”
If you scan the Christian music horizon, you’ll find a wealth of artistry created in praise of God and represented by music styles as diverse as the Church itself. But there are some sounds that defy categorization, some songs that go beyond what our vocabulary can express. And it is the desire to welcome and nurture these heaven-inspired sounds and songs that drives worship leader and songwriter William McDowell.
A pioneer in modern worship, McDowell serves as the lead pastor at Deeper Fellowship Church in Orlando, Florida. But his sphere of ministry reaches far beyond his hometown. Taking his songs around the nation and world with two previous chart-topping albums (As We Worship and Arise) and 18 million Youtube views, McDowell now releases a groundbreaking CD/DVD that takes the audio-visual worship experience to a whole new level.
Available in stores and through digital service providers, Withholding Nothing expands on the attitude of whole-hearted worship that McDowell strives for, whether at his home church or at churches, festivals and conferences around the world.
“In the past three years, we’ve traveled to over 30 countries,” says McDowell. “And along the way, we’ve experienced amazing services. But sometimes, something truly remarkable happens… it starts with the congregation, not the stage. There’s a sound of worship that comes from a congregation so hungry for God… a wave that comes from the back of the room, overtaking the concert. It’s not something that you can orchestrate or plan for, that sound, that response when God shows up.”
So how does one go about capturing that shift in the atmosphere, that moment when the order of service takes a back seat to the work of the Holy Spirit? According to the ASCAP Award winning, Stellar and Dove Award nominated writer, you simply “get out of the way.”
“The best you can do is to prepare your heart and be obedient…. you have to be willing to become invisible. It’s never about you. Nothing in the service is about you. People aren’t coming to see you. They are coming to experience God.”
With this underlying approach, during 40 days of fasting and prayer prior to the recording, new songs began to emerge. As an example, McDowell points to the song “Withholding Nothing,”
“What started in rehearsal as a way to re-work our song ‘Give Myself Away’ became the title track after the event,” he explains. “As we were singing the chorus of what would become ‘Withholding Nothing,’ the response was overwhelming. The whole evening was like that… at least 45 minutes of the project was unrehearsed.”
Six months later, McDowell finished writing “Withholding Nothing.” And that finished song is now the album’s first radio single and a bonus “radio edit’ track on the CD.
Referring to both the song and the entire recording, McDowell adds, “No one expected that. We just rehearsed and then followed the leading of the Holy Spirit.”
The powerful, unforgettable result of that obedience is Withholding Nothing, a CD/DVD unlike anything you’ve probably ever seen in Christian and Gospel music. Produced by McDowell, Steven Lester of Elevation Church, Aaron Lindsey, and Clay Bogan, who co-produced AriseWithholding Nothing aims not so much to entertain or inspire as to minister to those who listen and watch. It was created as a testimony, to open wide the door for a new generation to witness the manifestation of God’s presence among his people.
With 14 unforgettable tracks recorded on CD and 20 total on the DVD, including standouts from Arise and As We WorshipWithholding Nothing reverberates with anthems of surrender and praise, overcoming and victory and a clarion call to change the world in Jesus’ name.
“The DVD highlights 2000 people immersed not in a recording but in worship, people who don’t know they are being heard by anyone but God,” McDowell explains. “We don’t get pre-claps, we don’t stop for any reason. The focus is 100 percent on God and what He’s saying, and the songs just happen the way they happen.”
In fact, when McDowell presented the DVD footage to his distribution company (Entertainment One), booking and management, a collective awe filled the room. They’d never seen anything like it before, a video that focused more on what was happening in the venue, the impact of and response to the encounter, than on the artist on stage.
“We never have a lock on it,” says McDowell. “Each time we bring our hearts to God, it feels as if it is a fresh encounter. We can’t rely on past encounters with God, because he chooses the encounter. We pray and ask him to show up, and if we think it’s something we’re doing, we’re missing the whole point.”
That point has been made crystal clear to McDowell during his travels, including extraordinary trips to Guyana, Guadeloupe and Ghana.
In Guyana, after leading three songs, McDowell witnessed an historical event when the nation’s president took the stage to pray and offer his country back to God. Furthermore, he asked for forgiveness from the opposing political party and prayed for reconciliation. It was an unprecedented act that took the nation’s media by surprise, resulting in headlines such as “Historic Reconciliation At Gospel Concert.”
While at a concert in Guadeloupe, McDowell witnessed the miraculous healing of a deaf man as thousands sang in French despite language barriers. “The thing is,” explains McDowell, “the man wasn’t even a Christian… he was at the concert because he’s a member of the media and he was covering the event.” This time, the headlines read, “Media Member Receives Healing At Concert.”
“We’re not going into these places for concerts,” says McDowell. “We’re going in to see moves of God.”
This was confirmed to McDowell in Ghana when a local pastor explained to him, “We didn’t bring you here for a concert, but for an impartation.”
Referencing his growing international platform, McDowell says, “If you look at what God is doing, what only He can do, I can’t take credit for any of this… if it works, it’s God. There’s no pressure because you can’t do anything apart from God, but there is responsibility to inspire the next generation to pursue God, to inspire them to get into His presence and make a difference in this world.”
“If I don’t do it, He’ll find someone who will.”
For more information on William McDowell, go to or And to follow him on Twitter, visit
November 12, 2013


One of This Year’s Most Nominated Artists for’s



Everfound Embarks on The Winter Jam 2013 Tour Spectacular This Friday

Everfound’s music video for “God of the Impossible,” the second single from their debut album, premieres today exclusively at In August the Russian-born brothers performed the track with Governor Mike Huckabee on bass when they made their national TV debut on Fox New Channels’ “Huckabee.” On November 1 they were announced as one of the most nominated artists for NewReleaseTuesday’s second annual WE LOVE CHRISTIAN MUSIC AWARDS with a total of five nominations including “Album of the Year,” “Group of the Year,” “New Artist /Group of the Year,” “Best Lead Singer” (Nikita Odnoralov) and “The Hook (Best Pop Artist/Group).” Voting for the awards runs through December 13 online at the Facebook page. This Friday Everfound will embark on The Winter Jam 2013 Tour Spectacular in Ontario, CA, which runs 11 dates through November. In January, they’ll pick back up on The Winter Jam 2014 Tour Spectacular with over 45 dates through March.

Everfound, a band comprised of four Russian-born brothers who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1990’s, released their self-titled Word Entertainment debut album on July 16. The album’s lead single, “Never Beyond Repair,” climbed into the top 20 at radio and their track “What Love Means” is also featured in the musical companion to the History Channel’s mini-series “The Bible.” In March Everfound played at a massive kick-off event for the mini-series with Mark Burnett and Roma Downey in partnership with Rick Warren at Saddleback Church to which Warren declared via Twitter, “Mark my word: This band is going to be HUGE!” These multi-instrumental musicians have played more than 800 shows throughout both the U.S. and Europe and released four albums independently. For further information and for listing of tour dates, please visit

About Word Entertainment

A leader in the music industry for over 60 years, Word Entertainment, a Warner/Curb company, is a unique, comprehensive entertainment company comprised of multi-faceted artist service departments including publishing, merchandising, booking, and online initiatives. Word Entertainment represents some of the top names and brands in music, including Meredith Andrews, Chris August, BarlowGirl, Francesca Battistelli, Big Daddy Weave, Jason Castro, Patrick Ryan Clark, Everfound, for KING & COUNTRY, Group 1 Crew, Love & The Outcome,Dara Maclean, Point Of Grace and Sidewalk Prophets and is home to 25 Entertainment, Word Distribution (representing Curb Records and Big Idea/VeggieTales among others), Word Print, Word Films, Word Music Publishing and Word Label Group’s Word Records, Word Worship and Fervent Records.


For more information please visit, / / Follow:@everfound

November 12, 2013

Indie Sister Duo The Sonflowerz Pen First Book, Release Made To Shine Devotional For Teen Girls

Colorado Springs, Colo. – Indie sister duo The Sonflowerz, known for their worshipful and inspiring pop songs, announce the October 29 release of “Made To Shine,” a new 33-day devotional book created especially for girls ages 12-17.
Funded by a recent Kickstarter campaign and following the release of their critically acclaimed EP Love Walked In, “Made To Shine” is the first book from singer/songwriter sisters Elissa and Becca Leander.  Moved by conversations with their young fans, “Made To Shine” takes its name from one of their songs written for a teen girl who was the victim of bullying. And the book itself deals with topics that include relationships, peer pressure and self-image, all examined in light of the Christian faith.
Recommending “Made To Shine” to moms, Vicki Courtney, author of the books “Your Girl” and “5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter,” says:  “…this devotional should be on every girl’s nightstand.”
“‘Made To Shine” is a labor of love for us,” says Elissa. “It’s the result of hundreds of conversations, emails and letters from girls around the world… and despite social and cultural differences, there are many issues that we all struggle with, core issues related to their self-image and identity.”
Tackling many of these themes, “Made To Shine” offers conversational, story-driven devotionals, each followed by a “Reflection & Action” with scripture references as well as a “Playlist for the Day,” with recommended songs from some of The Sonflowerz’ favorite artists.
“We wanted to leave the girls with suggestions for songs that reinforce the message, pouring more positive content into their hearts and lives,” explains Becca.
The book, which is available for sale at and coming soon as an e-book, is the latest step in a ministry that has taken the sisters across the U.S. and throughout the U.K. Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., the British/American sisters have been ministering together since their teen years when given the opportunity by their church to share a song they had written. Thirteen years later, Elissa and Becca remain committed to praising God and ministering to others. Their next project is a “Made To Shine” interactive tour for girls, which they plan to launch later this fall.
Additional information, news updates, albums and the new book are all available at To follow The Sonflowerz on Twitter, visit
November 2, 2013

How Did TD Jakes And The Preachers Of LA Pastors Get So Rich?




Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the new reality show on the Oxygen Network (a basic cable channel) called “Preachers Of LA.”  The show features around 5 or 6 pastors from the Los Angeles area and revolves around their personal lives.  To say that the show has garnered some controversy would be the understatement of the month.  It has experienced backlash from everyone and every where.  The controversy originated with the trailer for the show that was released earlier this summer long before the show debuted on TV.  In the trailer the show was promoted as focusing on the wealth and “bling” of these pastors.  This stoked the fire of controversy.  What is interesting, however, is that when you do watch the show i.e. all 4 episodes to date, is that the show could not be further from the image created in the trailer.  Its not about their possessions or money at all, instead shows a softer, more human side of these ministers of the gospel.


To be honest, I think the idea to promote the show by using controversy was a mistake by the people at Oxygen.  They wanted to cause an outcry with the show even before it debuted so that when it does air everyone will tune in.  And to one’s surprise, their tactic worked, though I think it was the wrong approach, I think the show has the makings of a lasting franchise that would’ve grown on its own over time.  Another pointed criticism about the show is that it features pastors who subscribe to the “prosperity” gospel.  I get this criticism.  I don’t agree with the prosperity or word of faith movement, I think it’s not biblical.  I think it is a system of belief created by stringing together a bunch of bible verses out of context to create a manufactured, and unfounded view that they believe.  And by doing this, they can call their view “biblical.”  As any student of the bible knows you can use various, individual verses taken out of context (that is,  out of their original meaning) to support any belief that you want to espouse.  This is not how sound biblical doctrine is built in the church.


But I wanted to answer the question that many who have seen the show have voiced on twitter and other social media, namely how did these preachers get so rich.  And the short answer is; not from their churches.  But here is a breakdown of how they make so much money.


1.  Base Salary From The Church – Their churches pay them a salary that could range from between $40,000 – $100,000 a year (or in some cases more) depending on the size of the church. This is not unusual for people in a profession such as theirs, to be paid this.  However, high profile pastors have additional income that come from  sources separate from their church.


2.  Base Salary From Their Ministry – Often times, high profile preachers like Noel Jones, and say, TD Jakes also have ministries that are separate from their church.  Like with TD Jakes he has his ‘TD Jakes Ministries” that is separate from The Potterhouse, his church.  Often times these ministries will also pay these guys a salary.  So that’s a second base salary, that they get on top of the salary from their church.  And like their church salaries, this ministries salary could easy be between $40,000 – $100,000 a year.  So already, you have 2 base salaries, that’s making you at least $150,000 combined per year (and that’s a very conservative estimate).  TD Jakes Ministries brings in about $30 million a year in donations, and Joel Osteen brings in $50 million a year.  So it would be nothing for these ministries with those budgets to pay TD Jakes and Joel Osteen $200,000 plus all kinds of perks including a private Jet/plane, clothing allowance etc.


3.  Royalties From CD & DVD Sermons –  A person like Bishop Noel Jones, may also get a royalty for each sermon CD or DVD his church sells that he preached, and it could be $1 or $2 per product.  That’s separate from his standard salary from the church.  So if the church has a bookstore, if other churches’ books stores are ordering CD’s and DVD’s in bulk they may get a royalty from those sales.  That’s separate from their 2 base salaries.  But it gets added on top of it.   So let’s say Noel Jones is making $150,000 from his church.  Maybe $100,000 plus $50,000 in an anniversary present.  Then he makes $70,000 from his ministry.  And he makes $30,000 from CD & DVD royalties he’s already at $250,000 a year, or $20,000 a month.


4.  Speaking Gigs – Then also, for someone like Noel Jones his major money is made in speaking gigs.  Apart from preaching on Sundays, Noel Jones easily preaches at 4 places each week. And with someone with his profile and celebrity, he’s making at least $10,000 per speaking gig.  So if he’s speaking at 4 places in a week at $10,000 per engagement, he’s making $40,000  a week off speaking gigs alone. That’s like $160,000 a month from speaking gigs alone.  Did you get that?  $160,000 a month.  Off guest preaching alone.  So now in addition to his 2 base salaries and royalties from his preaching products he’s making easily between $50,000 – $100,000 a month off speaking gigs.  If he preached 10 months a year at $100,000 per month, he’s easily clearing $1 million off speaking gigs alone.


5.  Book Royalties – Then there’s his books that he’s written, he gets a royalty from that too.  He may make $1.5 – $2 in royalties per book.  If Noel Jones has 3 books in the marketplace and each sells 20,000 a year.  Multiply that by 3, because each book sold 20,000 copies in a year.  So if he sold a combined total of 60,000 copies of his book, at $2 per book.  He’s making $120,000 from book royalties alone.  So add that to the money he’s already making, now we’re at $1.5 million for the year.


6.  Other Business Ventures – Then, on top of all that, he may be involved in numerous business ventures.  These ventures may come from business people he knows in his church or in his city.  Maybe he had a friend who came to him and said we’re starting a new construction company with a group of 10 investors all putting up $200,000 to start the business.  So he joined them, that now becomes another source of income for him.  For example, I know a preacher who owned a lot of homes that he rented out to people, this was his business that brought him money every month, apart from his church salary.  So Noel Jones may make $20,000 a month from his various business ventures and other investments.  This is a common practice among wealthy people, they are always being approached with business deals.  A friend’s brother in law is starting a new company or his sister’s husband’s friend is starting something and they come you with the offer.  And if you’re an investor like say, in a restaurant, not only do you own equity or shares, but you also share in the profits each year.  It doesn’t have to be external business ventures only i.e. someone else’s business venture.  It can also be their own.  Look at TD Jakes, he’s doing movies, he’s owns a record label.  It’s all kinds of business ventures.  They could easily be making $150,000 a year minimum, from their various business ventures.  Jakes with his movies I’d say is making at least $1 million a year from his various business ventures.


7.  Investments – This is very similar to point # 6 but also different in some ways.  Investments in this case refers to ways that you money grows i.e. generates additional passive income in the form of mutual funds, stocks and things like real estate.  TD Jakes mentioned in a sermon he preached on Sunday, August 24, 2014 at The Potters House, a sermon called “Supply & Demand” that he owns a lot of real estate all over the place.  Now if those properties are vacant, i.e. no one lives in them, then he’s only making money in the value of the property increasing every year.  But if he has properties that he’s renting out to others well now he’s making addition money from that.  Investments is a big source of growing your wealth when you’re already wealthy, because you hire asset managers who will invest and oversee your financial portfolio.  And the reason it’s such a big part of wealthy people’s lives is because when you are earning upwards of $250,000 – $500,000 per year and up, you have way more money than you’ll spend or use in a year.  So at the end of the year when you’ve paid everything you could easily have an extra $100,000 that you have just sitting in your bank account, and every 12 months you have a new $100,000 that you have no use for.  So it’s natural for someone in this position to invest that money instead of letting it just collect dust.  So these preachers who fall in this category, they have so much surplus money each year that they don’t need, and as a result they naturally invest more and more each year.


While this is only a hypothetical example of how Noel Jones or TD Jakes makes their money from so many quarters, this is also the way everyone else on the show makes their money.  And so you end up with preachers who are making between $300,000 and $1.5 million a year easily (and more).  And they don’t make that money off the church.  Now of course, no-one on that show is going to tell you how they make their money, but one thing you can be sure of is that it’s not from their respective churches.  They are not raiding the coffers of the church to enrich themselves, there are laws against that kind of stuff that prevents them from doing it, even if they wanted to, because if they did they’d be facing serious prison time.  So I hope this helps people who watch this show understand how preachers can be so wealthy.  The answer is because they have a lot more ventures going on that you even know about.  All you know about is their church, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.


About The Author of This Article:

Hervict Jacobs is an author and speaker who writes about personal development and Christian Living.  His latest book The Success Secrets of A Legend: How Bob Marley Went From Struggling Jamaican Musician To International Superstar  is available on amazon for only $2.99.