I'm here to announce that Christian music and I are reunited! What caused the change of heart? Two factors come to mind: Me and the music industry as a whole.
Music Industry: There is less and less money available in the music industry. You've probably already heard that selling songs on iTunes & AmazonMP3 generates less revenue than selling CDs. Full album sales are down dramatically. Moving forward, record companies will have less and less incentive to release full albums that contain lousy or re-tread music. In fact, more and more artists will have to figure out how to release their own music and rely on the Internet and touring to make a living. This has already to begun to force more creative material to the top of this newly shaped environment in the music industry.
Me: The years from 2006 through parts of 2008 had brought me to a place of increasing cynicism. My attitude toward any Christian organization was basic disapproval. I'm not totally sure why at this point, but I felt like it was impossible to be a sincere follower of Christ and also sincerely run an organization that directly or indirectly promotes Christ. I'm still struggling with how to shape that concept... perhaps it will be the basis of a thesis someday... but for now... it is a little window into how I have been thinking.
In the late summer and fall months I had the opportunity to reconnect with a person whom I consider a role model in my life. His name is Dan and it's not a formal mentor relationship, in fact, I sometimes feel like I'm drinking from a fire hose when he's talking, but I did catch something that I needed to hear. "Jason, you need to reconnect with your soul!" On my ride home that afternoon, I turned off the radio and focused on what that meant for me.
The number one thing I had to do was to change my attitude. I felt beat down by life in 2008. It's been a bad year financially and I lost my grandfather. Perhaps it was understandable, but my poor attitude was building on itself... to the point where it even affected my relationship with Erin. She let me know that I needed to cheer up, but I wasn't ready to hear it until I heard the words, 'reconnect with your soul'. Later that week we coined a corny phrase for our relationship that Erin and I repeat to ourselves when we feel down... "Neeeew Attituuuude!" It's cheesy, but it's helped.
Back to the point of Christian music.... I'm back with a "Neeeew Attituuuude!" I'm so grateful to have gone through a bit of a pruning process in my affection for the Christian music scene. I won't be as much of a 'Yes Man' for the industry and perhaps I can be a voice (in the chorus) that promotes the most creative parts of the music industry as it forges forward.