What if your church had a graphic design team, a photography team, a film-making team, a dance team, and a theater team? Why couldn’t you? Do you have people in your church who have those skill sets and passions? Why not let them use those creative gifts to build up and serve the church? That’s exactly what Awaken Church has done! They have built creative teams of volunteers who are passionate about using the arts to portray the Gospel in beautiful and excellent ways. They seek to make art that rivals and even surpasses the art and creativity of the world! If you’re curious about how you can see more creativity at your church, let this episode inspire you!
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Alex | Welcome everybody, to the Worship Ministry Training Podcast, a monthly podcast for worship leaders and worship team members. My name is Alex and I am so thrilled that you guys are here today. And if you are a new listener on a podcast or on YouTube, I would encourage you to hit subscribe and like it. And the reason for subscribing is so that you can get the monthly updates. Because every month we drop a new podcast episode, practical in depth Training, for you and for your worship ministry. And so we want you to stay up to date with all of that. If you are a worship leader who is interested in growing and developing and becoming just a better leader in general, I would encourage you to check out the Worship Ministry Training Academy, which some of the academy members are already listening live to this podcast interview as it happens. But the academy is basically ten in depth courses that will give you the practical skills that you need to be a great and God honoring worship leader. You also get live monthly trainings. You get these exclusive podcast interviews live where you can ask your own questions and then a super awesome, supportive community.

Alex | You guys know who you are. So if you’re looking for community and for growth, check out Worshipmastery Training.com. You get free ten day trial to check things out. So definitely want to encourage you to check it out for free. Dive in and say hi inside the academy. And today I have a new friend that I just met. He’s an awesome guy, Mike Yeager on the podcast. And Mike leads the creative teams at Awaken Church, which is a large multi site church in San Diego. And they are super creative, super innovative. And so that’s what we’re going to be talking about is using creativity and art to build people up and to build the kingdom of God. And so we’re going to be learning how to increase our own churches creativity and how to lead creative teams and build creative teams to accomplish this. And if you are watching live right now within the academy, basically what we’re going to do is we’re going to have this live interview, and then at the end, we’re going to send you a zoom link and we’re all going to jump on a call with Mike and spend about 25 minutes or so, maybe 20 minutes or so, asking him our own questions.

Alex | So as I’m talking to Mike, write your questions down, save your questions, and then we’ll send you guys a zoom link and we’ll jump into the conversation together. So that is enough intro. Let me bring on Mike and let’s welcome him to the podcast. Mike, hello. Welcome.

Mike Yeager | Hey, how are you?

Alex | I’m good, man. Everybody say hi to Mike.

Mike Yeager | Hi. How about you?

Alex | So Mike, thanks for being on, man. I would love it if you would just kind of set the tone by telling us a bit about Awakening Church and your role there, kind of how long you been there, a little bit of backstory for our listeners.

Mike Yeager | Totally. Yeah. So Waking Church has been around for 17 years, was actually started by two missionaries that came from Australia to the United States out of a big church movement called the C Three Movement, which is a big church movement of, I think, like 500 global churches. So they came out of that planted awakened Church 17 years ago in San Diego and started and planted the church and started with first service of like 30 people and has just grown and grown and grown from there. My wife and I moved from Dallas, Texas to San Diego so I could do my graduate work in engineering. Had no intention of ever being a pastor, didn’t go to seminary, but just was radically transformed by this church, fell in love with it. My life was completely put back together after being a total mess. So we just started serving and then started leading and then became campus pastors. We’re over the East Lake campus, which is the southernmost campus. We’re about ten minutes away from the Mexican border. And so we lead that campus that has about 1500 people a week and then also am the executive over all of production and worship and the executive producer and headset writer for our Awakening Music program, where we write and produce our own original music.

Alex | That’s insane. So Mike and I were talking before we jumped on the call alive. And just amazing to me how much you juggle, how much you manage. I said we should probably do a whole podcast episode about how you manage all of that. A business and a family and a ministry, and not just a small ministry, but like a heavy duty ministry. So I would love, Mike, for you to tell us more just about the worship arts ministry at Awaken Church. And meaning not just music, because you guys have musicians in production, just like most churches, but you also have graphics team, a photography team, a videography team, and even a dance team. So can you kind of just give us an overview of all of those different creative teams that you guys have there?

Mike Yeager | Yeah, I mean, you hit on all of them. So yeah, we’re very creative. Forward church. We have a very robust the only one maybe you didn’t mention is a very robust theater team. And every year we put on two main musical productions. An Easter production that’s called Hero, the rock musical, which is the story of the life, death, resurrection of Jesus set to nothing but secular rock and roll music, which is super fun. And then we have a Christmas theater production called Twisted, and it’s the story of Ebony’s or Scrooge and how he got so twisted all set to secular 80s music. So it’s really cool. There’s actually not a single worship song in any of those. We take these secular songs and use them to tell the greatest story ever told. I’d say that those two theater programs are our single biggest outreach tool in the entire church. Every year we have tens of thousands of people come and attend those shows that normally wouldn’t come to a Sunday or Wednesday church service. They hear the gospel message. So that’s a big part of what we do is on the theater side and producing our own original music and then of course video and just kind of the some of the normal stuff on Sundays and Wednesdays.

Mike Yeager | But yeah, I think for us, I think it’s in Daniel chapter one, where it talks about King Nebuchadnezzar goes and essentially plunders the people of God. And Bible says it takes all their pottery and all their brightest minds and takes Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and essentially Pilfers, the creativity and the art of the kingdom and puts it on display in Babylon, the scriptures. Babylon always represents the spirit of this world. And I think for us, we’ve seen so much of that and have just gotten sick of it. I mean, some of the greatest artists in the world, whitney Houston, Katy Perry, Jessica Simpson, John Legend, all started in church and sadly have been wooed away by the spirit of the world to Babylon and are no longer doing the work of the kingdom. I think for us we feel like that’s a great tragedy and want to make it right. Back in the early Renaissance days, the greatest art in the history of the world was focused on Jesus and the church. Like the greatest paintings ever were in the house of God. And even I think it’s the Salvador del Mundi is the most expensive painting ever sold.

Mike Yeager | $450,000,000. The single most expensive piece of art is just the face of Jesus. I think a great tragedy that the greatest art in the world is not being made by the church. And I’m certainly not going to be pretentious and say that we are currently making the greatest art in the world. I don’t think that’s the case. But I think that the church should aspire to that. I think we shouldn’t just say this is good for Christian music or this is good for a church. It should be this is good periods own with the greatest art, the greatest music, the greatest theater productions. For us and again, it’s a big vision and we’re still figuring it out. I’m certainly not going to say we got it all together and figured out, but we want our theater productions to be on par with Broadway. We want our music to not just compete for Dev awards, but to win Grammys. And again, those are very lofty goals and who knows, hope one day God will bless us in that way. But the point is, we feel strongly that as the church, we’ve got to reclaim the arts to glorify God and not promote a spirit of this world.

Alex | Yeah, but what I think is cool, Mike, is that in terms of art, it’s like art speaks things that a sermon can’t. Like you can say things with art and you can reach people’s souls with art in a way that you can’t with a sermon or even with a worship song. Like art transcends are just mental faculties and it just speaks right into the soul. And so I love that. I love that point that you’re bringing out. And I think one of the things that I wanted to talk to you about and you already started hitting on it, was like, what is the philosophy behind all of these creative teams? Like, why are you using art so heavily in the church? And I think you spoke already to some of that, but is there more that you would like to say?

Mike Yeager | No, I think that’s it we don’t believe that the church should be relevant to culture. We think that the church should establish culture and that the church shouldn’t be a thermometer that says, hey, here’s the temperature of the world outside. It should be a thermostat that dictates the temperature of the world outside. And so I think we’re passionate about bringing our very best. And when King David went to go back and retrieve the Ark of the Covenant, it’s kind of a crazy story. They throw it on the back of his cart and just pulling it back to Israel on a cart, and then the oxen stumble and this guy reaches out to touch it and God kills him on the spot. And it’s like, whoa, that seems like so mean and heavy handed. But the reality is, King David didn’t treat the presence of God with the respect and the honor that it deserved. And so then he goes back and does it the right way and has priests carry the Ark of the Covenant. He takes a handful of steps, he stops and sacrifices, gives offering dances with all of his might. And so God deserves our very best, our excellence, and not in any kind of weird performance way where it’s like god’s mad if we go to the wrong chord during a worship song.

Mike Yeager | It’s not that, but it’s just the attitude of God, we’re going to bring you our absolute best, we’re going to represent you well where your image bears on the earth and we want that the image we reflect back to be indicative of who you actually are.

Alex | Yeah, God’s not mad when we hit a bad chord, but the worship leader is. Yeah, just kidding, I’m just kidding. None of my people get mad when their team hits a bad chord. Hopefully not. Hopefully not. But no, I hear what you’re saying and I love that. I love that you guys want your art to rival the art of the world. And I did a podcast interview with Andrew Peterson maybe a year ago about creativity. He’s a super creative guy songwriter, but also writes amazing books. And he said the same thing like we should be rivaling the world. We should be better. We should be better than the world because we have a better message than the world does. They literally have nothing. All they can sing about is sex and whatever money. And we have the gospel, the recreation of the cosmos that will happen one day. And we should be making great art about that. I’m actually reading a Wrinkle in Time with my kids. I don’t know if you’ve ever read that, but it’s a very creative book and kind of talks about these cosmic things and I think it’s a Christian perspective.

Alex | I don’t know, it’s kind of almost on the border of New Age. But anyway, but yeah, art is amazing and we have such a good message to share. Again, our listeners. You have graphic design team, which that’s unique. You have a photography team that is becoming less unique nowadays. But I still think it’s not a lot of churches are building teams around photographers. You have a videography team. So how is this content being used in your church? Whether it’s in service or online, on social or what are you guys doing with all this creativity? We know about the two big outreaches that you do, but what else are you guys doing with all that content?

Mike Yeager | Yeah, I think everything at our church is about building our Sunday and Wednesday services. And so I think that’s always a guiding light for us. If the art that we’re making is not ultimately building Sundays and Wednesdays, then we’ve kind of lost it a little bit. So like, for example, with the Awakened music, the original music program, I mean, if we are getting songs on the radio and generating revenue and even winning awards, but they’re not songs that bless our people on a Sunday and Wednesday and are kind of songs that have the DNA and culture of our house and we’ve kind of missed it a little bit. So everything is peripheral to just building Sundays and Wednesdays. So generally all the things you’re talking about in some way build the Sunday Wednesday experience, whether that’s promotional videos for some of our bigger conferences that are coming up, or testimony videos or whatever that may be. From a video perspective, all the graphics are things we use to just again, put sermon series and messages in the right light and be fresh. The three kind of biggest attributes of our church from the very beginning, 17 years ago when our pastor started the church where we’re going to be a church that’s fresh, real and powerful.

Mike Yeager | And so we want all the visuals to bolster that mission.

Alex | Yeah, so specifically, all the visuals are bolstering Wednesdays and Sundays. But what about just like I mean, I’m thinking about photography team. So tell us about that. And by the way we should say this too. It’s not all staff members, right? You guys actually developed volunteers and trained volunteers to do the graphic design and do the photography and to be parts of the videography thing. So tell us a little bit about those teams.

Mike Yeager | Yeah, it’s a lot easier when your church gets a little bigger and there’s some revenue coming in. It’s a lot easier to hire somebody than it is to raise up a volunteer, just kind of throw money at the problem. Hey, let’s just we got a deficit. Let’s just get a new graphic designer. Let’s just get a new photographer. But the power of self sacrifice and actually inconveniencing yourself for the building of the house of God, that actually unlocks something in the kingdom that actually brings blessing to you. And I know that you kind of made a joke at the beginning of the show. Just about all the things that I carry and handle is true. I have a very full and adventurous life, but the reality is I’m not burned out. I’m not exhausted, I’m not miserable. I’m actually having the best time. And, yes, my life is full. And there’s weeks that are more challenging than others. But the Bible says that he who refreshes others will he himself be refreshed. If we, as leaders, rob people of the opportunity to volunteer, we’re robbing them of the unlocking of blessing over their lives, because inconveniencing yourself for the kingdom unlocks all kinds of things for you.

Mike Yeager | So we’re very heavily run by volunteers for the church our size. We have a pretty radically small staff, and so much of what we do is volunteer. Our entire worship team is all volunteer, all of our awakened music singers and songwriters that spend ridiculous amounts of time writing in the studio, all of its volunteers. So we were very heavy on volunteers.

Alex | Yeah, I think that’s important to remind our listeners and I’m sure they know this already, but just that we are called to not produce something. We’re called to equip the saints for ministry. Right. It’s like we are called to develop people. That is the whole reason we have a job as a worship leader, worship director, worship pastor, is to develop others. And so if we’re like, oh, well, it has to be like, if you’re going for perfection over involvement, like, there’s a little bit of a problem. Yes, we want to call people to excellence, but if we’re not involving people in ministry, then we’re failing. Like, the whole church exists to bring glory to God by involving the saints in ministry. And so I love that you guys are doing that. Can you tell us a little bit about who leads each of those teams? Obviously, it’s volunteers that are in the teams, but you probably have staff over each of the teams. Talk about what does it look like for the photography team or the graphics team or the production team? Is there a point person? Are they meeting with them? Are they doing trainings with them?

Alex | Is there a whole collective of creatives that meet together? Just share a little bit about that team structure?

Mike Yeager | Yeah, I’ll use the worship team as an example because it’s pretty robust and has a pretty built out leadership structure. And actually, surprisingly, a lot of the leadership of our worship teams are volunteers as well. So again, we’re one church in six different locations. So we have campuses. We have five campuses in San Diego, one in Salt Lake City. We’re planting another couple of campuses right now. So the church is ever growing. And I think for a growing church, which I mean, hopefully all churches in a perfect world, all churches would be growing. I know it’s not always the case. There’s different reasons for that. So I don’t want to sort of pile on shame and guilt if you’re a part of a church that’s not growing. I mean, there’s seasons, but what’s healthy does grow. And so if your church is growing, then you’re always going to be at a deficit of leaders. You’re always going to be at a deficit of volunteers. I think sometimes we can get so been out of shape. Like we don’t have enough drummers, we don’t have enough guitar players, we don’t have enough but if the thing that you’re shepherding your church is growing, then by definition you’re never going to have enough.

Mike Yeager | Because the second you get your arms around it, then your church is bigger and you need more leaders. I think one of the things we’ve settled into is there’s a little bit of you just kind of never going to have it all perfectly figured out, have every structure perfect, and you kind of learn to it’s like parenting everybody out there that has kids. When you have a baby, all of a sudden it’s like total life change. Everything’s different. Oh my gosh. Went from no kids to having a kid. And then the second you feel like you’ve kind of got your arms around that, then it’s something different. They’re crawling, and now you got to baby proof the whole house. And then the minute you get your hands around that, then they’re talking. And so there’s always a little bit of kind of constant adaptation when the thing that you’re working with is growing, that’s one thing. We just kind of understand that there’s always going to be a little bit of what we’re trying to catch up. But at each of our campuses, we have worship teams, robust worship teams at every campus that operate at a campus level.

Mike Yeager | But they have to have a standard of excellence. They have to have the culture of our church. They’re not just kind of rogue factions that are doing their own thing. And so we have appointed and raised up and elevated what we call campus worship directors at every campus. And that’s a volunteer position. It’s a very weighty lot of responsibility. It’s a big position to be volunteer, but again, we believe in the raising up and empowering of leaders. And so those campus worship directors are responsible for the worship execution and ultimately the health of the team. I’d say for us and you alluded to it, Alex, and I think you’re dead on. If churches are always going to run into the temptation to become an organization of servants instead of a house of sons and daughters. And we are a house of sons and daughters first. And if we ever slip into viewing people as commodities. Like all you are to me. As somebody who can play guitar really well and I don’t really care about how your marriage is doing and I don’t really care about your personal struggles. Then the things will unravel very quickly.

Mike Yeager | And so the number one role of our leadership is to make sure that the team is healthy outside of whatever task we ask them to do and weight we ask them to carry at church. Our campus worship directors ensure that there’s culture in the team, there’s health in the team, that there’s excellence in the team. That’s a volunteer position. And then they run what we call development nights every single month at their specific campus. And that’s where we work on technical execution, we build community, we have a little impartation of culture. And then I meet and I have a kind of a right hand armor bearer that is an amazing guy. And it’s our job to lead the campus worship directors and make sure that they feel empowered, they feel seen, that they can escalate challenges that they’re seeing at their campus. And we provide strategy and guidance at sort of a centralized headquarters level, if you will. But it’s exactly like what you see in the Exodus with Moses getting the Israelites out into the desert where he goes to Jethro, his father in law, he’s like, hey, man, you’re wearing yourself out. You got to raise up people that can oversee people that oversee people.

Mike Yeager | And so we take that to heart and really believe in the raising up and empowering of leaders to make sure that people are taken care of all the way down.

Alex | That’s so good. And how often are you meeting with your worship directors?

Mike Yeager | Yeah, we have a 30 minutes touch point every week, just what we call a cadence call. And it’s operational in nature. I’d say the first maybe ten minutes of that is a little cultural impartation, just, hey guys, let’s make sure we’re focused on whatever it may be. But then that’s more operational gives the team a chance to escalate things upward. I think it’s really frustrating for team members when they feel like legitimate issues that they’re seeing, they can’t get hurt by people kind of higher up the chain, if you will. So we make weekly space for people to escalate things like that. So we meet weekly in that capacity and then once every probably two months, we have teamwide meetings where we get everybody together, every volunteer, every staff member of the worship team. I’m there. Generally I’ll speak for 20 minutes or so. We’ll have an extended worship set where we just get to worship together and then go over a couple of tactical things. So I think you can also over meet and try to overstructure. Well, you got to remember, at least for us, and again, maybe other trips are set up different, but all of our people are volunteers.

Mike Yeager | They’ve got families, they’ve got kids. And if we have like a core team meeting, a rehearsal, a developed night, a team night, a culture night, then Sundays, then Wednesdays, that can lead to burnout pretty quick. And so I think we try to be very strategic with the extra nights of the week that we ask people to meet. And when we do meet, we make sure that they’re very powerful, that they’re very direct, they’re executed well. I would be pretty upset if we had a team night where people just kind of showed up and didn’t really know who was leading the night and oh, hey Mike, you want to come up? And those are very organized. We want our people to see that. When we ask you to give us a night of the week, we honor your time. We end on time, we start on time. So yeah. Does that answer your question a little bit?

Alex | Yeah, totally. And maybe just talk a little bit more about that monthly training because I’ve talked to a few worship leaders who are considering something like that, that’s on the campus level, what does that look like? You said some impartation of culture, some development of skill. So are they actually like playing through a few new songs?

Mike Yeager | Exactly. Yeah. Those are generally the nights where we work through new music that we’re going to introduce to the congregation. So typically we’re on a cadence of introducing two new songs a month. It’s not always an exact science. And sometimes that’s songs from another church, sometimes that’s original music that we are writing. And that’s exactly right. We don’t want the very first time the congregation hears a new song to be the worship team just kind of got their feet wet on it. The rehearsal 30 minutes beforehand. So those monthly campus level develop nights will be generally a short kind of cultural impartation, working through new songs, building chemistry as a team, because you just can’t replace just the chemistry that’s developed by repetition and just actually playing together. There’s a balance of, again, we don’t want to have rehearsals like, hey, can you all show up at 430 in the morning on Sunday? That’s a little egregious. But we also do recognize that excellence is built through the building of chemistry and the team. That’s typically how those monthly campus nights are run.

Alex | Yeah, that’s helpful. Just a couple of questions about leading creatives or what have you found keeps creative motivated?

Mike Yeager | That’s a great question. Maybe I’ll answer it by answering the converse question which is what demotivates creatives? And again I say this humbly and certainly not like we’ve got it all figured out and still have a million things to learn. So I’m not saying that the way we do it is the right way, it’s just our way. But we have found that when the creative teams silo themselves and it’s easy to do. So I think one of the things that we see is when creative teams silo themselves and it’s very easy to do because generally at churches, the worship teams and the production teams, they’re very demanding teams. Typically they’re the first ones, they’re the last ones to leave, they’ve got more, they’ve got time outside of church where they need to learn music, et cetera, et cetera. And so I think it’s easy sometimes for those teams to sort of like nobody else gets us, it’s just kind of us, we get what’s going on. So one of the things that we and that can really lead to a lot of dysfunction where the core values of the church actually depart from the core values of the worship team, or I should say that the core values of the worship team depart from the core values of the church.

Mike Yeager | And so the way to combat that we have found is to make sure that your worship teams, your creative teams, your whatever teams that they’re involved in church outside of just those teams. One of the backbones of our church is we have weekly men’s and women’s prayer meetings and they’re the most important things that we do. And so we really strongly encourage that if you want to be a part of our worship team, we really would like for you to go to our men’s prayer meetings. We would love for you to be in a connect group and not a creative connect group. If you’re young family, go find a young family connect group that doesn’t have creatives in it necessarily. And so really we push our creative team to be involved in the church, not just the creative team of the church.

Alex | I think that’s huge. Yeah, that’s huge. I remember who was I interviewing, but they said something very similar. They’re like if the worship team is the only group that your people are involved with, then you’re asking your worship team to fulfill all these things for that person that isn’t designed to fulfill and it can’t bear that weight. And I was like, oh my gosh, that is so genius. And what you’re saying is the same thing. It’s like they have to be connected to a larger church body and find their identity there. And then the serving is just the outlet where they serve.

Mike Yeager | Exactly. You got it.

Alex | Yeah, that’s huge. Now one more question about leading creatives. A lot of times creatives want to focus on the creativity, the music, the art, the production or whatever. How do you guys try to steer their hearts back to Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, focusing on Christ rather than creativity?

Mike Yeager | Yeah, I mean, there’s not a lot of tried to it. It’s just kind of you got to do it. And you’re right. The greatest athletes in the world are the greatest athletes in the world because they’ve mastered the fundamentals. And so I think it can be a little bit of a lie that why do we keep having to go back and teach these basic principles over and over again? It’s like, well, those are fundamentals and the masters of their craft have mastered the fundamentals. And so for us, one of the fundamentals is you serving on the team is not about you. It’s about the vision of the house and ultimately the spreading of the gospel message. If you may have the sickest guitar part in the world with a guitar tone that is going to cause people to melt and worship. But if that is taken away ultimately from the overarching theme of the service and what God’s trying to do in the service, then, sorry, don’t care about your super awesome guitar song. And I think it’s just that I said that very harshly and we say it a little more delicately, but I think it is just a reminder like, hey guys.

Mike Yeager | So we do when every rehearsal starts for every Sunday or Wednesday service, everybody does their line check and make sure their in your levels are good. There’s just kind of some logistics there. But then we have a prehuddle moment. And those prehuddle moments always start with a moment that we call it not just another service. And it’s where we remind ourselves that for us, this is just another service. It’s another Sunday. We do this every week. But this could be the Sunday where there’s a guy coming in and his mom has been praying for him for 35 years. And this is the Sunday where he’s finally said, you know what? I’m going to go to church today. And so we try to remind ourselves of the stakes, that there’s a lot at stake and not in a weird pressure performance way, but there’s real eternal implications on the line here. There’s legacies that can be built and destinies that can be shifted. So it’s just that constant reminder you’re never going to get away from it. It’s not a bad thing. Of course creative people are going to want to be creative, and that’s how God wired them and they should want to be creative.

Mike Yeager | But we also all need to be reminded, always, myself included, that I’m a part of something bigger than myself and as great and as talented as Alex is, or as great and as talented as Mike is or whoever. If I just move to Tahiti tomorrow and decide to forsake my faith. Christianity is going to be just fine without me. It’s a lot bigger than me. God will raise up somebody else and things will be fine. And I think that’s a good, healthy reminder that and actually it may feel like you’re not needed, but that’s actually not it. It’s actually tremendously freeing because you’re like, wow, this does not depend on me. I’m invited to be a part of it. How beautiful is that? So there’s not a weird weight on you. Like, if I screw this up, then the whole world falls apart. It’s not that God’s sovereign, but he invites you on a divine partnership to be a part of the telling of the greatest story ever told. So I think that kind of constant, and it has to be a constant reminder. We do it every single service. It’s that old analogy, if something is three degrees off, it’s not that far off.

Mike Yeager | But if you’re three degrees offline from San Diego to New York, you’ll end up in like, North Carolina over long distances. Those little deviations produce pretty massive course corrections. They’re a lot harder to correct when your team has totally gone off the rails than when you just kind of have these very subtle touch points at a very regular cadence.

Alex | Totally. Mike so huge. And for everybody listening or watching, like, reminding at the start of every service why we do this, what we do is so critical, like you said, to just keeping our hearts in the right place. And then even I don’t know if you do this, I’m sure you do. You get like a little message from someone in the congregation, this happened because of the worship, or this happened in the sermon, or this happened today, or these people got saved, or whatever little stories. You pass those on to the team to like, wow, what I do is changing people’s lives.

Mike Yeager | Wow.

Alex | What I do? God is using. So I think that is such a great reminder for us to be reminding our team. So thank you for that.

Mike Yeager | Mike of course.

Alex | I’d love to just wrap it up. Talking about creativity, you guys are writing songs, you’re recording music. So I’d love for you to share just about the awakened worship and awakened music stuff that you guys are doing. Some of the new projects that you’ve released in 20 21, 20 22. You’ve released a couple of singles. Tell our listeners about those where they can stream those, where they can find those, what it’s called? So, yeah, just share a little bit about that.

Mike Yeager | Yeah, you can find any major streaming platform, spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, YouTube, but just search Awaken Music. So we released a six song project that was later released, a deluxe version with additional track called Lionheart. And that project came out, I think, July of last year, and then the deluxe version came out maybe in October. And then we are just a few days away from the release of our full length project called Move of Heaven go all streaming platforms on YouTube. We have original music videos done up. So, yeah, just very proud of the music and feel like it carries the DNA and culture of our house. So I certainly would love for listeners to check it out.

Alex | Totally. And I’ll put links in the show notes and then the YouTube description and all that so that they can easily just click and listen to your beautiful music. I’ve listened to it. It’s really good, it’s really high quality. It’s not cheesy, it’s not cliche. It’s very good. So I would encourage the listeners to check that out now. We’re going to move now into our Q and A time with some of our Live Academy members. But before we leave, Mike, are there any final words you want to leave for the podcast listeners, the YouTube viewers? Just encouragement about worship, ministry in general, or specifically creativity, creative teams, anything, just final encouragement and expertise.

Mike Yeager | Yeah, I would say what you guys are doing really matters. And again, there’s a lot at stake and what we’re doing matters. If your city that your church is in is not different because of your church, then I’d say you need to re evaluate what you’re doing. If the divorce rate in San Diego doesn’t go down because Awakened Church is there, then we need to reevaluate what we’re doing. I think as a creative team, as a worship team, we have the great honor and privilege of creating an atmosphere and an environment where the transformative power of God can move in power and strength and power. I’m an engineer. Power is work per unit time, which means getting a lot of work done really fast. That’s what power actually is by definition. So when people come into your services, it may be decades of dysfunction that God can undo in an instant and we get the privilege of creating that environment. I know it can be hard. It can be a grind sometimes. But when you remind yourself of the privilege of doing what we’re doing. What’s at stake. I think it just makes it a joy.

Mike Yeager | It makes it exciting and just want to honor you. Alex. What you’re doing. I think what you’re doing is amazing and such a great guy and have said yes to such an important thing. So I appreciate you having me on. It’s been a lot of fun.

Alex | Thank you, Mike. Thank you. But for everybody listening after the fact or watching on YouTube, thanks. Please like and subscribe and we’ll see you next month for another helpful episode. If you are watching Live in the Academy, I’m going to send a zoom link right now to Mike and to you guys and we can ask our own questions. You guys can ask your own questions to him there, but God bless you guys and have a great month. I’ll see you next month. Another helpful episode.