Several weeks ago, a fellow blogger (and awesome musician) Shaun Groves posted an invite to ask him any three questions in order to spread the word about his latest musical genius Third World Symphony . (Really, this album is beautiful genius! You can take a listen here. The video above tells a little bit of the story behind Third World Symphony.) I jumped at the opportunity to dig a little deeper into this man’s heart and head and understand someone I have such great respect for a little better.
Shaun’s had a few things going on his life these days, which makes his taking the time to answer these questions super special to me (did I mention my love language was quality time? P.S. this doubles as a shameless plug for comments! )
So here were my three questions:
1. Strings Attached Ministries next event is on the topic of prayer and action. How do you feel these two disciplines intersect? Do you find that intersection reflected in your music?
You know, Cari, I’ve read a great deal about prayer – enough to know I know very little. It is perhaps the most puzzling and frustrating aspect of my relationship with God. How does it work? Why pray when God knows everything already? When is taking action a lack of faith in God’s ability to act on my behalf?
I’m thankful that God did not give us a plan or procedure but a Person, Jesus Christ. Spending time in prayer is spending time with Him. It is one aspect, I believe, of “abiding in Christ.” Essential since apart from Him we can do nothing right? But as far as the nuts and bolts of how or why prayer works? Well, I just don’t know. After volumes read and hours of sermons heard – I don’t know.
I do think that prayer does not negate our need to often take action. Sure, sometimes God’s answer is “wait” or “not yet.” But so often we find in action the opportunity to answer our own prayers, or the prayers of others, by using the gifts and resources He has given us to meet the needs He has caused us to take notice of. I try to remember that God’s calling is often at the intersection of need and ability. Hunger. Injustice. Poverty. These are needs I have the God -given ability to meet. So I am called to do so.
What good is it, James asked, to tell someone you’ll pray for them in their need when you could meet that need and answer their prayer instead?
2.What do you feel is your greatest challenge when leading corporate worship?
Our Christian culture here in the West is very music-focussed, whereas biblical worship had nothing to do with music at all. The word “worship” is translated from 16 different Greek and Hebrew words and not one means “music.” So, how do I, as a singer guy, lead singing but at the same time communicate that worship must be more than music, that Church and faith can exist without music? That’s a challenge for me. How do I sing well without making singing the main thing for anyone else?
3. What is (currently) your favorite Bible passage and why?
Proverbs 30:7-9 is a dangerous prayer at the center of my new record and of my life right now. In it Agur asks God for only two things. That’s remarkable in itself isn’t it? Only two things?
He asks that God keep him from believing lies. And, second, that God would give him neither wealth not poverty.
He explains that if he becomes wealthy he will likely lose his dependence upon God and believe that he himself is god of his life – that all he has and does is his own doing.
But, he says, if he becomes poor there is another equal danger – he may steal in order to survive, not trusting God to provide him daily bread, and so dishonor God.
So, he prays that God give him only what he needs – no more and no less. Daily bread and God – that is all I need, he says. I wish that were always true for me. I pray that it is more and more.
Wow! That is good stuff! Do you see why I am such a fan?! My hope is to one day get to work face to face with Shaun during one of our community wide worship conferences, but for now I’ll have to live with soaking in his words of wisdom from my playlist and through my computer screen. Stop by his blog, stay a while. Read his heart…it’s there for us to see and be blessed by.Shaun Groves is a communicator who’s known by a lot of titles: Singer/songwriter. Speaker. Blogger. Husband. Daddy. Friend. He feels and thinks deeply and laughs easily. And he’s helping Christians discover what they were saved for, and being a voice for children around the world, desperate to be saved from poverty.