Our-Hope-Web-Slide
Awards
SocialMediaBANNER

Blog

2 Months in Chicago

chicago

So here we are.

If you follow me or my wife on any social media platform, you’ve probably heard by now that we are in Chicago for the next couple of months as she undergoes an autologous stem-cell transplant to treat her aggressive Multiple Sclerosis. (Autologous means they take her own stem cells, separate the good from the bad, and reinfuse the good ones) This will include a lot of poking and prodding; chemo; nights in the hospital; walking everywhere; etc. Basically a huge disruption to the comforts we have in life.

Earlier this year when we were planning the live worship record, which released last month, I was simply following what it seemed God had next for me as a worship artist. As the process unfolded, it was clear that the theme behind the project was God being our hope in the ups and downs of life. In the midst of the darkness, He is light. (Title: Our Hope) But Emily and I didn’t know this stem-cell transplant was also in the works. So somehow, God worked all of this out and worlds are colliding here and now.

I honestly feel like God is telling me the Christian singer guy to put my money where my mouth is. It’s one thing to sing about God bringing hope and peace during the rough patches of life, but it’s another thing to live it out and let people see it. And he’s telling the husband and personal me, there is no separation. You are you and I and Me no matter what’s going on in life. The person you are sitting at home watching Netflix is the same you singing out the name of Jesus with a guitar strapped to you. I’m still figuring out what this all looks like…

So here we are. In the midst of the muck. Trusting in God. Placing our hope and trust in Him.

I’m going to keep updating my blog to let you know what’s going on here in the Windy City. And hopefully use this season to encourage you, and us, to keep looking for God in the midst of the chaos. He is at the center of it all.

 

ps. You can also follow Emily’s Tumblr as she’ll be updating it as time goes on in a much more creative way than me.

RGIII, A Welcome Mat, and My 15 Minutes

People have been asking me for a few days now, “How do I get famous?” By now I have my go-to line, “It’s easy. Just buy a welcome mat for a celebrity, then when they tweet you to say thanks, you’ll blow up.” That basically sums up my last 10 days.

In case you didn’t know, Robert Griffin III, the QB of the Redskins, is getting married this summer. 3 weeks ago, the media got ahold of his registry, Dan Steinberg (from the Washington Post) posted it on twitter, and I decided to check it out. At first I found things interesting, including the magnetic spice rack that Emily and I registered for a few years ago, but threw away after a year or so. Then I decided that it’d be nice to buy Mr. and Mrs. Griffin III a small token of encouragement from Emily and me. (She was thrilled at the idea) A $15 welcome mat was the winner. No big deal. Not expensive. Sent a nice note wishing them well with a scripture that was read at our wedding.

Fast  forward to last week when RGIII posted a thank you on twitter to the fans who bought him gifts. I noticed that people were crushing him for receiving the gifts, claiming he should give them to charity, etc. I jumped in the twitter wars with a tweet of my own. Then within 30 seconds, this popped up:

RGIII Tweet

I don’t know why I got a tweet back when he has a million followers, with tons of them tweeting him in that moment. But it immediately linked me to the situation…so when his thank you tweet went national, so did the vaunted welcome mat. It started with a mention in a Washington Post article, which led to an appearance on ABC7 news, which led to a radio interview with Grant Paulsen on 106.7 The Fan. It was in the paper the next day, and the story, which I believe had a lot to do with it being the offseason, was dead.

Until Saturday night, about 9:30, when we opened the mail and found this:

Thank You Note

At first we weren’t going to post a picture of it, feeling like it was no longer news. But I decided that it was a good conclusion to the story, and could help silence those who were hating on ol’ Bob Griffin in the first place. So I sent out a tweet or two with the above photo. Within an hour it was spreading. The Post. CBS Sports. Bleacher Report. All before we went to bed that night. Then the next day I got messages all day from people asking to use the photo in their story. USA Today. Yahoo! Sports. The NFL posted a photo their instagram…16,000 likes the first day. Then the NFL Network contacted me asking if I’d come on the air. Who says no to that? Not this guy. So here’s how that went:

 

NFL Network

CNN Starting Point. The LA Times Fox Sports. Huffington Post. When I went on 106.7 The Fan again with Holden and Danny to talk a little more.

 

I have learned a couple of lessons through these 15 minutes of fame…

1- Many people assume the worst in people and you can’t let it get to you. By that I mean, I also received hateful and mean messages from fans who called us “stalkers”, “$%&#ing idiots”, “selfish morons”. Some even turned it into a race issue. I’ll leave those quotes out. People just couldn’t fathom that we’d be doing this simply to do something nice…pay it forward if you will.

2- There will be opportunities to shine the light on good things if you keep doing things for the right reasons. When one person recognized that I was a Christian artist/Christian/Worship Pastor, she asked something about why we wouldn’t have given that money to charity. Now, at first that frustrated me…for like 2 seconds. Then I saw the opportunity to do more good. So we made a matching donation, the $15 cost of the welcome mat, to Compassion International’s Child Survival Program. When I posted that info, it was retweeted by a couple of national news organization. So by knowing who we are and what we’re about, we turned criticism into more good with a little promotion for Compassion.

3- It’s important to have people around you to remind you who you are. I joked about being famous. People joked with me about being the newest “media superstar”, but at the end of the day, people told me my humility shined through. That’s a weird thing to consider about yourself, but I guess by never once trying to promote my music and by just being who I am, people were encouraged. Some friends reminded me that this was God’s favor for being faithful to who he calls us to be. Some said I was talking about the whole thing too much and it was getting annoying. Someone even created a parody twitter account, Welcome Mat Keith. So people want you to be yourself and the people around you help make who that self is.

 

All in all, the last couple of weeks have been crazy, fun, hilarious, and honestly a little bit tiring. Some people will look at this and say there’s no reason this should happen over a welcome mat and thank you note. But I know that it’s more than that. It’s about loving others and doing good. It’s about living out who God created you to be. And it’s about holding on for the ride when you get to share that with the world.

 

UPDATE – July 2013 – I was interviewed by Rich Campbell, formerly of the Washington Times, for an article about the psychology behind all the RGIII fandom. It was a fascinating article about why people feel so connected to Griffin. Check it out HERE.

UPDATE – August 2013 – NFL AM, the show I was interviewed for back in May, did a skit featuring a parody of RGIII. RGIII, played by Eric Davis, thanked me for the door mat that Coach Shanahan, played by Steve Wyche, wiped his feet on. This is the story that will never die. This has to be it, right?

Here’s the video. 

Screen Shot 2013-08-26 at 12.36.04 AM 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE – May 2014 – My buddy invited me last minute to sit in a luxury box for Game 1 of the Wizards/Bulls playoff series. His client backed out last minute and I was the lucky recipient of the seat. The first three people in the box were me, my friend Bruno and Doug Williams. Yes, Redskins Super Bowl winning QB, Doug Williams. I noticed that this was a Comcast box and that Comcast partners, one of which was Bruno’s employer, used this box for Wizards and Caps games. I look over during the first quarter (after picking up my third plate of super-tasty catered dinner) and saw ol Robert and Rebecca Griffin. Typically, now that I’m an adult, if I see a pro-athlete out and about, I leave them alone to be a regular person. But there were only about 25 of us at this little shindig and everyone was talking to everyone. So I went up to RG and RG and we cut it up for a few. They both remembered my full name and asked about my wife. (A year or so earlier, Robert tweeted out a link to a fundraiser we started for Emily’s stem-cell transplant – read more here.) We talked about how funny the welcome mat incident was and how I was able to use it to talk him up and the highlight positive unifying things in the world…and he asked if I enjoyed the saga…which, yes, it was fun. He snapped a picture with everyone there, mingled like he was not a Heisman, Rookie-of-the-Year winning QB, and even took my advice when I suggested putting mac & cheese on top of the buffalo chicken. So whether RG is a Redskin for life or not, I’ll be rooting for Robert and Rebecca…not specifically in football, but so that they’ll be able to build relationships and impact people like they did us.

Kickstarter

Hey guys,

So you may have heard/seen by now that we’re recording/filming a live CD/DVD at our April 28th concert in Chesapeake, VA. The costs for something like this are pretty high, as you might imagine. I’ve sent out some support letters to some close friends, and now I’m invited you to invest in this project too. You can CLICK HERE to watch the video, read info about the project, and check out the rewards you get for getting on board. Please share with your friends too!

Thank you for always being so supportive and encouraging. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Keith

Made or More going for adds

Hey everybody…the day is here. Made for More is being released to radio today and will be going for adds all around the country. Feel free to call your local stations and request the song, if you like. To give you a better chance of liking it, I’d like you to have it for free. (Everything is better when it’s free!) Get it HERE!

And I offer you all a huge thank you for supporting me, my band, and my music. I am truly humbled that God allows me to be a part of something like this.

Keith

Breakout Session Notes

Thanks for checking out my breakout session at the conference today. This session was 90 minutes, so these are kind of the bare bones of notes, but I hope they help. Please keep in mind that this is most in the context of worship planning or leading people in worship. I’ll post the audio here when it’s done!

NOTES

What is worship? Basically, worship is our response to to something we love. Maybe it’s football, or our family, or money. Hopefully first and foremost it’s God.

WHO

  • So when we talk about worship, we first have to ask, “Who?” So our response, or our worship, is towards God for who He is…not just His name, but His character and nature. Who is God to you?
  • Who is God to the people you’re trying to reach? How can you connect them with Christ?

WHY

  • What other response could we have to God? To the Creator? Savior? Hope?
  • He commands us to do it
  • Not reasons to worship – it feels good, obligation

HOW

  • Everything starts with vision. You have to know where you’re going if you want to get somewhere. Once you know who God has called you to be, as a leader and a church, you’re vision will become clearer. It will make decisions easier. You might have good options that every other church is doing or everyone in your church wants you to do, but if it doesn’t line up with your vision, you’ll have to say no sometimes. Nobody wants to be around confusion. Why would a new person want to be a part of something that is confusing.
  • We have a clear path. We start with a vision for the church. To reach unchurched people in our community. In order to further that vision, we plan worship services that will be a place where we can worship God together. So we take scripture and put themes around it to help people understand that God loves them. Each week is a sub theme, which supports the theme of the series, which supports the vision of the services, which support the vision of the church.
  • Our community is not your community. Get to know the people in your community. Do what they do. Go where they go. It will help you understand how to reach them.

PRACTICAL

  • Don’t just have people “greet each other in the name of the Lord.” Prompt them with a question to discuss. It’ll help them get to know each other.
  • Use images from pop culture to help people connect scripture. Jesus spoke in parables, it’s probably a good idea.
  • Don’t just have announcements. Have opportunities for people to connect and serve.
  • Think outside the box. ie Knock Off series – taste tests for original vs knock off brands to help people connect the dots of authentic vs knock off faith.
  • Add a fun opening song. If your theme is unity, open the service with The Beatles’ Come Together as people gather. It’ll break down barriers and help people’s minds become open to see God as bigger than just something we do on Sunday for an hour.
  • Worship in private so your public worship is authentic.
  • Leaders – lead. By example. Does rehearsal start on time? Are you ready when rehearsal starts? Why would your team member make it a priority to be there on time if you don’t? Do you know all the songs like the back of your hand when rehearsal starts? If not, maybe your band doesn’t need to learn them in advance.
  • Start with prayer and devotion. It will help focus people on the reason we do what we do.
  • Preparation is vital. If you aren’t prepared, people can probably tell, and if they think about you, then you are a distraction. It will help everyone experience God in an undistracted way.
  • Know what your theme is: Pray accordingly; Choose songs accordingly.
  • Technical issues or blatant music mistakes are a distraction from the focus of our worship, which is God.
  • TRANSITIONS. Make smooth transitions. 12 seconds of awkward silence can kill someones connection with the Spirit. Be responsible with the responsibility.

RESOURCES

  • worshiptogether.com – for new songs/videos
  • CCLI – for charts, lyrics, licenses
  • churchstagedesigns.com – for creative stage ideas
  • worshipleader.com/Worship Leader magazine
  • The Air I Breathe – Louie Giglio
  • planningcenteronline.com – worship planning/schedule/organization
  • ProPresenter – lyric/video projection
  • worshipmatters.com – blogs/devotions/thoughts
  • leadworship.com – instructional DVDs/articles

 

Remember that no matter what we do, no matter how creative or how good we sound, only Christ can transform people’s hearts and raise them to life!

Our Conference Breakout Session

UPDATE – Here is the post with the summary of the session: http://keithelgin.com/2013/01/breakout-session-notes/

Hey everyone,

So I’m pretty pumped that I’m teaching a breakout session on worship at a conference this weekend (that will look nothing like the above picture). And I’m even more pumped that after pre-registration, my session is already full!

So when I say “teaching”, I really mean “learning”. When I say “learning”, I mean that in preparing, I’m realizing how much I’ve learned about God, people and worship the longer I’ve been involved with worship stuff. It’s great to have a moment to stop and realize how much wisdom God gives through experience, when I typically just go go go and implement what I learn without ever really stopping to appreciate that I’ve learned it. I also hope I’ll learn a lot from the people in the session. I like to ask questions, as well as give my opinions.

And when I say, “I’m” teaching, what I mean is “we’re” teaching. See I need your help. Can you answer a few of questions for me? I’d love to reference some of the answers during my breakout (without names). If you’d prefer to post here and not have me share it, just say so in your comment.

Thanks for your help! Hopefully I’ll get a copy of the audio, and if so, I’ll share it here.

Keith

 

1. As someone who attends a church service, what do you wish the planners/programmers would know?

2. As someone who attends a church service, what do you wish the worship leader/music leader would know?

3. If you play/sing on a worship team/lead worship, etc, what do you wish your leader knew?

4. What distracts you most from God during a worship service?

Happy Thanksgiving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

I’m so thankful for the many blessings in my life. From my wife, to my church, to my band, even to you for simply taking the time to read this, I am truly blessed beyond what I deserve.

A friend sent me an email this week with the original Thanksgiving declaration from the Continental Congress in 1782. I found it fascinating to see exactly why this day was initially set aside, and then to consider everything that’s been added to it. Originally: no pilgrims. No turkeys. No football. But, the day was set aside to give thanks and praise to God, not just for what He does, but more just who He is. So in the midst of the family, stuffing, Redskins victory at Dallas, parades, etc., stop and thank God simply for who He is. Have a great Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

STATE OF NEW-HAMPSHIRE. IN COMMITTEE of SAFETY, EXETER, November 1, 1782.

ORDERED,

THAT the following Proclamation for a general THANKSGIVING on the twenty-eighth day of November [instant?], received from the honorable Continental Congress, be forthwith printed, and sent to the several worshipping Assemblies in this State, to whom it is recommended religiously to observe said day, and to abstain from all servile labour thereon.

M. WEARE, President.
By the United States in Congress assembled.

PROCLAMATION.
IT being the indispensable duty of all Nations, not only to offer up their supplications to ALMIGHTY GOD, the giver of all good, for his gracious assistance in a time of distress, but also in a solemn and public manner to give him praise for his goodness in general, and especially for great and signal interpositions of his providence in their behalf: Therefore the United States in Congress assembled, taking into their consideration the many instances of divine goodness to these States, in the course of the important conflict in which they have been so long engaged; the present happy and promising state of public affairs; and the events of the war, in the course of the year now drawing to a close; particularly the harmony of the public Councils, which is so necessary to the success of the public cause; the perfect union and good understanding which has hitherto subsisted between them and their Allies, notwithstanding the artful and unwearied attempts of the common enemy to divide them; the success of the arms of the United States, and those of their Allies, and the acknowledgment of their independence by another European power, whose friendship and commerce must be of great and lasting advantage to these States: —– Do hereby recommend to the inhabitants of these States in general, to observe, and request the several States to interpose their authority in appointing and commanding the observation of THURSDAY the twenty-eight day of NOVEMBER next, as a day of solemn THANKSGIVING to GOD for all his mercies: and they do further recommend to all ranks, to testify to their gratitude to GOD for his goodness, by a cheerful obedience of his laws, and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.

Done in Congress, at Philadelphia, the eleventh day of October, in the year of our LORD one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two, and of our Sovereignty and Independence, the seventh.


 

 

How to win on 7-11 Day!

So after much thought and prayer (and by much, I mean none), and considering how small 7-11’s free slurpees are, I have developed a revolutionary idea for making your free 7-11 slurpee, the slurpee that keeps on giving. Follow these step-by-step instructions and you too can win on 7-11 Day!

1. Find the largest thermos/mug/jug/whatever you have, in your house. Make sure it’s clean. Take it with you as you leave today.

2. Stop at the first 7-11 you see and pick up your free slurpee (you may want to choose one that will be consistent across all 7-11s (ie cherry, coca-cola,etc). But DO NOT DRINK YET.

3. Pour your free slurpee into your thermos/mug/jug. Then begin to sip as you drive away, but not too fast…you want to make it last.

4. Stop at the next 7-11 you see. It’s likely you haven’t finished your first slurpee, which is good news. Pick up your next free slurpee. DO NOT DRINK YET.

5. Pour your next free slurpee into your thermos/mug/jug. Then begin to sip as you drive away, but not too fast…you want to make it last. Notice anything? Your thermos/mug/jug is a little bit fuller…not only are you enjoying your free slurpee, it’s also growing.

6. Stop at the next 7-11 you see. Pick up your next free slurpee. DO NOT DRINK YET.

7. Pour your next free slurpee into your thermos/mug/jug. Then begin to sip as you drive away, but not too fast…you want to make it last. Notice anything? Your thermos/mug/jug is even fuller…not only are you enjoying your free slurpee, it’s growing even more!

Repeat steps 4-7 as many times as you’d like. You will have a thermos/mug/jug full of slurpee. If you do things right, you will have enough slurpee to last throughout your day. Congratulations, you have won on 7-11 Day!

 

***cold headaches are not the responsibility of keithelgin.com or any of it’s affiliates

But, seriously…if anyone tries this, please send me a photo.

Win 4 tickets to CreationFest Northeast

Did you know we’re playing on the indie stage at Creation NE 2012? We play on Saturday, June 30 at 12:20pm. We’d love to have you come sing along with us, assuming you have any voice left at that point.

To celebrate, we’re giving away 4 tickets for THE ENTIRE WEEK! That means, everyone from Chris Tomlin, to Thousand Foot Krutch. Family Force Five, Switchfoot. And so on. To enter, comment below with the following:

1-name

2-email address

3-why you should win the tickets

 

We’ll announce the winner this Monday, June 25, at NOON. Tweet it. Share it. Instagram it?

Go check creationfest.com for the schedule of events.

Good luck! Ready. Set. Go.

2012 Songwriter of the Year

I received some exciting and humbling news this week. Based on Made for More, the single release from our EP, I was named 2012 CCM Network International/Christiansongwriting.com Songwriter of the Year! I entered the song in their songwriting contest late last year and it was chosen from songs entered from all around the world. I was chosen by Jeff Quimby, who is a heavy hitter in the Christian music industry, since his days of A&R at Integrity Music working with people like Lincoln Brewster and Kari Jobe.

So what does that mean? Well, being called Songwriter of the Year is pretty cool. In addition to that, I won some cash, a 1 song recording engineered and produced by Jeff Quimby at his studio in Mobile, Alabama, and a radio promotions package for a song of my choice. When it comes time, I believe we can get Made for More out there by calling local stations and asking them to play it…but I’ll update more about that as time goes on.

So thanks to Jeff McLaughlin at MMGI and CCMNI, Jeff Quimby, and all of you for continued support.

Glory to God!

Page 3 of 712345...Last »