Exclusive Interview: Mike Lee, Talks About His New Album “Awakening Hearts”
I recently got to sit down with up-and-coming Christian recording artist and worship leader Mike Lee. We talked about his new album Awakening Hearts, working with legendary music producers Scott and Ed Cash, and even getting to eat dinner with Bobby Knight.
Read highlights or listen to the full interview below!
Michael Fear (GetBetterToday.com): Thanks for joining us today Mike. Congratulations on your new album – Awakening Hearts. It’s actually available on iTunes now for all our listeners. Can you tell us a little bit about?
Mike Lee: The title of the album is a theme…it’s grounded in the idea of the witness of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1: 13-14 says, “When you heard the word of Truth concerning Christ, were sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of your inheritance until you acquire possession of it.”
Literally throughout the epistles, it’s the idea of the witness of the Holy Spirit. And to the disciples it was promised by Jesus and foretold by the prophets that the sons of the God would be clothed in promise. Awakening Hearts is reference to that.
It’s a call for the church to respond to His witness. This kind of uniquely, the EP wasn’t titled before the songs was written but it was actually a common theme that I addressed after we had collected the songs with Scott and Ed – the producers that we were working with down in Nashville. I said, “What is the common theme in these songs?” It didn’t take me long to realize that people’s hearts were awakening to God through the Holy Spirt and the need the need for people to wake up to respond was the loud theme.
Michael Fear (GetBetterToday.com): I’ve been listening to one of our songs that I love, Salvation Come. I saw the other day you came out with a music video for it. What was your inspiration behind that song?
Mike Lee: A lot of the EP was actually written from a place of tension. I’m a bible teacher and a worship pastor here in Fort Wayne, Indiana. And in my home church, there was a little bit of tension, some thing that we were wrestling with…digging into, the truth of scripture. So I was, especially regarding salvation – I was reading through a lot of the text of scripture, the epistles, and words of Jesus regarding this language we use salvation. So that song was kind of a head of that reading, where all the reading, praying and seeking out the Lord. So that desperate cry that, “Lord let your salvation come, let Your healing come to those who believe”. It’s a need for the Christian to hope that the Word of God is true. And the Word of God, if it true (which we believe it is), it tells us that salvation comes as a gift of Grace through faith, to all who believe. That prayer, let salvation come, was the head of a lot of tension in my life at the time.
Listen to Salvation Come below!
Michael Fear (GetBetterToday.com): You mentioned Scott and Ed earlier. Incase our readers don’t know who that is – legendary producers. They’ve produced a couple well-known artists: Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe, David Crowder…
But the really cool is, I read where you got connected with them…. Your wife reached out to them and it ended up working out. Can you tell us a little more about that?
Mike Lee: It sounds oversimplified, but my wife contacted Ed through his website. I can’t say enough about what my wife does. She plays bass for me, she supports me in the writing process and she manages me. She is… I do very little of what I do. She actually does 90% of it.
She sent him 3 songs from the EP that we had just finished and Scott got in touch with her the next day and said, “Hey I’m really interested in what’s going on. I love the sound and I would love to record you guys.”
It was something so from the Lord, it seemed to come so simply.
Michael Fear (GetBetterToday.com): There’s something all our readers can take away from that. You guys went out and made it work. Clearly, God’s sovereignty was there and it was in His plan to work out. But you didn’t wait to get contacted. Do you have anything to say to our readers about going out and “making it happen”?
Mike Lee: The time we started this EP was a time of waiting for us, we didn’t know what was next for us. Raising funds for the EP, to making contact with Scott and Ed. I think sometimes in the life of a Christian we can misunderstand the idea of waiting…
That idea is not an absence of action. When we’re waiting on the Lord, there’s a need for us to be moving forward in the direction that we believe the Lord is calling us.
There’s a need to take action when you believe that the Lord gives you direction.
I used to listen to people talk about their music getting out…and so often the word was “by the anointing or the favor of God” and I second that and I think that’s absolutely awesome. But there’s certainly there’s a great work that’s required in stepping in to what the Lord has for us.
Pray for the favor of God. Pray for God to lead you and direct you. And follow after His Spirit. We can’t sit on our hands playing video games and hope that God’s going to do something for us.
Michael Fear (GetBetterToday.com): I saw you’re a worship leader. What would you say to other worship leaders and where do you see our music going?
Mike Lee: Honestly, I think that’s a question a question that is necessary to be addressed to where the church is – the context is really important. We need to be declaring that the sovereignty of God has power, that the Truth about God we know in His word and what He’s revealed to us.
Music is voice to a congregation. When we worship we’re declaring theology together and what we believe about who God is.
We are ministering the Word to each other and there’s a great healing power to that. But I think that the voice of a congregation has to be established in the congregation. So I couldn’t say the direction where all music is going – what congregations need to do.
But I can say that worship pastors and leaders have a need to be sensitive to the holy spirt and to establish voice with their congregation – that their congregation has a voice in declaring the Truth of who God is. And understanding their place in ministering the word of God.
Where style or preference might differ, it’s absolutely necessary that a culture is established where a community of believers feels like they have a voice and declare who God is and what He’s done. And they believe what they’re singing.
Michael Fear (GetBetterToday.com): I’m going to go in a different direction. Random question – you get to eat dinner with 3 people. Who do you choose? You can’t know them well and they have to be people who are currently alive.
Mike Lee: I’m a big basketball fan, Indiana basketball fan and I’m just gonna jump out there – he might not be first on the list. But I would like to sit down with Bobby Knight.
Because as a basketball fan and as a basketball coach a little bit. I would just like to talk to him. Then I would probably have a failed attempt at ministering the gospel to Bobby Knight. I don’t know if he would throw a chair to me. I would love to spend eternity with Bobby Knight in heaven.
There’s a great worship leader I really love and admire, Charlie Hall. He leads out at Passion. I would love to sit down with him and hear that guy’s heart – because I love what he writes.
Probably for my son actually, I would probably sit down and eat dinner with Lighting and Queen (the red race car from Pixar’s movie Cars) because my son is absolutely obsessed with Lighting and Queen now.
That would make my son absolutely thrilled.
Michael Fear (GetBetterToday.com): What’s one final thing you’d say to all our readers?
Mike Lee: God is who He says He is. God is trustworthy. Apart from God there is no hope. But for those who believe, we have a hope.
Abide in the Holy Spirit daily. Listen to His voice. Obey His Word.
If you do that, you’ll be alright.