Resurgent Artist Reunion & Recording Retreat Seattle 2018 - Imagine Seattle
Its been just over 30 days since we came off of our 4 day artist retreat with about 35 of us posted up at a castle in the woods of the great Pacific Northwest. I really haven't made any comments about that time as its taken me as well I know many of the artists time to really process and digest all that took place.
Before I share with you all that I believe happened in what felt like a particularly special few days, let me first give you some context as to why we even endeavored to take on what I have called “a VERY expensive experiment”.
I remember nearly 5 years ago sitting in a greenroom after a night at one of our conferences observing as our team, family, and guest artists/ministers sat around a big table just hanging out as friends. Laughter, stories and deep moments all without any agenda or celebrity hype. Everyone got a seat and everyone had a voice to contribute to the conversation. This was the context for everything that we had been releasing in the way of language. This was our community, our family in action and in this moment I had an overwhelming thought.
“There was nearly 1,000 people in the room tonight that would have paid any price for a seat at this table and there is simply no way for them to get it.”
This thought sent me on a journey causing me to process so much about what is was that we were doing and how much we were even accomplishing. Don't get me wrong we love coming together for large gatherings and continue to participate and even host conferences and other large events. But in this moment I began to ask myself questions: “are we (and others) creating and releasing more language than we were giving people in the way of context?” or even worse “is it just easier to ‘revelate' and inspire than it was to model and invite people to our table?”.
Were we creating an environment for people would come and get blessed, touched, and filled with inspiration but then to only leave feeling lost and longing with no context for this new inspiration? Are people leaving filled with language to only become frustrated, disappointed and still hungry for more? Possibly even leaving them disenfranchised with their local churches because they thought it was their fault. To me these are some of the many negative impacts that “conference christianity” has had on The Church. Celebrating deep revelations while also hiding behind our language because its easier to talk about things like community or family for example than it is to model it.
Now I realize that we cant do life with everyone that we meet. Nor do I expect the many amazing conference or event speakers to do so either. But what we can do is teach people how to build “tables” in their own communities inviting friends and family back to join them back at that table called connection.
This experience and all these questions began a nearly 5 year journey of dreaming, asking and pressing into God for the context by which we could truly invite people to our table.
As we launched our recording company we began to travel releasing hundreds of new songs and artists in cities all across the nation. With over 100 records now released within our Resurgent Sound community/platform we have met some of the most amazingly gifted and dearest people that were tucked away often in towns and regions we had never even heard of.
Our model has grown and evolved but the roots are the same. We take pride in being the platform for “everybody else”. To find the hidden ones and to remind them that they are seen, known and their voices have tremendous value. Regardless of fame or perceived influence we wanted to give hope, courage and release the songs and sounds of cities not just mega platforms.
Traveling allowed us to learn that one of the global themes among particularly worship leaders and artists is the desire to be connected. So it became clear that this would be to group of people that we would invite into our context. To come to our table and to get the opportunity to connect not only with us but to build friendships across the global worship tribe.
And thats exactly what we did.
THE REUNION - Sold Out in 24 hours without ever promoting or sharing a “name”.
35 Artists. 4 days. 5 Records. 1 Conference. Lifetime Connections.
There was so so much that took place over the course of the week. Besides the daily rounds of meals, yard games & free time to hang, I want to give a overview of some of my personal highlights day by day.
MONDAY/TUESDAY - Our team flew in. This included our Resurgent Family House Band, Engineer & Administrative staff. We took some time in the city catching up (always need time to hang in Seattle) and then made our way up to the reunion house. We set up, sound checked and turned in early. Tuesday was our first recording day. We had the 2nd time recording artists Rhemacry come in a day early for their full length project!
WEDNESDAY - Recording Day 2 - Jack McComas recorded all day his full length project! at 5PM everyone had arrived and checked in for the opening diner. We pride ourselves on being somewhat “foodies” so shout out to my wife Jaclyn and all the kitchen staff that helped make every meal as beautifully stunning in presentation as it was delicious. The opening dinner was filled with talks & laughs out doors as the sunset over our 20 ft long family table.
As mealtime began to wind down one of my favorite parts of the week began to unfold. I had asked one of our intercessors and a spiritual mama to us if she would pray over each guest, by name most for the almost 5 months leading up to the event. Then as she is praying could she write a word for them that we would read over them out loud as a part of the opening dinner. Imagine 30+ people learning that someone they had never met before had been praying and asking God what HE had to say to them before they even arrived. This was so special as is pulled everyone into intimacy and immediately brought this extended family together. That night we had my mother in love lead worship and our friend Jacob Cook share on creativity, vulnerability, and the power of pain. it was a beautiful start to what became a week ill never forget.
THURSDAY - We recorded 2 EPs on Thursday for Kathryn Roach & Wendy Cooper. As they rotated through the studio we kicked off the morning with a session from Seth Thomas which was so beautifully profound preempted by a laughably fun time of worship with myself on the keyboard. Singing oldies with bad notes because it was all I could remember on keys. And yet the room still filled with the sweet aroma of worship and people passionately pursuing God and His presence.
That afternoon we filled the house with new songs and the sound of encouragement through our “new song showcase”. Everyone who wanted to participate was able to play and sing an original song for the group. At the end of each song we made time for everyone to go around and share a word of encouragement and prophesy over each artist. There were laughs, tears, and lots of love. Easily one of my favorite moments.
That night some of my family showed up and hung out with us for a time of worship. It was so fun to have my actual family in the context of our extended Resurgent Family. Jake Hamilton led worship while Corey Russell brought a word and together ministered beautifully.
FRIDAY - We recorded our final project for Nick Boyd. This day was FULL of fun. Packed agenda as we had teaching and worship times from Ray Hughes, Jeremy Riddle, Jason Upton and a time of ministry with all of our amazing guests.
Friday afternoon was especially significant for me as my brother Jessie spontaneously asked to be baptized. I was like “hey lets go right now!” With the buzz of excitement and like a procession we took the whole crew of 30+ down to the river to join us in this amazing celebration. As we pulled down to the river my sister Annie (Jessie’s bride) says unexpectedly “I want to be baptized too”. As my heart leapt with joy we made our way as a group down the rugged path to the river side. As we took time people one by one prayed and prophesied over Jessie & Annie. Our dad George and I walked out into the river with Jessie and Annie then together we baptized them both. You could hear the sounds of celebration and cheering all down the river banks as this beautiful and deeply special moment for me and our family took place. It was like God was setting up this entire weekend to be more than just a language of family but the actual framework by which family is built and exists.
Friday night’s closing dinner was yet another mile marker for me. At the opening dinner each person with the words that they had received were also give the name of someone else at the retreat that they were now to read aloud and give a handwritten word of encouragement to each other. I was awestruck as I watched a group who were strangers just 48 hours earlier speak life over one another as if they were actual flesh and blood. We closed the night with worship and ministry time and a final encouragement to take that which had been modeled and experienced back to the cities from which many came and build a table of connection there.
SATURDAY - Saturday was like the fun overflow of all that had been produced throughout the week. It was an invitation for the public to come in and see and hear about what we have been running after. To get practical application but also to be somewhat jealous for the opportunity to build community in their sphere and maybe inspire them to do not just think about it but actually do it. to become voices of influence and innovation but to not run alone. It was a beautiful time and a great end to a perfect week.
This was a prototype of community and family. The thought that we don’t all have to look the same, agree 100% on everything or even get along all the time we still find value in coming together. The beauty of family is that we gather around connection and commitment instead of dividing over opinions and differences. I jokingly used the analogy that we all have a crazy uncle “Larry”. We are happy to see him but aren't so sad when he heads home either. But like clockwork come Christmas time or the next family reunion uncle Larry no matter how crazy or different he may be everyone still shouts “uncle Larry” in celebration upon his arrival and scoots over because he will always have a seat at the table.
We were clear in that this group could not become or replace the immediate family or community that exists back home. That we have the benefit of coming together is so that we can take what we have experienced back to our cities and grow healthy communities and families as a result of this diversity and these experiences.
There was nothing about this weekend that could have gone any better or different for me. It was the totality of all that had been brewing in my heart for nearly 5 years. I could go on and on but let me just saw that even in the littlest ways I saw the heart and faithfulness of God manifested not only for me but for those who we had with us.
You mean besides the Resurgent Artist Reunion & Recording Retreat - Nashville 2019!?!?!
There is a lot that is happening within the Resurgent artist community and some exciting things coming up. I would encourage you to stay connected and get on the site to see if you feel led to apply for a future gathering like this.
In summary these are the statements that right true to summarize where we went and where I believe we are going.
Family NOT family business.
Community OVER competition.
Pioneering TOGETHER not trailblazing alone.
Be blessed and see you somewhere soon,
President | Resurgent Sound