With a brand new album just days away from releasing, Tenth Avenue North frontman Mike Donehey got on the phone with JFH's Alex Caldwell to talk about Cathedrals and the concept behind the album and its lead single, "No Man Is An Island"...
This interview took place on: 11/7/14.
Um (pausing a bit) where am I today? Baltimore.
Mike: No, Thankfully. I've fallen off chairs a few times, but nothing too serious. I try to stay 'low' if I can.
Mike: No way! Foreman is crazy, he gets up so high. I'm not built for that kind of risk. I like to keep lower to the ground.
Mike: That's exactly right. When you can program your social media world to allow some people in and block others out, then you can really get a warped view of other people, and your need for them. If our capitalistic culture says 'it's all about you' enough times, then it becomes easy to believe. That's particularly tough when it come to the Church. We're called to be in each other's lives, to be the Church.
Mike: Right! You are not special or unique because of your accomplishments, as great or noble as they might be. A believer is special because they are a vessel for the Holy Spirit to indwell. It's so easy to roar against the culture. It's what we've been taught for so long in many of our circles. But what if we were different in a way that was really counter-cultural? What if we saw each other as vessels of God's spirit and not just as objects in the way of what we want.
Mike: Yes! I tell people all the time that children are a 'covenantal' thing, that is that you love them because you have decided to, and at first it's a one way thing. They take and you give. It's like God's love for us.
Mike: That's interesting. Yeah, they are part of your life.
Mike: Oh man! Did you see the video we made a while back called "Chair"? It's all about that. What if we served the lost, made ourselves 'lower' and 'available.' That would help solve the "us and them" thing that we have taught our youth groups kids for so long now. We have forgotten that we are supposed to 'serve' all of mankind like Christ did. He went everywhere there were people. It's good to use wisdom with who you hang out with, especially in the teenage years, and to teach our kids to be wise. But we can never forget that we are called to serve, to be where the people are.
Mike: Yeah, it's a real issue-- the way we submerge ourselves in online life in response to the hard world we live in. I'm well aware that I'm in the entertainment industry, but 'tuning out' life is a real issue.
Mike: Well, it came mostly from conversations I've had recently with various church leaders I've been interacting with the last few years or so. We kept coming back to the same topic, and that's usually how I start writing.
Mike: No, but if we are listening to the Spirit and a big theme emerges over time, then praise God.
Mike: Oh yeah. It can be a minefield. But it's the context we find ourselves in, so we've decided to work within it. I will say I believe in entrepreneurship. There is something honorable about creating something from the ground up, something honorable about hard work and perseverance. It's a tricky balance, that's for sure.
Mike: Thanks man. Hey, I think I'm over my time. I have another call I have to make. This has been great.
Mike: *laughing* Thanks man!
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