A cold and slushy evening didn’t stop concert goers from gathering on night five of The Vision of You Tour at The Good Samaritan Church in Paoli PA, their hearts set on receiving true warmth once inside. A wonderful night of music and ministry including artists Shane and Shane, Starfield, Bethany Dillon and teaching from David Nasser awaits as I sit down to chat with Shane Barnard and Shane Everett, moments before the concert.
It has been noted on banners that on the Vision of you tour all of the feature artists are “uniting for more than just songs”, what is this all about?
Barnard: We were actually just talking about the united heart on this heart on this tour with Starfield, Beth, David and Us. I think probably one of the main common denominators is, everyone genuinely wants to see the Lord lifted up. Everyone would genuinely rather that happen and no one buy any thing and leave changed and leave seeing and tasting something that’s better than a cool beat or a cool riff a cool wide displayer. I think it’s just a common denominator. We have a song on our latest album; Pages its called Vision of you, that’s sort of the concept of the song, that God would come and meet us, though he’s every where, but in a powerful way just come and meet us and do more than we could do through a song … I Think it’s just a common kindred cry that he would do that.
Everett: David Nasser teaches also so it’s more than just a concert. There is teaching so we’ll get into the word that way. We pray for kids in India tonight it’s a lot of different cool stuff [so] that it’s more than a concert. It’s been great. It’s just night five for us, so it’s been great. So we’ve been loving it…
What is your hope as far as the experience for those who attend?
Barnard: Just to see him. Just to see the Lord. Shane and I will say this word several times in the songs… that they would be satisfied in him, in the middle of a very fleshy day and age, that they would be satisfied in the lord… that you even have an opportunity to invest in his kingdom, and children’s lives, but even ultimately in that to be satisfied in the Lord through that not just the work, but the one who it is for.
While on tour, how do you stay focused and prepare to share your ministry before performing.
Barnard: A lot of days its been driving eight hours and showing up, setting up stuff, things breaking and trying go to work on the sometimes there is no preparation. There is just holding on. The great news of that is the word of God is an objective truth, apart from us. The lord is going to do what he wants to do. I think anyway despite whether we have prayed six hours before we go on or not, but we love to sit together and pray before. On this tour specifically we’re doing a little devotional before we start, going through a book. Tonight is Shane’s night. So Shane will read and give a little how it ministered to him kind of talk. We don’t always do that though we are doing it on this tour…
Everett: Which totally helps!
Barnard: Which is amazing…We will probably, hopefully do it from now on. Hopefully, it will be kind of a consistent thing in our lives. [On] the road, traditionally you have to fight for time. You have to fight for time alone. This is just as of very recently we have enough help to where we can do stuff like that… Historically up until maybe a couple years ago, a year and a half ago… Shane and I have been the drivers of the crew. It’s everything we can do just to make it… It’s getting better we have a great crew, a lot of help and a great team.
Has there been any out of the ordinary occurrence where you have had the chance to share the gospel or minister a song, one that you didn’t expect but that presented itself?
Everett: On this tour so far, or forever?
Barnard: There is, always…I would say maybe once a week or so we run into something like that, we break down or we’re stranded or something. I remember one thing that just popped into my head…this was a long time ago when we first started playing; we were going to do an event with our friend, Matt Chandler. We stopped at this gas station and there was a car at the gas station. Then we talked to this guy in the car and he was just hurting and beat up. We asked him what he wanted and he said he wanted a carton of cigarettes, and through that we talked to him for maybe a half hour about the Lord, about Christ… Sometimes we are just planting seeds. We definitely run into welders and towers. You name it! …mechanics and this and that, where if we spend enough time with them in a day… [As] Dave will be kind of be teaching on tonight, that we have a chance to kind of do some sort of a service to them, even though they are serving us. That leads to an opportunity. Often they’ll come [to shows]. Definitely weekly… One bus broke down [they] were stuck on a tiny little road … We got them out. I’m sure there are some folks who got served and such, we believed in all those people who were on that bus… A lot of folks in our clan consider those moments as powerful if not more powerful than stage moments.
Is there any particular song or songs that stand out on Pages that you enjoy ministering specifically?
Barnard: … A song called Embracing Accusation… That’s one of the key few, songs on there that’s exclusively about the gospel.
Everett: Right now I’m liking a song called Beg… it‘s fun to sing I think, to create. Lyrically it’s a different kind of song, cutting. I think we play for the church a lot. I think it’s powerful in that setting. If a non-believer heard that song they might… not that they wouldn’t understand it, but I think that after where we are it’s a really powerful song.
How did those songs come about? What is the story behind Embracing accusation and Beg?
Barnard: Beg, definitely came out of just several journals that I did, and a line that stuck in my head from a John Piper sermon actually, years ago, which is pretty much in the song. Basically, that God has every right because he’s God to ask me things that because of my rebellion and my nature, I can’t do. Like, love him with all my heart and soul, mind and strength. To be able to say that I do that is pretty much an impossibility, to love him with all of my heart.
So many times in my day I love everything more, it seems like, because my time goes to them and my mind goes to them and my powers go to them, my thoughts go to them and my praise goes to them. You know? It’s just that reality that God has kind of hammered home over the last year and a half or so leaves me in a beggar’s posture. I’m just going, “break through and make things less shiny”… Whom have I in heaven but you? The earth has nothing I desire but you [psalm 73:25], that kind of cry…that was said by someone who said … my iniquities number more than the hair on my head [Psalm 40:12]… Just that reality that I can say I love you God with all my heart, that’s not a bad thing to say, that can be a true thing in a moment, but the next minute I’m thinking about whatever, iphone or something, wherever my thoughts or my praise goes to.
Embracing accusation is a moment I had in meditation on Galatians chapter 3, this line that says “if you can’t abide in the rules and the laws, that are in this book then you are cursed”, period. Just dealing with that line and then being terrified by that line in those moments, insecure moments specifically feeling like the enemy was speaking that line, “Do you want me to list up what you’ve broken today?” Just hearing that and by the power of the Holy Spirit being reminded the chorus of that verse that he has redeemed us from the curse of the law, it just came out of that whole chapter.
We love you Jesus has an upbeat pop feel, yet it has a deep meaning. Would you mind sharing the story behind it and the hope it inspires?
It actually came at a restaurant. I was in a coffee shop, kid of done with the record for the most part I was trying to write a radio song, and I went away to write for a week. I was literally done [writing] that was my last night in Kansas City… I was looking out the window I started to sing it, kind of hum it, which doesn’t happen without a pencil or a guitar I feel worthless, like a song can’t happen without utensils, that’s weird. So I would sing it in my head throughout the evening and then I called Shane. I went home and my bible was open to… the one Old Testament quote death o death where is your sting? The sting of death has been swallowed up in victory [1Corinthians 15:55], the combination of those things [lead to the song]. It definitely prepared me for a lot, for the next year my father passed a few months after that, and we had been singing it, it was a radio song…. That among many other things the Lord has been hammering home… There’s no sting …This is a good thing.
After many albums and tours and reflecting over the years how has God lead you to this point?
Everett: I don’t know, kicking and screaming…
Barnard: That was a good answer!
Everett: Every season for us has been land mark moments where I think we get so beat up that there is a breaking… It’s all been a season of a kind of winter season and it’s where I feel that Shane’s song’s come from, a hard place. You find yourself in a hard place and you don’t even realize all that the Lord is bringing you through till you look back in hindsight and your like, “there he was”. This season for Shane is a new season, it’s a breaking season, he’s engaged, and for me I have a baby now. There is all kind of dying going on right now, with both of us. It’s really good, and it’s painful, it’s a lot of things, but really good things that I think [as with] all of us the Lord is continually, over the years, with us specifically has been… decreasing yourself. We both have a lot of pride, a lot of strong, bull headed, boy stuff. We just have it. We are cancered with it. It’s just all through us, but the Lord is continually over the years beating us down. I think all of it has given us a bigger heart for what we do, each other, our friends and family, it’s good. I think the next season for us is going to be amazing: a lot more focused on the local body and family, time with the Lord. To bring all of that together the next season we are really looking forward to, and that’s getting off the road being more consistent with the lord, for me being more consistent with people I don’t necessarily want to be around, at church. The kind of whip you, but it’s just so good for you. I am excited about it.
Barnard: Just to add to that the banner over the last decade… my cousin and aunt actually sent me this plaque for Christmas… the righteous shall live by faith, not by sight… to say that we live by faith and not by sight definitely isn’t a boast ‘cause every ounce of faith came from him… I feel like it really has been take a step, and we have no idea if we are going to fall off a cliff, like the one scene in Indiana Jones where he steps out… it’s just been a hundred of those. The first concert: never played a song in the microphone, never wrote a song. We’re about to play in front of 2,000 people. Ready? Go! You name it, business decisions of things that we buy things that we don’t, places we go, tours that we do, things that we write, just stumbling through by faith. Some things we think through and try to do the best things, a big majority of the last decade has been not a lot of sight, not a lot of you know what’s going to happen at the end… We are trying to switch that to the righteous will live by sight and decrease the faith…No, we are trying to be better…
Everett: … Trying to be better stewards
You have already touched upon it. My last question was, what are you looking forward to seeing in the future as far as growth, not only in ministry? Would you like to elaborate on that?
Everett: We just want to love God more, ultimately; love our friends more love our family more. It’s just impossible to do, but we are praying for the thought, you know?