10 Questions with ... All Sons & Daughters
November 12, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
The worship duo of David Leonard and Leslie Jordan was birthed in 2010 from Journey Church located in the Nashville suburb of Franklin, Tennessee. Jordan and Leonard met at Journey in the summer of 2009 where they began writing worship songs for their church family. Their evolution into a duo began when they started leading those songs together on Sunday mornings. Both currently serve on staff at Journey as Worship Designers in the Creative Arts Ministry.
Leslie Jordan has been leading worship since age 14, both in her own church and for churches and conferences across the United States. She graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2007 and was hired on staff at Journey as the Worship Designer in January 2008.
David Leonard grew up in Southeast Arkansas and attended college at John Brown University. While attending the university, Leonard began the Word Records band Jackson Waters. After disbanding in 2008, Leonard began touring with the Atlantic Records rock band NEEDTOBREATHE, and completed his time with them in May 2010.
- Leslie Anne Jordan - Vocals & Guitar
- David Alan Leonard - Vocals & Piano
- 2011 Brokenness Aside: EP No. 1
- 2011 Prone To Wander: A Collection of Hymns EP
- 2012 Reason To Sing: EP No. 2
- 2012 Season One
- 2012 The Longing: EP No. 3
1. Birthplace, childhood, schools, jobs, etc?
Leslie: I was born in Wilmington, NC and grew up in Johnson City, TN. I had a great and very imaginative childhood... spent a lot of time outside riding bikes and horses and allowing the neighborhood to be my playground. I feel like that contributed to my love of creativity as an adult. I also loved music and started playing the guitar at nine years old. Songs became another creative outlet for me. As I grew up, I began to fall in love with the church and so my passion for people and music and creative freedom found root in my heart. I went to college at Middle Tennessee State University and majored in Organizational Communication, which allowed me to explore my passion for non-profit and ministry. Those passions have now manifested themselves in my work with our church in Franklin, TN and now All Sons & Daughters, which is an extension of our church.
David: I grew up in Southeast Arkansas (Monticello) and I went to school at John Brown University (Siloam Springs AR). Today, I'm part of The Journey church in Franklin, TN.
2. Tell me about how you became a believer. What caused you to want to serve God in full time ministry?
Leslie: I was nine years old when I became a believer. However, I think I really understood the implications of my salvation when I was in college. I knew that my life was designed for something very specific and God had written a passion for worship on my heart. I knew that if I ran from that calling, it would continue to follow me - because it was written into life.
David: I became a believer as a kid but didn't really feel the grace of God until I was in college. It suddenly became real to me. The things that I had prayed for now made since. During that time and even now grace is a tough thing to swallow. How could someone love me even in my failures? I serve because I can't help but serve. I've been given something and can't help but tell the world about it.
3. What's the song that you just can't get out of your head right now? Why do you like it so much?
Leslie: The song "Us against the World" by Coldplay is on repeat in my head. It reminds me of some great friends of mine who spent a lot of time struggling through life and it also reminds me of my relationship with the Lord. My favorite line says, "through chaos as it swirls, it's us against the world." There are days when I see life as chaos and that the Lord is the only thing that isn't swirling around me! He is constant and good and He's in it with me. He's not separate from the chaos. He ushers me through it to the other side where we find calm.
David: I would have to say the whole David Ramirez record "Apologies." This record is filled with passion and pain. David's lyrics are so authentic and vulnerable.
4. How do you juggle life on the road with wanting to be home? How much do you travel, what are the challenges?'
Leslie: We are currently in a season of traveling heavily. And as the touring winds down, I find myself wanting to be home more and more. But God is good, his grace is sufficient for each moment. The greatest challenge is being away from my husband and my church. They are the source of my sanity (ha) so when I'm gone a lot I begin to feel like I'm missing their sweet life-giving spirits. We try to join shorter tours so that we aren't ever gone for more than 4 days at a time. We do a lot of "one-off" shows where we fly to a city, play a night of worship, spend time with worship pastors and then fly home the next day. Those are great and life-giving and not wearing on our spirits!
5. What's the last book you read? Give me a paragraph or two-sentence summation.
Leslie: I'm currently reading the "Gifts of Imperfection" by Brené Brown. It is a book on living wholeheartedly and from a place of health. God is a great author and a beautiful storyteller so when we hide behind our shame, we don't allow God to be seen in our stories. For me personally, this is a book that every leader (and every person) should read. If we are unable to be honest about our own lives, how are we to lead others in worship and freedom? My favorite quote is this:
"Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy - the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light."
6. You've got a single currently out at radio, "Oh How I Need You". Quite a few CHR and AC/Soft AC stations are playing it. Tell me about how that song came about?
Leslie: "Oh How I Need You" came from our writing session with Stu G. He brought the first verse "Lord, I find you in the seeking. Lord, I find you in the doubt. And to know you is to love you and to know so little else." We dove into the lyrics and emotion of seeking the Lord. It is crazy how when we seek, we find. And that our Journey with Jesus is more about the seeking than the knowing. And when we seek, we discover how great our need is for Him.
7. What about some of the other songs on The Longing EP. How are they being used, what's the story behind the song, etc.
Leslie: With "Rising Sun," we had a desire to write a praise song. Something that just allowed us to sing of God's goodness and his beautiful characteristics. He delights in the praises of his people; sinner and saint alike. Psalm 113 says "Hallelujah, you who serve God praise God. Just to speak His name is Praise!" When we run out of things to say, the bible says we can say his name and it is praise! How sweet is that?
The song "Called Me Higher" is a very personal song with an unusual story. I had written this a couple of years ago in a season of being settled. I wasn't unhappy or concerned, but I was comfortable. And it is amazing how the enemy can creep in when we become complacent and settled. I had allowed fear to become a controlling factor in my life and knew that God didn't call me to that place. It was not of Him or from Him. The line that always stands out to me when we sing it is "I could be safe here in your arms and never leave home, never let these walls down. But you have called me higher!" I believe this song is a cry for freedom in our personal lives. We've heard countless stories already of how God is using these words to call people out of different seasons and into the story he is writing for them!
David: "Hear The Sound" is a song we wrote with Matt Maher. It started from a conversation we were having about Psalm 145. "I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever." The song starts with the recognition of God's mercy, grace, and love which creates a wonderful burst of expression. "Let the Heavens roar, echo across the ground, and as Your people sing of Your majesty Lord hear the sound."
"We Are Blessed" is a song we wrote with Travis Ryan and Brandon Collins. It sparked off of a message from our Pastor Jamie George. We were spending time in Matthew 5 and Jamie came up with this amazing concept of when the scripture said "Blessed," try replacing it with "Loved." The scripture began to come alive!! We are loved at the end of our rope. When we're less there is more of the Lord. In the fight for our souls we must learn to let go and abandon who we are.
8. What about the title cut from the project?
David: "The Longing" is another song we wrote with Stu G. It stemmed from a book Stu was reading "The Cloud of Unknowing." The line that really stuck out from the book was, "the longing to pray is prayer." That's something that resonated with us. In a world full of distractions we all have expectations of getting closer to God, and we beat ourselves up when we don't achieve our goals. God doesn't work that way. He loves us through the Journey. "Love is and always was the longing placed inside my heart to know You and be known by You."
9. Favorite cereal, favorite comfort food, favorite ice cream flavor?
Leslie: Favorite cereal is Special K with red berries. Comfort food is any Mexican food!
10. Person you'd most like to have a discussion with, living or dead?
Leslie: I would love to talk to CS Lewis. I read the Great Divorce this year and his perspective on life and death and Heaven were really intriguing to me. That book allowed for many sweet conversations with Jesus!