10 Questions with ... Seth Condrey
September 30, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- 2004 My All
- 2009 More Than I See
- 2012 En Vivo
- 2013 Keeps On Changing
1. Give us a brief history....birthplace, childhood, schools, jobs, current hometown
I grew up in the South. Born in Greenville, but I lived in Tennessee, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and eventually Georgia up until a month ago when I moved to San Jose, Costa Rica. I was home schooled most of my life and raised in church, so I had a lot of 'head knowledge' of anything that has to do with church/Christianity/Bible. Until 2005 when my life changed.....
2. Tell me about how you became a believer.
Due to my upbringing, I developed a little bit of cynicism and a fairly obscured view of God because of the church culture. I ran into a lot of legalism which pretty much made me afraid and piled a lot of guilt on me which didn't really fix my heart issues. I had a really bad experience at a church, and it really wounded me and caused me to walk away from the Lord altogether. What followed was a pretty hard and fast road to almost destroying my life through drugs and alcohol. That continued until a guy named Neil Perry called me in 2005, a close friend of my dad and a youth pastor, and invited me to do music at his camp that summer. Neil saw something in me and chose to love me in a way that I hadn't felt loved in a long time. God used him to break through the hard shell around my heart, and God opened my eyes the last night of that camp. I was able to see that God loved me and truly wanted to use my life for His glory. And I surrendered to Him!
3. When did you know this is what you wanted to do for a career? Describe that overall experience and how it impacted you.
There have been a few people in my life that have identified that God has given me a gift and passion for music. But as far as a career goes, it's really something that unfolded. It wasn't something I was chasing. I got married in 2006 and around the same time I was connected through a friend in Nashville to Canzion (a Spanish label in Houston). After I recorded my first Spanish album I started realizing that I could definitely see myself serving through writing and worship leading, but I had no idea how that would happen. At the time, I was waking up early in the morning to cut grass for a living for my new wife and new baby. I really didn't have a platform outside of my newly released Spanish album to actually build a career. Once I found North Point Ministries, through an invitation to lead worship for their Spanish service, I realized that there was already something powerful happening in the world - a simple mission to lead the world into a growing relationship with Jesus - happening through the local church. Over the past 5 years I've found myself not so much dedicated to making a lot of money but to supporting the church and helping to heal and grow the church - so that anyone from anywhere could come and find a safe place to encounter Jesus.
4. What's the song that you just can't get out of your head right now?
" A Dios Le Pido" by Juanes. Besides it being a pretty catchy song, I'm having to learn it as an opener for this Sunday. I've had to listen to it quite a few times to get the lyrics for Sunday, which is a common occurrence in my world.
5. How do you juggle life on the road with wanting to be home? How much do you travel, what are the challenges?
I've definitely realized that being in proximity with my wife and children is pretty vital, especially in the early stages of my kids' lives. And I've also found that quality time is found within quantity time. As a result of being challenged by older, wiser men to triple my effort during this season with my family, I'm doing my best to give most of my time to my wife and children. Missions is a huge part of my life, but I've recognized that Titus, Jonas, and Lilia are my mission field, and I have to invest my life in them first and foremost. I'm sure it will continue to be a tension to manage, but I've just tried to get the priorities in my heart straight and lean on my wife to manage the time that I travel and the time that I'm home. It's almost a month to month decision.
6. What's the biggest "God moment" that you've ever experienced, personal or professional?
I've had quite a few powerful moments in my life - overwhelming undeniable God moments. But the one that stands out is the one that changed the course of my life in 2005. When I was at the student camp that my friend Neil had invited me to, they wanted me to play songs the last night of the camp during the communion. I decided to go to the beach to be alone. At the time, I was struggling with belief in God. I didn't know whether He loved me, whether he even existed, or really why I was here. But that night, as I was venting my frustrations in my heart, I felt God's presence overwhelm me, and I heard His voice clearly speaking to me. It was the loudest voice in the universe. And he simply said, "You're my child, and I love you!" I thought about the great lengths I went to to separate myself from God but realized that He had gone through greater lengths to bring me back. Something powerful happened to me that night that has changed me and will forever change me.
7. What's the last book you read?
"Parenting by the Book" by John Rosemond. This was definitely a 'black and white' book from a guy who spent his life in the 'gray.' He understands postmodernism and psychology really well, but his life was transformed by the eternal principles found through the pages of scripture. The thing that I really got from this book was the importance of being a great leader to my children. There are so many theories on how to discipline and train, but it really does seem like the greatest thing I can do is to give my children a clear example to follow and to model the kind of husband and father I want my boys to be, and what kind of man I want my daughter to marry.
8. Take us thru a few songs on the new project "Keeps On Changing", including the current radio single. What's the "story behind the song," ?
"Speechless"-- this is a song I wrote with Phillip Larue and Seth Mosley. I think a lot of times, as believers, we can get swept up in the culture of Christianity, and we lose our sense of awe and wonder of Jesus and what He's actually done for us. This song is a song to help us regain that! It's a song designed to create that sense of amazement amongst other people who may or may not have experienced Jesus. The idea is to draw us all in around that thought - that He is absolutely worthy, holy, and the Savior of the world.
"God of The Impossible"--This song was written with Bryan Brown and Phillip Larue. When we got in the room to write this tune I was at that point about to move my family to Central America. I was facing some difficult decisions and even feeling really challenged in my faith. As I was sharing with the guys just about struggles I was having in my marriage, in the decision to move, just in that big transition, this song ended up becoming a prayer of faith with a big exclamation based in the truth that our God is the God of the impossible... that we don't always have to see what's on the other side or know how the mountain is going to move or how we are going to stay above water, we just have to trust him.
9. If you could go back and change any events/decisions in your life, what would they be?
This is a tough question because there are a lot of things that I wish I would've never done. But I can't say that every one of the decisions I've made good and bad haven't been a part of leading me to the place that I'm at. I wish I would've never lusted, felt fear and anxiety, or made any decision ever out of impulse or selfish gain. But obviously that's not the case. The thing I do know is that I want to live in the present, right now, surrendered to God and walking in and through the power of his Spirit, and live the rest of my life in obedience to Him.
10. Person you'd most like to have a discussion with, living or dead?.....Deities are excused from this question
Brennan Manning. I just read his book, "Ruthless Trust," a few months back, and it made a profound impact on my life. You could feel his honesty and his genuine, relentless trust in the person of Jesus through every word that he wrote! I would just like to sit down and hear him talk about his life and advice he would have for someone like me - who has also struggled with doubt, fear, and a ton of other things.
1. Favorite Bible verse....life verse. Why?
Matthew 6:33. It's always been the reminder of what really matters. There are 1,000 things I could worry about, and that I have worried about, but this verse gives me a single, focused mission -- to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness and to not get too preoccupied with all these things.
2. Funniest or most embarrassing moment?
The first time that I ever sang in front of people in Spanish was probably the most terrifying time of my life! One, because I was singing in Spanish to tracks, which was already awkward for me, and two, because the room was filled with media people holding cameras and notebooks waiting to slowly pick me apart. I nearly passed out, and I have no idea how I actually made sense of that song. Looking back on it, it was a pretty hilarious moment!
3. What artist or pastor has had the greatest impact on you?
John Hambrick - who is an artist and a pastor has probably had the single most impact on me personally. John is over our Starting Point at Buckhead Church. Over the past 3 years, John has taken time to invest his life and wisdom into my life, and it's really just that.... He's a brilliant man - but the fact that he chose to associate himself with me, and he listened to all my ups and downs, has made a drastic impact on my present and my future.