6) Why I left Kutless & what I am doing now
Im a creature of habit. I told this to Tim Cook yesterday and his response was, “How in the world were you in a band?” Honestly thats a really good question. How can anyone be in a band? It’s when God opens the doors and you willingly walk through them. He will put you in a position that can seem to be unrealistic yet perfect only in His way. 3 months ago, my life was completely different. I was starting my 10th year in the music business as a professional drummer, 7 years being in Kutless. Living in Nashville and just plugging away. In the little spare time that I have, I have been serving with a movement called The Whosoevers out of Los Angeles CA. It has been an exciting time watching the movement grow and see people’s lives changed. My heart has always been in music, I have loved every minute of being in Kutless but God sometimes flips our nest to make us fly to new heights. He was putting me in a position where I was constantly asking Him if Kutless is where I belonged anymore. You see, The Whosoevers is a non-profit ministry without steady income so it wasn’t an option to hire me on, which is God’s way of saying “Hold fast, it’s in my timing, not yours”. My brothers in Kutless knew clearly what I was going through and felt that it was a good time to part ways with me, to allow the Lord to move in my life. This isn’t the most simple thing. I’m a husband and a father to a 20 month old. My wife is pregnant with our 2nd due in October and all of the sudden I don’t have a job. I serve an incredible God who can do all things but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t worried about my family’s welfare. That’s when the Lord opened up the door for me to come and speak at a Whosoevers Friday night at Calvary Chapel Golden Springs and open some enormous doors. Two weeks later, I was hired on to serve full time with The Whosoevers focusing on the growth and health of the vision and movement. This happened last month so we packed up a Penske truck on our 4th wedding anniversary, had a sob fest with our closest friends and church family and drove cross country to start this new life. We’ll be living in Santa Ana CA which is a lot different from the Nashville pace, but we are excited to settle in and watch the Lord work through our little family. I am such a creature of habit and a lot of this has been so much harder than what is on the surface, but that is how God operates. I would rather always be in a position of needing Jesus than to be comfortable and content, forgetting about Him. There have been a lot of questions as to why I left Kutless and I want you to know, it’s because God called me forward to split ways and connect and serve with this vision in The Whosoevers. It’s part of life and part of ministry, if God is stirring you to do something crazy like walk on water, then I would say God is stirring you to do something crazy and you should listen to Him… Im living proof.
Other questions have been:
Q: Will I keep playing drums?
A: Of course
Q: With who?
A: By myself for now. In my garage exactly the way I started out, Im excited to practice again.
Q: Are you still planning on doing a drum lesson website?
A: Yes, it is on hold for the moment, but could start back up at anytime. I will keep you up to date on that.
Q: What is The Whosoevers?
A: A movement of Whosoevers leading the way to reflect Christ in culture. thewhosoevers.com
5 a mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes.”
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.
The sand is everything else—the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked.
It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”
viral videos don’t become viral because there is a formula to viral videos. They go viral because something happens that people connect with in a menagerie of forms and they tell their friends who tell their friends and so on and so forth. Music used to be that way. Song writers wrote songs because they wrote a song. No secret hit making formula. A million songs were also thrown to the way side because they didn’t connect, but when a song is authentic, it connects with millions of people in a menagerie of of forms. I wish songs and musicians would go back to those days. There is a formula now, what radio likes and dislikes and it’s apparently all feedback from the consumer. They then bottled it and turned it into data and a formula to write the familiar sounding hook with the relatable lyrics. I think we should be inspired, be criticized, and at the end of the day, just make what you want to make. Some people will hate it and mock it, and others will have their worlds changed because of it. Some people will be broke their entire life because they just kept making what they wanted to make, and others became rich beyond their wildest dreams. A lot of artists were already dead and gone once their art was discovered and celebrated. There will always be critics, there will always be encouragers and discouragers but in the meantime, make what your soul is telling you to because that is worship. We were created by THE Creator to create for our Creator. If you don’t then you are not utilizing what God made you for. Don’t do that.
Im so excited with how God is using The Whosoevers movement to take over the public school system. God has been opening doors left and right so the crew can set up shop and love on the students. Every day we are hitting a different school to let kids know about the upcoming conference and to share the love of Jesus in a very real way. There is no fluff, no pizza parties, and no parodies or knock offs of what the world is doing to relate to the kids. This is real life, street level, relationship building, Jesus focused ministering. We are not waiting for the kids to come to the church, we are bringing the church to the kids and couldn’t be more excited with how God is blessing it. So please watch the documentary of what The Whosoevers is all about and how we are using our gifts for the Kingdom of God: thewhosoevers.com/documentary and start posting this icon up all over your blogs, twitters, facebooks and any other network you are apart of.
2. NEW RECORD
Yesterday was a whirlwind. Since finishing 6 months ago, our most recent record, “Believer” is finally out and available to anyone who would want to purchase it. Or I guess in this day in age, stream it. We started our day at 7am after a week of shows from Des Moines to San Diego then up to Minneapolis to wake up with little to no sleep. Lack of sleep didn’t matter to me, it was release day and for a band, that is a very overwhelming day. Waking up at 7 my coffee in hand, remembering that this is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice in it… is an understatement. We headed down to KTIS to hang out on the morning show and talk about the new album then we were thrown into a bunch of different directions to do radio liners and extra interviews. The thing is that the staff at KTIS is an absolute blast so it was like hanging out with friends which made the morning fly by. After the second round of coffee, we loaded up the SUV’s and headed down to the Union Gospel Mission in St Paul. I could have spent the rest of the day there hanging out with those guys. We played some music and had a sweet time of fellowship, I couldn’t believe the kindness and warmth that was displayed through all of them there, it captivated me. Sadly we had to once again load up the SUV’s and this time roll out to the infamous Mall Of America. All I can say is how humbling it was that we were given the opportunity to share our music and faith freely to a crowd of around 3,500 people. Yes, there were a lot of Kutless fans there, but it was also a free concert on a Tuesday night, so the ministry opportunity was ripe for the picking and we were able to share consistently the love and grace of Jesus Christ. I found myself tearing up on many occasions through the 40 minute set watching people worship freely and also noticing people intently take in what was going on around them… LOVE. God’s Love. I was wiped by the end of the night, emotionally and physically. It was a long weekend, but a powerful one and once again, I could come home knowing that I did my best to showcase God’s forgiveness and the work and ministry of Jesus.
Hangin with my Maasai posse at Compassion’s Unguik Student Center
Going through a ton of things right now. God is good, always has been, always will be. Thankfully I have so much to complete and shoot for which is exciting. If things were stagnant and quiet, I would be going out of my mind. For an update, Kutless is about to put out our 7th studio album on the 28th. It’s incredibly exciting, with everything we have been through as a band, seeing this record available to the public is an honor, you can pre-order it at shop.kutless.com. God is moving mountains with The Whosoevers right now as well. Anywhere we go, God is paving the way as we go into the darkest corners of the world to share the Gospel and redeeming power of Jesus. Please pray for us as we are preparing for our Conference in LA on April 20th and 21st, and please come and check it out if you are in the Southwest part of the states! TheWhosoevers.com. One more thing, I have been working hard on launching a drum lesson website called jeffgilbertdrums.com. This blog will be an integral part of the site keeping you updated on my life and future drum lessons that will be available for download. There will also be an opportunity to purchase my old gear and personal things from the road to help raise money for my church ConduitChurch.com. We are a small fellowship whose calling is to be a conduit to the world helping and serving in any way that we can. We have multiple projects in the Southern States and an orphanage in Haiti as well as a pastor training school being built in Togo Africa. If you want to reach me, I am on Twitter @KutlessDrummer and on Facebook.com/KutlessDrummer. Thank you for all your love and support! I can’t wait to stay in touch,