We talked with Steve Fee, an established artist having been featured at Passion, Catalyst and 7:22. Steve and his band are playing cutting edge rock worship with songs that are already making their mark in worship circles around the world.
I hear a bird in the background.
Yeah, I’m on my front porch enjoying the morning here at home.
And home is Atlanta?
I’m on the north side of Atlanta, in Alpharetta. That’s where our home church is located, North Point Community Church.
How did you get started?
I started as a 17-year-old high school student at my church. At that point, my family lived in central Florida. I was a very beginner musician. In fact, musically what happened was not very good. But my youth pastor came to me and said, You know I feel like you’re the guy that needs to lead the music for our youth group. And I was like, That’s not a good idea. That would be tragic. I can’t sing very well. I can’t play very well. In fact, I don’t really want to sing or lead music, thank you very much. But he kept on me, and it happened.
Even though it wasn’t good musically at that point, it was the beginning of a journey of God placing people around me to shake my heart. Of course, my love for music developed, but there were people in my life to make sure that my love and desire for God developed along with that.
Later, while at college, I met Louie Giglio at a worship event. We became fast friends. It was my sophomore year of college where Louie said to me, “Steve, we’re doing this thing. I don’t really know much about what it’s gonna look like, but God’s given us a vision and we know two things.
The first thing is that we’re gonna call a generation of college students to live for the glory of God, and the second thing is we’re gonna call it Passion”… He said, “Does that sound like something you wanta be a part of?” I said, ” Well, my goodness, yeah. That really strikes the core of my heart too. That really resonates with me.”
Honestly, Jim, I never thought this would be my career. I went to school and got a degree in Psychology and in Bible and now here I am leading worship, still playing music, and I feel like it’s really in the center of God’s will for us, at least for this season.
Are you still active with Passion?
I am. In fact, just last October, we led the Passion event up in Boston. It was us and Charlie Hall Band and Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio. We all came together up in New England on the campus of Boston University and led Passion Boston for a day and a half. Just a few thousand college students there.
I noticed this morning that “We Shine” is number seven on
Billboard.Wow. That’s great.
You didn’t know that?
I did not, no.
Let’s talk about the album.
It was a long time in the making. Some of the songs are four years in the writing process. “Glorious One” happened in its entirety one time as we were worshiping. I stand back and listen to the record and it really sums up what is exported from my heart. It’s an album that has a lot to do with victory. A lot of those songs draw the worshipper to worship.
The album is a wide variety of confessions, but for me it’s a massive exportation of a journey of about three or four years in my life. Louie was a co-writer on four of the songs based on our friendship and our ministry, a Bible study here in Atlanta called “Seven 22”. The record is an exportation of that journey, the journey at Passion, and a record that is coming out of the life of our church too.
There are songs about the cross. There are songs about our renewed redeemed life that we’ve found in Christ. The song “We Shine” is this rockin’ anthem that you can shout at the top of your lungs. I tell people as we worship if you have a bad voice, this is your song.
How does your hectic life affect marriage? You have a new baby. How do you keep balanced?
Man, as you know, that’s a massive question. It’s something that we’re in the process of figuring out. We feel like we’re on the end of that curve and in a pretty great place. But it’s just so stinkin’ important to value time with your family. You talked about the switch from the independent record to the label; that’s been a pretty hectic switch for me, personally.
There are times where we’re supposed to leave the house and get in the bus and go and play worship somewhere and my heart is like, I don’t want to go. I wanta be here at the house. And my wife is the one will look me in the eye to say, This is what God has put in your heart to do and I’m behind you a million percent. It’s like she’s the one pushing me out the door going, Go do this. I’m for this ministry. Go. And while you’re gone spend your energy doin’ that because when you’re home I want you to spend your energy being home. When I’m on the road, she’s here with the kids being an amazing mom. I let work be work and when I’m home, I let home be home. If you’re anything like me, I have the tendency to slip on the computer and start doing emails all day. When I’m home the most valuable thing I can be for my family as a dad and a husband is to be somebody who invests time in the family.
We’re figuring out times for our family to come on the road with me. That is so important for my wife and kids to see me, to know what Daddy does when he takes off out of the house. That he goes and tells people about how amazing it is to live for Christ and that Jesus is the greatest thing to live for and to inject that into the texture, into the fabric of our home. I want them to be championing what I do and say, ‘I really believe in what he’s doin’.
Steve, what are you and your wife doing to build spiritual intimacy together?
We realize the importance of authentic and honest community around us. We’ve chosen another couple — kind of like a mentor couple — to have barebones, honest conversation with about how we’re doing personally and how we’re doing together.
It allows my wife Carmen to know how I’m doing as a man and as a son of God and it gives her insight into my walk with God and her walk with God. We’ve thrived and we’ve moved toward God and together as a couple.
You’re on track, man. That’s good stuff.
We just returned from a weekend together. We have an 18 month old and a six week old and it was our first time away. My mother flew in and watched our kids so we could spend three days away in Charleston, South Carolina just hanging out. It was really our first time alone without the kids, as just a couple, and it was so stinkin’ fun.
Jim, we barely left the hotel room. It was a really neat thing. It was the first time since we’ve had the baby that the two of us have been alone. We absolutely had a blast together. It was a rejuvenating time for our marriage and for our mental health; we really got revived.
Very good that you guys have the sense that you need time away and to make that happen. There is that tension of being a parent and spouse that often takes you away from the marriage for a season. It’s a really delicate balancing act.
Man, that’s so true. You’re right.
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