Getting to know....Kevin Howard (Chief Music Arranger of HOW)
Tell us how you got started in music?
As a baby, I crawled first to the piano. An aunt told my mom when I was born that I had piano fingers. I never remember a day where music wasn’t my life.
First song ever played?
When I was 6, I was a ring bearer in a wedding. I came home from that wedding and sat down at the piano and played the wedding march. My mom wanted to know who taught me and I told her that I heard it at the wedding. She immediately started pursuing piano lessons for me.
Favorite music class in college?
I loved the master classes we would have for each student….it was interactive and we all had to play and critique each other. It was pressure but pulled out the best in us.
Which pianist/artist did you want to emulate most?
In my early years I think Thomas Whitfield and Richard Smallwood were my biggest influences.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
What is your favorite pastime?
Exploring DC on my days off (or any of the wonderful East Coast cities)
This is hard…..I’ll just pick one….Emeril’s.
Favorite food city in the world?
We’ve heard your favorite type of food is Mexican. So tell us…Favorite taco shop?
Torchy’s! At my funeral, I want y'all to cry around my casket, shout when the choir sings, and then party with Mexican Food for hours afterwards!! I can eat it 24/7.....There is this big deal about "authentic" versus "texmex" versus "calimex" and which one is superior....i think they all rock!! I'll take it in any form I can get it!
What's playing in your iTunes now?
A little bit of everything….Kim Burrell/Thank You Jesus to Steve Cole/Maximum Cool to Kathryn Scott/Sing on the Battlefield….
What is a book you are currently reading and love?
Essentialism by Greg McKeown. I am working on simplifying my life in many ways in this current season. Learning to say no to good things is a hard lesson to learn so there is an available yes to the great and best things. I love living life to its fullest and sometimes I feel like I must experience every single thing there is to experience. I'm learning how to focus my energy. This book is extremely challenging for me but I want to be 100% effective at what God has called me to be. I want to spend my life on the right things.
Favorite bible verse?
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Favorite choir ever?
....just one...lol Ricky Dillard and New G
When did you first get involved in Heart Of Worship?
In the early 2000s either the first or second year when Laura started it at CLC in California.
What keeps you coming back (besides the fact you're in the leadership team)?
Because I believe in the mission of our movement to create a safe place for those who lead worship and for those who are hungry for more of the presence of the Lord. And for the fact that we create a place where excellence and anointing can coincide and are not counter to each other.
If you could live forever in any "worship generation" which would it be, and why?
The one we are in. It is super challenging but incredibly exciting all at the same time. I think we are so close to a spiritual revolution and I want to be a part of it!
We all learn from each stop on our journey, can you tell us one thing you learned from each ministry stop on your journey thus far?
That the joy is in just that, the journey. We learn so much no matter if the situation is good or bad. Something good can come from all of it. God can and will get the glory if we are willing to let Him. That means I have to deal with my preconceived notions about things and let Him be God.
Explain your thoughts on what creates a genuine, dynamic move of God and, what is something that you find hinders it the most in our churches?
I think a church must know who they are and flow in that. Unapologetically. Being sensitive to reaching new people but allowing them to experience a safe, real environment. People that know their calling and have confidence in that calling, not in themselves. Many churches are caught in the trap of trying to do it like churches they perceive are successful and doing it right. I think it is great to be influenced by great ministries but there is a lot of hard work that goes into a great ministry. I think churches must realize that we all are responsible to do that hard work to learn the ways of God for our local assembly. What does the God song sound like in our house? What does the move of God feel and look like for us? What is the DNA of our members? Our community? It does not just happen because we want it to, it happens because of serious intentionality to discover all that God has for us. Being fearless to try and not fear mistakes. Giving people a chance. To lead, to grow, to learn. Every corporate meeting must be our MOST IMPORTANT. No mindless services. We don't have time for that. Every minute counts. Every song counts. Every lyric. The band needs to play in tune, in the pocket, growing together. The singers need to rehearse, put their best effort toward making the praise of God GLORIOUS! I am extremely passionate about this topic. I bet you couldn't tell!
If you could impart one thing to every worshiper on the planet, what would it be?
Make God big….in your life, in your community, in your church. Get to a place where there are no limits and every challenge, every day, every situation is a new opportunity to see God greater, more glorious. Hunger for it…..remove things that are feeding your appetite that take you away from passion. Resist the emotional fatigue that comes from dealing with the dysfunction of our world and lift your sight, lift your eyes, hands, heart to a God who is mighty and waiting to be found!
Should The Lord tarry, where do you see Heart of a worship in 5) years?
I see it being a world-wide movement and network of worshipers and worship leaders and musicians changing their local areas for God’s glory!