BJ Putnam is a highly talented worship leader, songwriter and producer.
His songs can be found on many albums including Israel Houghton's latest Grammy nominated release 'Covered - Alive in Asia' and Grammy Award winning release 'Jesus At The Center' with songs such as More and More, which also titles BJ Putnam's latest solo album featuring his own version of More & More and many other great new songs.
You may also have spotted BJ on Darlene Zschech's project 'Revealing Jesus'.
BJ & wife Melody reside in Phoenix, Arizona attending their local church of more than 14 years, where they pastor the worship team.
FFP How would you describe your route to your present position at Church For The Nations?
BJ I grew up at our church. I used to sit behind our drummer, bass player and worship leader to learn. I got passionate about music and about leading worship and knew that I wanted to not only play music but lead people into His presence.
FFP What has the growth in your church been like since it started & what do you attribute that to?
BJ We have seen God do amazing things here. When I started as worship pastor, we were meeting in an airplane hangar in Scottsdale Arizona with 75-100 people. Not glamorous at all. We have seen God do miracle after miracle and grow His church. We now have several campuses and many people who gather each week to worship Jesus. You can't compare God's favor to anything. When God performs miracles like we have seen, you can't take credit. I will say I have learned a lot about being faithful where God has planted you. Even when it seems difficult at times, I have learned that being faithful in the little things produces favor in bigger things.
FFP What was your first experience of praise & worship music / church creative team?
BJ Well the first experience would be my parents. Growing up, my parents we're always leading worship in some capacity. I learned a lot from them. Mostly how to hunger for His presence.
FFP What are the essential messages that you would want to convey to other worship teams right now?
BJ Hmm. Well two things. Make room for His presence. Don't allow Planning Center (Which is awesome) to rule the world. Be intentional about creating some space to see what the Holy Spirit might wanna do/say through you in a service. There is nothing wrong with set lists. I believe in them and use them. But I feel like we should be willing to be flexible especially when we feel Him moving in a different direction.
Find your Church/Team and get planted. The grass is always greener where it’s planted. Seek first the Kingdom and everything else, including your dreams and desires will be given.
FFP Why should a church embrace technology to help them present as 21st century church?
BJ Technology is such a great tool for the church to display Jesus to the world. I know of many people who have come to our church because some one told them we had great "sounding" music a 60ft screen and moving lights. They then encounter the awesome presence of Jesus, hear about His love and give their life to him.
FFP What is the current state of praise & worship / creative teams generally in the USA?
BJ Well I think for us, we have changed a lot in our approach. We used to be more about coming to rehearsal and learning our music and leaving - not quite that bad but you get the picture. We have learned to make our time together more about community. Growing together and learning together. It’s more "family" now. We have tried to have a balance of musical excellence and community.
FFP What’s the thing that most excites you when you visit other churches / creative teams?
BJ I love to see different expressions in the Kingdom. It is so cool to get to travel and see what God is doing in and through others around the globe.
FFP You pay close attention to your equipment, why is that important to you?
BJ Well in the words of Kip (Napoleon Dynamite) I love technology. I feel that the church should be leading the way in the way we do everything, including equipment. Think about it. A church's PA should be the best. It’s the one thing that is translating everything that happens in ministry from the stage. It should be excellent.
FFP You have Forefront as your supplier for production expertise, what would you say separates Forefront from other companys?
BJ That’s easy. Not only do they have a finger on the pulse of everything production, they also have a huge heart for the kingdom and to see the church succeed. Some of the best people I have ever been blessed to work with. And that’s for real.
FFP What’s your favourite piece of gear right now?
BJ My Morgan AC20 Deluxe and my RCA35 running in beautiful stereo harmony.
Grab a copy of BJ's 'More & More' from itunes here