CCM: If I could have talked to you three or four years ago, what would you have said would have been your hope with music?
MT: Three or four years ago, I would have honestly told you I just wanted to be faithful. That’s been the goal the whole time. Someone spoke into my life five years ago, or so, and said, “We will never stand before Jesus and hear him say, ‘Well done, thy good and successful artist.’” It’s being a faithful servant. Three years ago, I was driving from one youth group to another, leading worship on Wednesdays or weekend retreats or summer camps. I was trying to find places where I could step in and be faithful. I was playing 120 or 130 days per year. I was playing 200 dates per year a couple years ago before signing with FairTrade Services.
Fortunately I had enough wise counsel around me in those days that I couldn’t get hung up on what tomorrow was going to be. Whether I was standing in front of a youth group pizza party with fifteen people or leading worship at a camp where the showers might not work, the Lord was able to build something in me then where, even today, I still know I can’t be thinking ahead to something else. I have to be present in that day. I’m just excited to see what God wants to do today. That’s all something that the Lord was starting to teach me and cultivate in those years.
CCM: You mentioned wise counsel and all that you’ve learned along the way from others. What’s been the biggest thing you’ve had to learn yourself?
MT: There are times the Lord protects our hearts from making mistakes but other times He protects our hearts by going through mistakes. When you’re a kid, your mom can tell you not to touch the stove but it’s something else when you touch it. Not only do you learn what she said was true but you also understand the effects of doing the wrong thing. Back in the day, I would spend money to make a music video rather than using it to get a working vehicle. There have been times where I’ve taken events because of money over really thinking whether it was something I was built to do.
When you travel 200 days a year as an independent guy and there’s no one looking out for you and you’re the only one looking out for your family, you start to carve out and learn what you’re gifted at. You also learn how to maximize what the Lord’s put inside of you. So I know what it’s like to be the guy who has to come in and entertain a group. I know how to come in and lead worship. I’ve preached and taught and done a little bit of everything. It’s a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none kind-of deal.
CLICK “3” TO ADVANCE