LISTEN TO THE ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
Wayne Hindson chats with Sheryl Stark from Cross Point Music.
Can you take us through your personal faith journey?
That’s a great question. I’m the baby of my family, meaning there’s 8 and 16 years between me and my sisters. And believe it or not, I gave my life to Jesus when I was 11 in the spring of 1999. And just a few short months later, in October, my father was killed in a freak accident. And talk about the Lord knowing our future before we do. I really believe what was going to be the foundation of my faith to view him as a father before my father died. So to be able to give my life to Jesus, to recognise Him as my eternal father and to really be challenged in living that out in those pre-teen years and through those teenage years can be very difficult.
But I always held on to knowing that He was my centre of peace. He was my centre of joy. He was the centre of my freedom. And it wasn’t until a little bit later, I guess, in my early twenties, that I started learning about the freedom that we have in Jesus as believers. And when you discover that God calls us to not only freedom, but an abundance of it, I think it kind of shakes loose the chains that maybe have held you back out of discomfort in a very real way, even in worship, a worship setting. Some people are really nervous to raise their hands or dance and God calls us to freedom. And so it was in those early 20s for me that I realised, “Wow, God, I want to worship even more undignified than this”. Kind of just like David in the Bible. Started dancing and started writing and just really doing a musical expression of praise and worship. And then I found my way to Cross Point. It’s been six years now. I’ve been there as a worship leader and then plugged in and been on staff now for three years.
Can you tell us a bit about Cross Point Music’s backstory?
As a church body here in Nashville, we’ve been a church for 15 years. We have six satellite campuses across middle Tennessee. And as Cross Point Music we’re working on our second E.P. right now. And so we released the first single off of that E.P. just a couple short weeks ago.
Looking at press photos that I’ve received, it seems like C.P.M. is kind of a ragtag group of people that have come together with a common purpose.
Yes, I love that. You know, I think especially during this year where we’ve been in quite the pandemic across the globe. We have grown both personally and I believe as a church to hunger for the spirit of the Lord, but to also not just say things, but to really take action steps to making those things a part of who we are. For instance, diversity is something that we believe, if everyone truly is welcome, but we all look the same across the board, there might be something that we’re missing. And so with God, all things are possible. And we have prayed, “God, would you allow us to be just a glimpse of what the kingdom of heaven looks like from a viewpoint of looking at people from the heart of people, even people’s backgrounds and stories”. We hope to represent a large group of people that were to represent the kingdom of God.
Can you tell us about the process that Cross Point Music goes through when recording other artist’s songs and how you make it your own version?
So we our staff, our music team, staff at the church is made up of a few of us to kind of put our heads together a few times a month and say, “hey, what have you been really connecting with in this season? What songs do you think that our church needs to sing?” You know, it’s very possible we could write 100 songs, but if there are a hundred songs that say the same thing, we’re missing something that our church needs to sing out, something that our church needs to say. So when they don’t feel like we have the song, then we have no shame in reaching out, grabbing some of those Maverick City songs, some of the Hillsong songs. We’re loving what God is doing at “Mavcity”. And we’ve got some friends in that in that unit.
But as far as that, we really come from a personal place with that. What’s God speaking in your heart? And then once we kind of pick a worship leader to carry that song, they really try to sing it as if it was written in their own hand. And our band does a great job of trying to emulate it, but not copycat it. Which can be difficult, but to make it your own, I just think it always requires a genuine expression, of how this really connects with you.