ABOUT

~ Theological substance, personal connection, artistic impression, cultural relevance and practical value ~

 

Hi.  This is Eric Arnason.  A few years ago, I began Crossroad Productions as a way to connect people with one another, and all people with their Creator and Redeemer.  We live in a world of social networking and technological innovation.  It is my desire to use the tools of creative arts and technology to showcase the practicality, accessibility, depth and richness of the Gospel.  The Gospel is more than a message; it is a way of life.  It is meant to be experienced and understood in such a way that we genuinely know and love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  And out of that overflow, we love others with His capacity and enabling.  Crossroad Productions exists to glorify God by using media arts for worship, discipleship, edification and mission throughout the world.

Personally, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, a husband to my best friend in the whole world, and a daddy to three super-cool kids.  I'm a right-brained visionary-creative, whose left brain is running to catch up!  I love to spend time on excursions with my family, compose and produce original music and short videos, play board games, and occasionally go snowboarding.  I sing, play acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboard, bass guitar, drums, euphonium, and a little hammered dulcimer.  I also love eating Mediterranean food and enjoy an occasional Chinese milk tea or decaf from a French Press.

I also enjoy creating audio and video content that connects our experiences with God's story of redemption.  I like to call this nexus Crossroads Productions.  It's here, at this crossroads, that we see God for who He is, and how our stories connect with His.  Integrating theology with creative art forms, my vision is to bring individuals into fresh times of worship, growth, and renewal.

Ever since my freshman year in college, Biblical Counseling has played a big part in my own spiritual growth and development, as well as in my approach to mentoring and discipleship.  It has given me a framework to escape brokenness and lead others out of their brokenness and into lasting peace and fruitfulness.  I especially have a ministry chemistry with people between the age of 18-29 (college students, singles, and young families).  My desire is that these folks would have their greatest sense of purpose and identity with Jesus and His Church.  God is doing amazing things in and through His Church all throughout the world, and I want to encourage people young people to take part in it.

I believe that church should be a place where people feel “at home”.  It should be hip and modern.  It should be a place where people can't wait to return.  It should be a place where community and outward-facing love are always being nurtured, and people feel welcome and included in what God is doing.  It should be a place where the broken can be healed and people are treated with honor and humility.  It should be a place where the Word of God is fully-proclaimed with boldness and humility, truth and grace.  It should be a place where people are connecting with God; a place where people are growing in faith and in their love for one another; and a place where people are burdened for those who do not know Jesus Christ.

Church should be a place where people can find hope and healing, restoration and redemption, forgiveness and freedom. Jesus looked past my faults and saw my needs.  He saw His potential in my life, and pursued me.  I want to do the same for others as well; however, the brevity of life demands a strategic approach; therefore, my focus is on building relationships with disciple-making potential.  I like connecting with missions-minded, outward-oriented individuals who think about theology, ministry philosophy, ministry vision, and strategic initiatives to connect the Gospel to people's lives.  And I hope to pour my life into those who can equip others, too.

I am a bridge-builder, always looking for new ways to make personal and theological connections with people.  I would consider myself to be a methodologically-progressive, theological conservative.  By majoring on the majors and minoring on the minors, we can keep the main thing the main thing: making disciples who make disciples of Jesus Christ.

If I could be remembered for five things, they would be:

  • That my love for Jesus was contagious

  • That my family felt the love of Jesus through my life

  • That my art bridged people’s experiences with God’s story of redemption

  • That, through media production, I wove theology, apologetics, and counseling together in such a way that people continually experienced the impact of the Gospel, and responded with worship and praise

  • That my temporal investments of time, money, talents, and love were really worth it

What are your top 5 most deeply held core values?

  • Eternity

  • Truth

  • Time

  • Family

  • Creativity

Q

01/

What is the Gospel?

The Gospel is the story of how God makes unrighteous people righteous in a righteous way.  It is the message of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and how, through faith in Him, we can daily die to our sin and daily live His abundant resurrection life.  It’s the message of God’s eternal purpose and plan from Creation to Fall to Redemption to Restoration.  It’s the painful reality that we can never measure up to God’s standard of holiness, but the liberating realization that the atoning work of Christ on the cross credits Jesus’ righteousness to our account.  The Gospel is the Father’s smile upon His Beloved Son and, by faith, to us as well who have put our trust and hope in Christ Jesus. It’s the beautiful, humbling truth that, apart from our own merit, God chose us for salvation in Christ before the foundation of the world.  It’s the unconditional love of God that awakens us to our need for Christ and brings us to repentance, faith, and lasting forgiveness.  It’s the proclaimed and demonstrated message that we can know and experience salvation from the penalty, power and (finally) the presence of sin forever.  It Is the confident assurance of eternal life at the final resurrection.

02/

What's your Gospel story? 

It is nearly impossible to summarize the multi-faceted glory of God in a person's life and what that looks like along the journey.  But if there is one word I could use to describe my testimony, it would be faithfulness.  God faithfully sought me out with purpose, intent, and perseverance.  My faith journey entered time when I was six years of age, as I received the Gospel of Jesus Christ with childlike simplicity and sincerity.  That faith was clear and evident in my life as a child; but whenever I yielded control to fear, doubt, self-consciousness, and performance-based acceptance, I witnessed great problems in my life.

It wasn't until late into my college experience that I began to understand and entertain the Doctrines of Grace.  Over time, I began to experience a paradigm shift in my thinking.  This metamorphosis transformed me from a self-conscious, legalistic, insecure, and frustrated person to a God-conscious, confident, victor who stands in his identity and significance in the Person and work of Christ.  My self-evaluation was no longer based upon myself, but upon my position in Christ.  This gave me great confidence!  I also began to see the folly of my fears as the spring of sin and self-fulfilling prophecy.  The transformation wasn’t instantaneous; however, over the course of the next several years, the roots of childhood fears and inherent doubts transformed my life into a demonstration of victory and faith.

 

Much of the personal meaning in my life derives from life experiences, spiritual formation, mental victories, personal interactions, friendships, fellowship, and achievements.  I do not presume to understand fully the mind and heart of God; but as I have interacted with both General and Special Revelation, and have experienced the Holy Spirit's work in my life, I have come to see the unique nature of Jesus Christ as the summation of all pursuit.  His Person and work speaks to me as nothing else can.  His uniqueness makes Him stand out from man-made substitutes.  He gives reason and meaning to the macro and micro levels of the cosmos.  His presence in history is the glue and zenith of all meaning and significance.  His Gospel unifies dysfunctional nations, cultures, systems, families, and individuals.  He has shown His competence through Creation and His compassion through the Cross.  And His personal faithfulness in my life is clearly evident.  He sought me with purpose, intent and perseverance.  I am witness to His undeniable faithfulness and look forward in hope to the ways He will continue to glorify Himself through my life.

03/

How would you describe yourself theologically?

Bibliology - Normative (Literal, Historical, Grammatical) Hermeneutic; (Progressive) Dispensational

Theology - Trinitarian

Soteriology - I would describe myself as a 5-point Calvinist (although I prefer the term Particular Redemption as opposed to Limited Atonement).  If asked, I am able to articulate and clarify my position on this.

Ecclesiology – Elder-led; Baptistic; non-emergent; non-charismatic (sign gifts as temporary/authenticating; open to miracles and healing as God sovereignly allows); complementarian

Eschatology – Undecided, but historically pre-millennial and pre-tribulational; finding my views aligning more and more along the lines of Joel Richardson and John MacArthur

SUMMARY – Theologically conservative, Reformed, methodologically progressive

04/

What are your top five musical influences?

Personal Inspiration

Toby Mac

David Foster

Anything from the 80’s

Stephen Curtis Chapman

John Williams

Corporate Worship

Church on the Move (Tulsa, OK)

Vertical Worship

Elevation Worship

Keith & Kristyn Getty

Sovereign Grace

05/

How do you measure success in leading worship?

Spiritual Hunger, Congregational Engagement, Personal Connection with God, and Responsive Faith

 

“To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily satisfied religionist, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart.”    - A.W. Tozer

06/

Describe your ideal worship and creative arts ministry?

Dynamics​

  • Relationship with Sr. Pastor – close personal friendship (chemistry, camaraderie, and community); frequent communication; open dialogue where ideas and feedback and always welcome and encouraged; compatible philosophy of ministry; mutual trust

  • Audio/Video/Lighting (AVL) – Faithful, available, teachable, competent, knowledgeable; good communication habits; shows up to practices; proactive innovators; able to integrate music with multimedia and lighting

  • Worship Administrators – Capable leaders who demonstrate gifting in administration (e.g., structures, programs, coordination, support networks, metrics, etc.) and qualities in passion, wisdom, balance, and leadership potential

  • Worship Leaders – Trained individuals who not only know music, but also demonstrate competencies in spiritual maturity, character, biblical understanding, vision, leadership, and contextualization

  • Music Teams – Experienced teams who jive well together (both on and off the stage); instrumentally and vocally competent; stylistically-diverse; adaptable; show up to practices on time; willing to follow instruction; able to write worship songs as a ministry to the Church worldwide

  • Multimedia Integration – Synchronization of Audio/Video/Lighting for high-impact services

  • Unity – Everyone in support of the elders and pastors; all teams in support of the Worship Ministry vision; everyone in support of policies that help the Worship Ministry fulfill its vision with efficiency and excellence; building godly, thriving friendships amongst team members and within the congregation

  • Equipping – Recruitment, Development, Reproduction

  • Contextualizing - Designing worship services in congregants’ musical heart language to provide a balanced and nutritious diet of both old and new songs; theologically-rich with a modern feel

 

Outcomes

  • Inspiration – revealing the inspirational story and glory of God

  • Connection – leading us into moments where we see God, meet with Him, and respond to His initiating grace through authentic worship

  • Transformation – bringing our congregation to new levels of spiritual maturity, Christ-likeness, and discipleship

  • Proclamation – testifying about God’s works and perfecting authentic praise individually, corporately, and globally

07/

How do you pursue personal improvement as a musician?

  • Watch YouTube videos for inspiration and instruction

  • Play music with musicians who are as good as or better than myself

  • Write and compose new songs

  • Record music

  • Practice rudiments

  • Leave my musical comfort zone

  • Explore and practice with different genres

08/

Describe how you would develop others in the Creative Arts Ministry?

  • Prioritize relationships over programs

  • Provide spiritual encouragement, pastoral care and shepherding

  • Provide workshops, video tutorials and resources for creative and personal development

  • Schedule and coordinate structured jam sessions

  • Ministry spotlight through videos, print media, website, social media, and ministry booths

  • Develop relationships with Youth Leaders to identify and develop the next generation of worship leaders

  • Delegate Worship Ministry leadership to scout for and identify prospective team members

  • Give worship leaders a regular platform to lead others and use their gifts

  • Build/nurture a church culture where both private and corporate worship are given their rightful place amongst the core values of the church

  • Train the trainers

09/

How have you developed leaders in the past?

  • One-on-one conversations

  • One-on-one musical instruction

  • Intentional discipleship

  • Group training

10/

What factors influence the songs you choose?

  • Current – keeping things fresh

  • Classic – easy to learn; easy to retain; singable; timeless; lyrically substantial

  • Continuous – reinforced teaching of new songs; collaboration between various worship leaders/teams

  • Connecting – spiritually and musically engaging; resonating; contextualizing

  • Complementary – reinforcing the Gospel, theological emphases, and pastoral vision

  • Crafting – intentionally leading up to a series or special event

  • Comprehensive – intentionally and systematically covering many areas of the worship experience (e.g., teaching, admonition, praise, thanksgiving, adoration, petition, declaration, confession, lament)

11/

Briefly describe your philosophy of music ministry?

I would describe myself as Normative (non-Regulative).  I appreciate a blend of old and new songs, mostly sung and played in a modern style.

 

  • Elevation – making much of the glory of God, the works of God, the Gospel, and the Person and work of Jesus Christ

  • Encouragement – exhorting and inspiring others in their worship, their walk with God, and their witness

  • Engagement – connecting and contextualizing

  • Embodiment – living out our worship in daily life

  • Excellence – gratefully giving our best

12/

How would you describe your style of music leading?

  • Exhortational

  • Inspirational

  • Reflective

  • Declarative

13/

Describe your experience and commitment of being under leadership.

My experience of being under leadership has been diverse.  I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of churches, within a variety of cultures and subcultures.  I have had the privilege of working under the guidance and direction of some incredible and godly leaders – men who I would now call life-long friends.  I’ve also worked with some leaders who I’d rather never work with again.

 

The leaders I respect and click with the most have been characterized by vision, patience, care, humility, and meekness.  They were more concerned with building a relationship with me than winning me to their cause.  Leaders who I did not respect were characterized by bulldozing; condescension; being authoritarian; being quick to speak, slow to listen; impatient; micromanaging; emphasizing inconsequential, petty, and myopic details to the demise of true vision and leadership.

 

Though I have had disagreements with leadership at times, I have always set my preferences aside, and have submitted/deferred to that pastor out of reverence for Christ and the position of authority that God has sovereignly given that man.  When this has happened, I have either sought ways to come to a mutual understanding and working relationship, or have stepped aside to let that person do it their way and let the outcome just play out.

 

The biblical idea of submission is within the context of a mutually edifying relationship of community, confidence, care, concern, communication, and commitment.  It is my hope and expectation that the Lead Pastor and Worship Leader will share these mutual commitments, thus leading to a consistently healthy and thriving relational dynamic.

14/

Describe a healthy relationship between a Lead Pastor

and Worship Leader.

I believe a Lead Pastor sets the direction and vision for a local body of believers.  He makes vision clear both to leadership and laity.  He voices expectations, and does not assume that others can read his mind.  Though decisive and intentional, he welcomes and values the input of others in the decision-making process.  The Worship Leader respects the Lead Pastor’s God-given authority, submits to it, and helps him accomplish the goals for the body.

 

I believe a healthy relationship between a Lead Pastor and Worship Leader is one of mutual honesty, respect, dialogue, feedback, friendship, and communication.  The best relationships between these two roles tend to be between people with compatible personalities.  Personally, I respond well to wise, intentional, and intelligent leaders who are characterized by humility, gentleness and meekness.  The best relationships are built on trust.  No one has reached full maturity; so we need to give one another the leeway to make mistakes, and help one another to prevent those mistakes from happening again.  Church leaders need to give one another the freedom to take risks while being willing to bear one another’s burdens.  Whether favoring a linear or non-linear approach to thinking, both Lead Pastors and Worship Leaders alike would be wise to admire and respect each other’s God-given strengths for formulating thoughts and decisions, and try to see things from one another’s perspective. When it comes to ministry, the best leaders see themselves as Gospel teammates who want to bring out the best in one another.  They understand respect and boundaries.  They know when to gracefully challenge, and they know when to let time accomplish its work.  A healthy relationship between these two leaders is based upon trust, communicated expectations, compatible philosophies of ministry, compatible personalities, and shared values and priorities.

15/

What is your personality type?

According to the Myers-Briggs personality test, I am an ENTJ.

Extroverted - Engergized by spending time with others

INtuitive - Though detailed, cares more about the forest than the trees

Thinking - Makes decisions on logic and reason

Judging - Prefers to be planned and organized rather than spontaneous and flexible

For more information on the ENTJ personality type, please check out the following website: https://www.truity.com/personality-type/ENTJ

Going Deeper

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