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John Ellis on The Inherent Power of Music

By Andrea D. Hicks
Associate Producer

CBN.comMusic awakens our souls; it arouses our senses. Music entertains, and it reflects. 

Although some musicians seek fame for personal glory and riches, a few have chosen to serve a greater purpose: to praise God.

These musicians believe that God provides a unique opportunity in music to worship Him through performing, while simultaneously sharing the Gospel.

Ephesians 5:19 says, "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord."

During a recent interview, Tree63’s lead singer, John Ellis, said his band’s greatest moments on stage come while truly worshipping God. 

“It’s the most natural, un-thought out thing in the world, to just worship God,” Ellis said. “Being a ‘Christian performer’ is a very tricky thing. Why are you performing? Are you pretending to worship? To what end…to sell CD’s? To become famous and well-thought of? We just try to be real and honest on stage, something we find is unfortunately less and less common these days.”

And, Ellis said, when the band becomes real on stage and truly rocks out for God, something absolutely amazing and rare happens.

“The best times are where God just invades the stage and shuts everything down—and the whole room goes still,” Ellis said.  “No music, no speaking, just everybody hushed in quiet devotion and worship.  You can’t fake that.  You can’t plan that. You can’t write it on your set list.”

During these un-planned “God moments,” Tree63 fulfills their calling as musicians: “to use the inherent power of music to convey the good news of Jesus Christ.”

Ellis said, “Music is the most powerful medium known to man, more than television, more than art, more even the written word (except of course the Bible), and what a potent combination when you add music to the Gospel.”

During the 2005 Restored Tour with headliner Jeremy Camp, Tree63 recorded several worship songs (“Treasure,” “King,” “Joy,” “Look What You’ve Done”) for their latest album, Worship Volume One: I Stand for You.

“King” and “Joy,” epitomize the band’s heart for worship and their desire to share the love of Christ. And In “Nothing But the Blood ," Ellis sings, “What can wash away our sins? What can make us whole again? Nothing but the blood, nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

But for Ellis, it’s “Joy” that best defines the band’s mission. He said, “We live in dark times, with depression and despair and hopelessness stalking us at every turn.  But the reality is Jesus is a light for us, the one and only source of true lasting joy.  And that song sums up Tree63: we’re free, let’s rejoice. Sure, let’s be realistic, but let’s rejoice.”

Psalm 98:4 reminds us to “Shout for joy to the Lord, all of the earth, bust into jubilant song with music.” And when it comes to rejoicing, Tree63 has plenty reasons to sing. From their success on the Billboard charts, to their worldwide fan base, Tree63 is planting seeds of Christ wherever they go.

But they do not take success or their calling lightly.  No matter the cost, Ellis vows to be obedient to God’s leading.

“We don’t make a single move without Jesus leading us,” he said.  “I rely on God for my songs, what songs should be on what albums, what concerts to agree to do, and which ones to turn down…Our families are far more important to us their our career, and we let God direct us to make sure we’re looking after our families first.”

Ellis said his band’s relationship with Christ influences every decision they make, personally and professionally. 

“Christ is the reason for Tree63,” Ellis said. “The music is important, but ultimately a means to a glorious end.”

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