I’m soooo excited to announce a NEW and AWESOME addition called Millennial Mondays! Each week, I’ll be interviewing a millennial from around the world who is making a difference and living out their dreams! This MONDAY, November 30th is the FIRST interview of MANY! Please check out this week’s interview with Eric Kneifel – a Worship Leader, Musician and World-changer from Oregon. Pull up a chair, sip some Chai Latte and enjoy reading about an AWESOME Millennial who is seeking to make a difference!
If a young person walked up to you and asked your advice, what would you say to them?
My best piece of advice for the younger generation is to pick your friends wisely, and find a mentor in your life. I was fortunate to be a part of a multi-generational church, with several elders who continually spoke wisdom into my life during my adolescent years. Whether it’s a youth pastor, church elder, or possibly a friend of your parents, it’s amazing to have someone older that you can trust and has walked through similar things you’re facing in your life.
Who has been your greatest role model and why?
Aside from the obvious (insert patent church answer here: Jesus!), I’ve had several role models throughout my life. I’ve lived in several states for several years at a time, and I’ve always sought out a mentor in each area, which has allowed me to grow tremendously by always surrounding myself with wise counsel. When I was in high school & college, our church’s youth pastor had a huge influence in my life and encouraged me to start playing guitar, then singing, then eventually leading worship for the youth group. If it wasn’t for him continually nudging me, I would never have even started leading worship, let alone playing guitar!
What compels you to write your songs? What are some of the stories behind your lyrics?
Songwriting has sort of become my outlet in communicating with God; often I find myself writing songs out of times of wrestling through scripture, or just communicating with our Father. I wrote When I See You Again (on the Acoustic EP, which is a free download at acousticep.com) a couple of years ago, right after my Oma (grandmother) had passed. She had spent about the last 10+ years of her life struggling with Alzheimer’s and dementia. As a child, she always encouraged me to sing praises and really taught me what it meant to live for Him and bring His glory through music.
If you could perform with one artist or band, who would it be and why?
I had the honor of singing with Third Day a couple of weeks ago for their concert in Portland. It was an amazing experience, and it was so fun to see people from so many different churches and denominations singing together to our Father. I also think it would be such an honor to be able to lead worship with the team at Bethel church in Redding. Specifically, I love the heart and prophetic spirit Steffany Gretzinger brings in a corporate worship setting, and would love to sing with her someday.
Who were some of your musical inspirations growing up?
U2 has been my favorite band since my first time hearing them, and John Rzeznik from Goo Goo Dolls was my favorite vocalist; I often found myself trying to imitate his voice. In college, Dave Matthews band and David Crowder provided great inspiration for growing my ability with guitar. As of late, my biggest musical inspirations are other worship leaders/songwriters who pay close attention to great scripture-based lyrics, such as Jeremy Riddle, Jennie Lee Riddle, Jared Anderson, and Reuben Morgan.
What struggles have you faced in your walk with Christ?
In high school & college, I struggled with online pornography, which is one reason I believe it’s so important to have a mentor & accountability partner in life…someone who knows you & your weaknesses, and can continually encourage and challenge you to grow in your walk with Him. Pride has also been a temptation & struggle as well.
What advice would you give to this generation in walking out their purpose?
I really want to encourage this generation not to fall stagnant in our walk with our Father! So many people answer His call by inviting Jesus into their heart, but their ‘walk’ ends there. However, if we're truly submitting to Jesus, our lives should begin to look different. Click To Tweet James puts it this way: “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” (James 2:26). Our purpose on Earth is one-fold: to bring glory to Jesus... Click To Tweet the gifts we’re given and our journeys may all look different, but we need to all be pointing to Jesus. To me, one of the biggest tests to see if I’m truly walking out my purpose in pointing to Him is whether or not I’m bearing fruit (John 15:8). We know the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23); however, if I seem anxious (which is counter to peace) or short tempered (counter to patience and gentleness), it’s obvious I’m not walking out my purpose as well as I can and should be. Don’t let evidence of the world creep in! And if it does, continually submit yourself to Jesus, and let Him take those imperfections!
What is the story behind the song “Cleanse Me”?
Cleanse Me was written out of my struggle with online pornography; the bridge is written straight from David’s prayer in Psalm 51. While I wrote this coming out of my own struggle, I’ve heard from so many people who have found encouragement through ‘Cleanse Me’ because of the many struggles or sins that have bound people’s pasts. It’s truly a song of repentance and humility, focused on submitting ourselves to God just the way we are: broken and imperfect.
If you had one minute before a mic before the whole world, what would you say?
TURN TO JESUS! If you haven’t committed your life to him, or if you’ve prayed a prayer, but haven’t truly made any changes in your life, it’s time to truly give yourself to Him! All of history and eternity leads to Him…EVERYTHING points to Jesus, and our need for His grace, shown through the cross. I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. Not only are we not perfect… we’re not even good, according to Mark 10:18! Yet, Jesus laid down His life and perfection to take on our own imperfection, and restore us to Him in perfect unity! Click To Tweet Don’t delay in turning your heart to Jesus.
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*All content provided through MillennialMonday Interviews is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy, perspectives or advice given by any/all interview guests. The posts do not represent the owner of www.colleenbatchelder.org, but represent the individual opinions and perspectives of millennials as a whole. MillennialMondays serve to converse with progressives, conservatives and skeptics. All contributors are invited to share about their organizations/purpose as well as their interaction with faith.