Since dropping, “If They Only Knew” in 2006, Trip Lee has done just what he rapped about on the song, “Gotta Grow,” by evolving both spiritually and musically, right before our eyes and ears. These days he doesn’t just carry the title: artist. In fact, you’re now free to take your pick and call him: Father, Husband, Author, and very soon Pastor.
Looking back Trip Lee acknowledges, “I have grown as an artist. I was a teenager when I wrote that album. I was young and thinking things out, figuring things out and trying to communicate it. As I got older, I figured out more of what I wanted to do. Also, with more life experience, it tests your faith. The truths that I already believed in were tested and it added a little more meat and conviction to ‘em; and it comes out in the way I deliver my songs. Earlier on, the way I approached a song was pretty straight forward, just telling the truth which is a good thing to do. As I continue to experience life and have more things to grab on to, its ways to continue to communicate that truth and connect with people in their lives.”
Trip Lee’s journey of truth and connection are exactly the things that have made him both loved and respected in the CHH community. As an integral piece of the puzzle, he shares, “I’m glad that it [CHH] is expanding in many ways. And with that comes pros and cons. I love that more people are paying attention and we have the opportunity to really be a light to the culture. On the other side, one of the cons is that people start to see it as marketable, then they begin to pursue it for the wrong reasons, i.e.: Record Labels trying to make money or young artists trying to pursue for the sake of fame. It definitely can cause some impure motives. When I started doing this full time, I never thought that I would ever chart on Billboard or even make enough money to fully support my family. I pursued it a little differently and that don’t mean I had perfectly pure motives, but we have to pursue it for the right reasons. I encourage people to really think carefully about why they are doing what they are doing, what they want God to do with it, and pray that God would give them contentment with whatever doors He does opens for them.”
That contentment is something Trip Lee gets to experience beyond music. With his family taking precedence, he’s definitely learning how to fine-tune a balance; which he admitted, “Changes from season to season. Different seasons come with different kinds of business. The things I did when it just my wife and I is very different with having my son now. With each season, I have to learn how to balance. The main thing for me is to be very intentional. I have to watch my heart because my heart will assume that it is more Godly, more spiritual, more important to go somewhere else and preach the gospel than to be present with my family. You know to love my wife, love my wife like Christ loves the church and spend time with my son. This balance takes a lot of intentionality. There have been seasons that I thought that I have balanced things well but my wife has told me otherwise. It’s just a reminder for me to be faithful to the things that He has called me to instead of things that seem more exciting at the moment. My identity is not found in my ministry or what other people think about me. My identity is found in Jesus. Again, this balance changes from season to season but the key is staying intentional and remembering the priorities.”
And it was that very profound wisdom of “remembering the priorities,” that led Trip Lee to step away from his musical art for a minute. “It’s been huge for me to travel and not have music as my main thing. It was a priority shift and not necessarily a retirement from music. I apologize for the misunderstanding; it shows that I didn’t communicate that clearly. I never consider hanging up the mic. I wanted to step away for a season to properly prepare myself for Pastoral ministry. What I realize is that I cannot prepare to be a Pastor while I’m on the road all the time; it just doesn’t work. I can’t be in peoples’ lives like I want to. I can’t disciple like I want to. I can’t be discipled like I want to. If all I wanted to do was preach sometimes then I would be able to do that in music. But if I really want to walk with people and be in their lives, the fact that I can be home, be on church staff, and walk life-on-life with Pastors who can pour into me has been huge to me. I think I will look back on these last few years at the church I have attend in D.C. and know that it’s been a huge part of growth preparing me for Pastoral ministry. It has been bigger than any schooling was.”
Looking ahead, we’ll no doubt watch Trip Lee continue to grow. As a matter of fact, his new book slated to release in early 2015 via Thomas Nelson Publishing, should give us a glimpse into where he is now. “It’s my second book. I have learned some things as an author. I am proud of the book and I think it will impact people, especially college age students. My hope is that all walks of life will be drawn to it; but, my aim is to encourage young folk to follow Jesus while we are still young.”
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