Get Familiar With Justin Kintzel
Justin Kintzel may just be Christian music’s best kept secret, but I intend to let that cat out of the bag. I recently stumbled upon Justin Kintzel’s music and after listening I was perplexed at why I never heard of him or his music up until that moment. Needless to say, this guy is good. It took one song for the attention to be caught, and by the time I listened to three songs I was impressed enough to reach the worship Pastor.
As Kintzel makes it to his fourth year as a worship Pastor, he recounts.
“I just entered my fourth year as a Worship Pastor!”
“About 12 years now! Started when I was a junior in high,” he answers when I ask how long he has been leading worship.
Although the zeal to lead worship didn’t come until high school, Kintzel has always been the musical kind.
“ I’ve actually been singing in church ever since I was a kid, but my passion for leading worship didn’t begin until high school when I felt a calling on my life and had a friend show me a few chords on the guitar – A, D, and E. He actually showed me the wrong finger placement on A and E, and even though the notes are correct, I still play them wrong to this day. The first song I ever led for a group was “Better is One Day” in the key of E, complete with wrong finger placement.” he recounts
For independent artist exposure and getting the word (music) out is always a challenge. Kintzel shares on the journey so far.
“The journey has been great so far! It’s been very challenging, sometimes even very discouraging and difficult, but overall, I trust the Lord. He has been very very good.”
Kintzel’s experiences and life stories most certain reflects in his songwriting and music.
“They typically come out of things that either I’m personally fascinated by (i.e. “You Saved Me”) or truths that I really feel the worship community could / should be singing together (i.e. “Love Displayed”).” he shares
It so happens that the first song of Kintzel I heard was “Love Displayed,” and like aforementioned the tune was outstanding enough to leave an impression that permitted me to listen to more tracks (as I have a low threshold for mediocre music regardless of the genre).
In February 2012 Kintzel, together with co-producers Keith Everette Smith and Kyle Smith, released his first full-length album “Death Is Overcome.” In April of 2013, the Liberty Campus Band released a live album and DVD that Kintzel led and produced. For now, the singer is just content with leading worship and being part of a community pending when funds are available for a new record.
“Well for now, the plan is just to continue leading worship, writing songs, recording, and enjoying it! Being in the studio is one of my favorite things to do. It’s a blast. If I can get a new record funded, we’re a go for another full-length!”
I asked him if he thinks worship services in Campuses are different from off campus churches.
“Over the years, my views on this have changed, but the thought I keep landing on are that these kinds of services aren’t really a church, they’re simply worship gatherings. I believe they still hold value and can absolutely add to the spiritual life of a person, but it’s not the same as getting plugged into a church community. One of the main things that separate this is simply the school schedule. There usually aren’t services when school isn’t in session.” He comments.
Part of Kintzel’s job is reaching out to young people and bringing them to God.
“I think young people today are desperately wanting what is authentic and real, and they just want to be leveled with. I think lofty arrogance or holier- than-thou appearances are a major turn off to today’s younger generation. As in previous generations, that kind of thing represented authority and truth, but now it resembles a false-ness and somebody with anterior motives. The Word tells us in Romans that it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. If we are just kind and down-to-earth with people, I think we’ll earn a voice to be listened to. Being right doesn’t always allow the privilege to be heard.”
In 2009, he earned a degree in graphic design and became the Creative Arts Director and Convocation Coordinator for the university. He infers how one can share the message of Jesus regardless of profession.
“I think sharing the message of Jesus comes in with how you work with others. Being easy to work with, having integrity – things like that. Since a designer doesn’t necessarily get to choose the spiritual elements of the projects they work on, I think photoshopping crosses into every design or something might be a mistake. I think just being a genuine follower of Christ with how you conduct yourself in business can lead to opportunities to share Christ.”
Justin Kintzel has a good sense of humor, and that is evident when he speaks on things he sees on campus he wishes he could change.
“I think if there was anything I could change, it would just be that people would get away from facebook and spend time with others more in a genuine way. I think genuine human relationships are starting to become devalued in our culture. Also, while we’re wishing for things, I notice a lack of hover boards on campus and wish I had one of those and also a DeLorean with time-travel capability.” he jokes
As a worship pastor, husband and father to three daughters the singer explains how he balances things.
“It’s definitely one of those things that I have to plan and think about! I think it just comes down to making proper priorities and making sure things are balanced. It also helps having a wife who is super supportive like mine is!”
The students of Liberty University have successfully kept Kintzel a secret from the rest of the world, but no more!
You can download three songs by the Justin Kintzel below.