The full episode transcript is below.
You are listening to the Be the Bridge podcast with Latasha Morrison.
Latasha Morrison 0:06
[Intro] How you guys doing today? This is exciting!
Each week, Be the Bridge podcast tackles subjects related to race and culture, with the goal of bringing understanding.
Latasha Morrison 0:16
[Intro] …but I’m gonna do it in the spirit of love.
We believe understanding can move us toward racial healing, racial equity, and racial unity. Latasha Morrison is the founder of Be the Bridge, which is an organization responding to racial brokenness and systemic injustice in our world. This podcast is an extension of our vision to make sure people are no longer conditioned by a racialized society, but grounded in truth. If you have not hit the subscribe button, please do so now. Without further ado, let’s begin today’s podcast. Oh, and stick around for some important information at the end!
Latasha Morrison 0:51
[Clip of song “This is How We Do It” plays]
I know you know that song. My guest today is Montell Jordan. Yes, that Montell and Kristin Jordan! You may know Montell for the song I just tried to sing, but did you know he was an organizational communications major from Pepperdine University? And he went on to pen five #1 hits with combined sales of around 25 million singles and albums worldwide! Did you know the whole time the mastermind behind the scenes was his manager?! You may ask—who is his manager? Of course, it’s his lovely and fantastic wife Kristin. Behind every good man is an even better woman. In January 2011, Montell and Kristin made a pivot that was so shocking, that even TMZ stopped him in LAX airport.
[Audio from news clip plays…]
Reporter: “So you work as a pastor in Atlanta, as like a music pastor in Atlanta nowadays?”
Montell: “I am.”
So if TMZ can ask that question, so can I!
So music, you know, doing secular music to now being a mega pastor, a worship pastor at a megachurch here in the Atlanta area. How did that happen? [Laughs]
Montell Jordan 2:26
Well, I think most people may not be familiar, but the journey that we both kind of took was from music into ministry. And we were brought up, or at least I was brought up, in the church. And from that standpoint, I knew from a young age that I was supposed to be in ministry, I just didn’t answer that call. And just basically, you know, wanted to do things my entire life my way. And so the journey, when we really got to the place of leaving the success of the music business, was kind of a determination that we wanted something that was real, and a lot of what the music business and the industry had offered was counterfeit. It was counterfeit fame, counterfeit resource, counterfeit notoriety, counterfeit relationships, everything was very, very surface-y. And, you know, I said, counterfeit money will spend, so we were able to sustain [ourselves] there because even what’s not real—if placed in the proper place—becomes a currency. But we were never satisfied while we were there. And so moving into ministry, Latasha, basically, was the journey of just wanting something real as opposed to something that had been counterfeit.
Kristin Jordan 3:47
And we wanted to lead a life of significance. And up to that point, we realized that everything was kind of empty. And so it’s like, no matter—like we thought that okay, if you sell a million records, that’s gonna be like the “ooh!” And then we sold a million records and it didn’t matter. And then we got, you know then the next one was, “Oh, when we get a number one…” Okay. And then you did that. “…Okay, maybe it’s another one.” And after number six [million], it didn’t really matter. And the thing is that so many things we were trying to fill, really this God-sized hole with a man-sized solution, and it never filled.
Latasha Morrison 4:26
I love that! Repeat that again, repeat that again. I love that.
Kristin Jordan 4:31
We had a God-sized hole in our hearts and we were trying to fill it with a man-sized solution and it could never fulfill.
Latasha Morrison 4:37
Wow, wow, that’ll preach right there. I can tell. You got a good one!
Montell Jordan 4:42
I married up!
Latasha Morrison 4:46
Montell became the worship pastor at Victory World Church in January of 2011. Victory was founded in 1990 by pastors Dennis and Colleen Rouse with just six people. Victory now welcomes more than 16,000 people each weekend. But hold up! R&B star? Worship pastor? I had to ask this question.
You know, your background is R&B. And so how do you do that? How are you leading multiculturally in this environment, you know?
Montell Jordan 5:16
It takes intentionality. And it takes dying to one’s self, one’s preferences, to prefer others. You know, when you got, you know, at Victory Church, they have 141 different nations of people in one church. And like you said, that simply means that ain’t nobody gonna be happy with worship! The Nigerians, they want to worship like this, other people want to be laid out on the floor, somebody wants to run around, these people don’t want to lift their hands, everything is always different. But I think that it wasn’t just my R&B background, but it was my pop sensibilities that also enabled me to almost take my journey into worship school. So you know, having a R&B record that was kind of a hip hop record that took me to the hood, that became a pop record that took me around the world, I learned, you know, how Japanese [people] are at concerts, I learned how some people are very, very outwardly spoken, some people are more reserved. And so literally a song that took me from Germany to Abu Dhabi, just all around the world, gave me different context of how people are, what they do, how to identify with those different cultures and nationalities. So literally, my music business experience was not a seminary, but it was like cemetery. I had to die to some things to be able to learn how to do worship in a non-worship setting. And so that basically was the template for me walking into a multicultural atmosphere and people thinking initially, Montell coming in here R&B, he’s gonna take everything and go Black, everything is gonna go gospel. And I was like, “No, I love Black, but I also understand how to be able to translate Black into where everybody is able to digest and partake of what, you know, God wants to share in worship.”
Latasha Morrison 7:14
So it was like a training ground. It was a training ground.
Montell Jordan 7:17
Kristin Jordan 7:18
And I think we learned too, that like, I think growing up it was different for us. And so we, you know, we always thought praise and worship—1) we thought “praise and worship” was one word…
Montell Jordan 7:29
Yeah we did. We thought “praise” was the fast songs and “worship” was the slow songs.
Latasha Morrison 7:36
Montell Jordan 7:36
Hey, somebody’s listening to this right now, they probably still thinking that right now.
Kristin Jordan 7:40
[Laughing] But that’s the beauty of it. I think in this setting, what we’ve learned is that praise is what we do because of what He’s done. And we’re grateful for that. But worship is because of what He does and who He is. And the thing is, is that like, we didn’t have that understanding until we came into this setting. And so when you get that revelation, then you don’t have that opinion of like, “I don’t like this song. I don’t want this song. This song doesn’t fit how I feel.” Because worship isn’t about you, it’s about God. And so when we got that revelation, then it was like, okay, it doesn’t matter white, Black, Chinese, it doesn’t matter. It’s really just about doing what we came to do and getting people in that mindset.
Montell Jordan 8:32
I love that you said that. We praise him for what He’s done, we worship Him for who He is.
Latasha Morrison 8:36
Okay, so for those of you who may not know, Kristin is biracial. You caught Kristin’s wisdom and deep understanding of how to distinguish between worship and praise. Of course, coming up in California where there are so many multi-ethnic and multicultural churches, Kristin had to grow up in one of those many diverse ministries nearest to her, right? Let’s see.
Montell Jordan 8:59
She was a heathen when I found her. I had to flirt to convert!
Latasha Morrison 9:05
Kristin Jordan 9:11
No, funny, I didn’t grow up in church. And so, funny enough, my grandparents were actually pastors in the Salvation Army. And they built churches all over the world.
Latasha Morrison 9:22
Kristin Jordan 9:23
My grandmother was actually a keynote speaker at the fall of the Berlin Wall. So it was in my DNA, but because their kids grew up in that, they revolted. Instead of running to [God] they ran from [God] so I didn’t grow up in church. And so actually, I didn’t get saved until I was 23 years old.
Latasha Morrison 9:39
Montell Jordan 9:40
[Singing] I had to pull it out of her! Took her to church with me one Sunday morning! [Does a vocal run] The spirit moved and she said yes! Yes! Yeah.
Kristin Jordan 9:54
And that was my first experience of that caliber. The flipping of the pews, and the—yep! And the hat, and the announcements!
Montell Jordan 10:03
That’s not at Victory Church, by the way. You don’t get that. But you can get that here!
Latasha Morrison 10:09
Okay, so like you know how to turn it on, right? You know how to turn it on.
Kristin Jordan 10:12
Montell Jordan 10:15
There’s a button. We all got it.
Latasha Morrison 10:18
We all got it, we all got it.
Montell Jordan 10:20
You can push.
Kristin Jordan 10:20
We call that the “turn up button.”
But so for me, he was actually the first one to take me to church. And I was like, oh boy. And of course I was the Lite-Brite in the whole place and I was stealing the golden boy. So then you already know how this goes! But you know, I got the hat and the church hat and the Bible, you know? All the things, right? But, but it wasn’t actually until—that happened when I was 19 and I actually got saved when I was about 23. That was, I went to a Foursquare Church in Los Angeles, and changed my whole situation. Like I remember, it was on a Christmas Eve service, and they were like—and for the first time hearing that God loved me, specifically me, but feeling that presence. I was like, “Okay, this is, this is different. This is a whole nother level.” So I wasn’t playing church, I could actually feel His presence. And so that for me was like, “Okay, this is next level.” And so then, of course, as all mixed kids do, you know, you go hard left hard right. So as big a heathen as I was, now I was a Holy Roller!
Latasha Morrison 11:39
At the beginning of the last segment, you could hear in Montell’s vocal riffs and tone that his church upbringing was very different from Kristin’s. Check this out.
Montell Jordan 11:53
Church growing up for me was like a family reunion. Every single weekend, all my family, all my relatives…Uncle was the president of the deacon board, and mother was the minister. It was a traditional Baptist church experience out on the West Coast. My pastor at the time was a man named Richard Stubbs, who was a cousin to Levi Stubbs, who was the lead singer for the [Four] Tops, so my pastor could sing, and he trained us in the musical side of church. And so for me, most of my early church experiences were musical experiences. In fact, going into the music business years later, most of the musicians and music directors and folks that I even had surrounding me out on the road happened to be church kids turned producers, turned musicians. And so that was pretty much my experience. It was a, I like to say, I was always in church but church wasn’t always in me. And so that is the journey that I took to where I knew all the technical things to do about how to raise emotion. I knew how to play the right chords. I knew how to feel and sense what the Spirit was doing, but I did it from a distance as long as the Spirit didn’t touch me. Because we was Baptist too, and Baptists weren’t all about the Holy Ghost like that. We talked about it, but we didn’t really want to see it. So that was kind of my experience growing up, being in church, but not allowing church to be in me. That would sustain me up until God really spoke to me at a much later age.
Kristin Jordan 13:30
Cuz this is when the tables turned. Because when I got saved, I was like, wait, so all the things that we used to do? We don’t do those anymore. We’re not doing that. So then I was like, “Okay, well, like if you can’t get right, get left! I’m good, I don’t want it.”
Latasha Morrison 13:48
After working together in the secular music industry, to working together in Christian music through the church, this married couple of 26 years birthed “Masterpeace.” Did you catch that? Master-p-e-a-c-e. So clever. Check this out.
Montell Jordan 14:09
Well, let me start it and I’ll pass on to my better half. Kristin and I, before we even got into the music business, Latasha, we knew that we were supposed to be married. We started out as artist and manager and even though we weren’t in the Word like that, something in us knew that marriage was going to be the closest thing to sustain us to relationship with God. We couldn’t understand it. We didn’t have words for it. But it’s just something we innately knew. And so from that standpoint, we were married prior to getting in the business. We took our journey together and took our exodus out of the business into ministry together, and now [we] are kind of journeying into taking what we’ve learned in ministry back out into the world through something that we call “Marriage Masterpeace.” And “Marriage Masterpeace” is that when we lost ourselves, God was able to find us through marriage. He was able to—when I was off the deep end and losing it, when she was wilding out—it was in the safety of marriage that we were both able to be put back together again. And we found that in life, all the different pieces that people are trying to put together—my life, my dating, my home, my job, my meaning—all those different pieces…we believe that for us, we believe that marriage was the master piece in that puzzle that allows us to master peace in our lives. And so we wanted to be able to take what God did for us, and give it to other people (famous and not famous) who allow their life to go to pieces because they don’t have a template of what it looks like to be committed to each other to love forever. And to make it dope and make it fly and make it sexy, and make it admirable and desirable to people to want that. It’s not modeled enough. And so that’s what we did to come together and try and present that. What would you say?
Kristin Jordan 16:16
I think one of the things that God impressed on us…I would, we would go through these things—and it was really interesting to me as we were journeying through this music business, because we were saved before I got into the music business, people don’t know that. Because later as the music business started to get into me, I wouldn’t necessarily reflect Him. So, um, what happens is that all these experiences and all these things that we lived through, there were some really crazy horrific things. And I would be like, “God, I don’t understand. Like, I love you, I live this breathe this walk this…like, how does this happen?” And He would always tell me, “It’s not about you. And I’ll give you double for your trouble.” And I never understood what that meant. And then, and then I would say, “Okay, God, just show me what we’re supposed to do with this.” And it would be when He birthed this ministry in us, and it came out of a church leader saying, “Hey, we need small group leaders.” We’re like, okay, yeah, we’ll do it. “Well what are you passionate about”? Marriage. He was like, “Great! Next week, I need you to have these things…” And I was like, whoa whoa whoa, I mean, we’re still in the music business at this point, right? But we started doing these sessions. And the thing was, is that, as we started to do it, it was like, “This is like air to our souls like, whoa.”
Montell Jordan 17:37
It’s something we got to do together, too, as opposed to me leading worship being over here, her producing and being over here. Doing marriage ministry, like what we’re doing even right now, we get a chance to do it together, and be close and vibe off each other and feed off of each other.
Kristin Jordan 17:52
And at the end of one of these sessions, we had a question and answer session. And basically all of these people would put forth their problems. “Well, what happens if…”
Montell Jordan 18:02
“What happens if your husband cheats?”
Kristin Jordan 18:03
“What do you do about it?” “Well, you may not understand…” And they always preface it with, “You may not understand,” or “You may not get this.” And then basically, we had 50 couples in the room, every one of them got an opportunity to speak. And they would start out with a question like that. And we would say, “Well, actually, in 2003,” “Well, actually in 1999,” and God reminded me, “I told you, it wasn’t about you, and I’m going to give you double for your trouble.” And so what happens is, is that our messes become our ministry. And so what we do is take the places where we were broken, where we were a mess, and that God was gracious enough to see us through and try and help people walk through things that they feel like that they can’t. And the idea is that we’re hope on the other side of the mountain. So that even if they’re on the backside, they know there is a front side and there is hope. Because if He can fix us, girl, bye. He can fix anybody.
Montell Jordan 18:53
He can fix anybody.
Latasha Morrison 18:54
That’s so good.
They do ministry together. But Kristin is still Montell’s manager. Hmmm. How does that work now? Especially in a Christian context?
Kristin Jordan 19:06
It’s different now. Okay? It’s different in the context of we’re different. Hallelujah. Because truthfully, what happens is, and I think this happens with a lot of people. And I think that sometimes we love Jesus, but we get out in the world, and we don’t allow Him to speak into things. So when we get outside of ourselves, we become somebody that we’re not too proud of. So now when we’re in that space, I was different. I was, oh, goodness gracious. People who knew me then, they see me now and they’re like, wow!
Montell Jordan 19:42
Jesus is real!
Latasha Morrison 19:46
Your life is a living testimony, huh?
Kristin Jordan 19:47
Yes! And it’s funny because he’s not the man that he was. Not at all. Like, this is, this is everything that God told me would be and more. But it’s through prayer, and through God absolutely getting a hold of a man’s heart and changing it from the inside out. And so now when I deal with them, it’s from a different place because I’m a different person and he’s a different person. Before, the word submission was like a cuss word. And in this context, even though in a management context I’ve learned how to be submissive and lead as well, but it’s a different—I will never address him the way that I used to, because I know the power and the strength in submission and the power and the strength of being in order.
Latasha Morrison 20:34
Okay, let’s be real. I love Montell the worshiper. But come on, I like R&B Montell too. In secular settings I really don’t mind hearing him do his hits! But that led me to this question.
Montell, still, you’re still doing concerts? Right?
Montell Jordan 20:52
Latasha Morrison 20:53
Yeah. Do you do all the songs? Like are you doing all the songs?
Montell Jordan 20:56
No. Oh, no. So let me give a preface of what it looks like. And Kristin knows that when we left the music business and went into ministry, there were certain people that were reaching out to us, you know, “Montell come to a concert, Montell do a concert!” I literally had laid down the whole music business for like, almost four years. Nothing. No singing.
Kristin Jordan 21:19
Montell Jordan 21:20
I got rid of tracks, like I was done. Yeah, it was…And this one promoter continued to pursue her every single year. “I need Montell for this show, I need Montell.” And she finally reached out to him and was like, “Hey, you know, why do you keep calling?” “I need Montell for this show.” “Well, you know, Montell, he’s not doing shows. You know, he retired.” “Yeah, I know he retired.” “Well, you know, he’s a pastor now…” “Yeah, I know, I’m a Christian too and I’ve been following your career.” And so she’s like, “Well, if you know he don’t do that anymore, why do you keep calling?” And he said, “Because I’m doing a show. It’s really dark and I need some light.”
Latasha Morrison 22:02
Montell Jordan 22:03
So from that point, it becomes alright, so, “God if You want to use what You’ve given us in ministry, to be able to actually take it out into the world where it’s supposed to actually go, I don’t know how to do that. How can I do that?” And so I’ve crafted a show that, there are certain things I just don’t, I just don’t sing anymore.
Kristin Jordan 22:26
So my preface though to him was, “Listen, okay, so the only way we’ll say yes, is if, #1 there’s no censorship whatsoever. I can do whatever I want to do. And as long as I do, ‘This is How We Do It’ you don’t have any contention…”
Montell Jordan 22:39
I could say Jesus, I could do whatever I want. And he was like, “Yeah, you good to go.” So what we did was to craft the show, I’ve either changed words in songs, or I will use some of the music to create nostalgia. So people remember a song. So for instance, there’s a funny moment in the show, where the song “Let’s Ride” comes on. I don’t do any of the—because music is the soundtrack to our lives, so when a song comes on, if you was in the strip club when “Let’s Ride” was on, you go back there or you get the pictures, you get the images of what was happening there. So I got to be careful. But I’ll start playing “Let’s Ride,” I’ll do like the intro of the song and then I will literally stop the song. And I’ll say, “Yeah, I can’t do that song. That song nasty! You know what I’m saying? You know, I’m a pastor now, I told you I’m a pastor now. But here’s what I can do.” And so what I’ve done is, I’ve sparked the nostalgia that makes you feel like you heard the song because you remember the song. You got to hear a glimpse of it. And so, “Oh, he did Let’s Ride.” And it was funny, and now I’ve moved on to the next piece. So I’m giving you hit records without compromising who we are in Jesus. But I’m also crafting ministry moments that I get to a place to be able to say, “Hey, I’ve been saying this song is nasty, and this is where I was on this song.” But literally, I get an opportunity to minister in my shows, saying that “Get It on Tonight” was about adultery, but God saved me from that. “Let’s Ride” was about fornication, but God saved me from that. And so I use those negative musical moments that are attached to people’s lives to tell the story of God’s redemption.
Faitth Brooks 24:19
Wow, this is so good. Don’t hit pause just yet. We’re going to take a really quick break and we will be right back.
If you are listening to today’s podcast and would like to become a bridge builder in your community, guess what? Be the Bridge programs are available for youth, college students, adults, BIPOC and transracial adoptees, and adoptive parents! Our desire is for people to have healthy conversations about race. So we’ve provided guides to lead people through these discussions. Visit our shop at BetheBridge.com to grab a guide and start conversations in your community!
Faitth Brooks 24:59
Thanks for staying with us. Let’s pick up Latasha’s conversation with today’s guests.
Montell Jordan 25:06
[Audio clip of Montell’s song “We See You”]
Latasha Morrison 25:31
This is a snippet of an awesome song called “We See You” written by Montell and the iconic hit songwriter and producer Daryl Simmons, that can be found on all music and social media platforms. You’ve gotta see the awesome video on YouTube! All of this illuminates the social justice side of Montell and Kristin. So let’s unpack “We See You.”
You’ve embarked on this social justice campaign called “We See You.” And tell me about that. And how did that come about? You know?
Montell Jordan 26:03
Yeah, well, we have lots of different friends of different nationalities. As the world became slowly awakened, or kind of shook, by [the death of] Ahmaud Arbery. That was kind of just, kind of a shaking more than an awakening. When George Floyd, when our brother’s life was taken, and when he was murdered, the world’s eyes were opened. And then in the backdrop of COVID-19, you know, God calling timeout on the entire world. All eyes were on social media, all eyes were in a place where you cannot scroll and swipe past injustice. God allowed, you know, they say 20/20 is perfect vision. And what we didn’t understand is that in perfect vision, you got to be able to see. And so God literally almost stopped time, so that an entire world could all see the same thing. But even in seeing the same thing, people still see something different. And so what we wanted to do was, you know…some people are “you got to boycott this,” or some people are “we got to loot,” or some people are “we got to protest,” some people “we got to march,” some people “we got to give,” some people “we got to divest.” So everybody has their something. And so I believe that, and we believe that, everybody can’t do everything. But everybody can do something. And so we wanted to look at something that we could do that would last beyond our lives. That people could look back and say, you know, when people looked at the 60s or the civil rights movement of the 60s, and they said “Well if I was there, I would have done this.” Or “If I was there, I would have done this.” Okay, well, here we are! The 60s right now in 2020.
Kristin Jordan 27:59
Forty years later like it was brand new.
Montell Jordan 28:00
Yeah. And we’re able to see what you would have done back then, because it’s happening right now. And so some folks right now don’t really know what to say or how to navigate. And so we’re trying to help people, we want to help white people who don’t know what to say or how to navigate this. They want to not just sympathize, but they want to empathize and understand what’s going on. And so one of the things that we did, we put together the “We See You” which is kind of a PSA, a public service announcement. But it’s a song, it’s a ministry, and it is an awareness that we have a First Amendment right to be able to record. And so that was the thing that we took on, that we have a right to record. And we took that on because in the Ahmaud Arbery case, somebody was recording it, even though the intention wasn’t probably honorable. Because it was recorded we were able to see it. In the case of George Floyd, if no one was recording it, and we just heard about it, and they said, “Oh, this guy was, you know, murdered by the police.” It’s like, oh, that’s sad, or that’s bad. But when you can see it, and it’s your First Amendment right, what we’re seeing now is that people are becoming more aware that they have a right. It’s in your First Amendment. It’s not something you have to press for. But it’s something that we have the right, you know, to record.
Kristin Jordan 29:31
And I think one of the things we were finding like, when all of this stuff was unfolding, it was a thing for us that like, what can we do? What is the thing that matters? And the thing is, is that what was the separating thing between a George Floyd and a Breonna Taylor? And it was really that there was footage. Both are horrific. Both are ridiculous and should never have happened to any human being. Especially by another human being. I don’t care what color you are. The fact that you could think that this is okay. But what happens is that when nobody’s recording, then it’s just a travesty. Right?
Montell Jordan 30:09
Kristin Jordan 30:10
But it’s harder to hold those accountable. Now I think, you know, listen—this has been happening all along. Injustice in the way that we’ve been treated at the hands of people in authority based on several things. This has been happening all along. But I think where the difference comes in, is now that we have people who can record it, and now you can play it back. Now, it’s harder to say “that didn’t happen.” To forget it. Those images are forever burned in your mind. That was for us like, “Okay. How can you sit on a jury of peers and not have an impression that this person has to pay for a life that he took?” And so now with those impressions…and so what happened is, in the season that we were doing this in Arizona, there was a community that was saying, “Well, if it’s deemed a police crime scene or investigation, then you can’t hit record.”
No! Wait, that goes against the Constitution. You can’t just make up rules as we go along. It doesn’t work like that in any other place. So why? Why do you get that authority? So for us, we were like, oh, no. Blast. Like we can’t, we can’t allow that. Because that’s the way you’re trying to silence. And for me, I have two 17 year-old boys, I have a 31 year-old son. And for me, the terror of thinking that you could get pulled over and they can do whatever they want to do because of the color of your skin? It’s just like, it’s terrifying to me that I have a 17 year-old son that next week, this week, he gets his license, right? Whereas white parents are like, “Oh, this is so exciting. I get freedom, I’m so happy!” That’s the conversations I have at a football game. And I’m like, “I’m terrified. No, I’m not happy at all. And it’s not that I don’t trust you, it’s that I don’t trust them.” And for me, the fact that they could see you and not know that you’re the most loving, compassionate human on this planet and not know that he’s my baby. But you’re not going to see that. You’re gonna see this Black man. And that’s the thing that was for us like, okay. We have to, we have to do something.
Montell Jordan 32:31
We have to educate. We have to let people know that it’s your First Amendment right that when police are engaged in public activity, you can audio record them, you can video record them, you can take pictures. Because when cameras are turned off—our cameras, body cameras—there’s no accountability. And when there’s no accountability, then, you know, everybody is not safer. Police aren’t safer. People aren’t safer. We want everybody to be safer. And so the right to record brings awareness to that.
Latasha Morrison 33:01
[Audio clip plays of Montell and Kristin duet “I’m All In”] Ah, yeah, I love my worship. But if you really know me, you know I love some R&B/Soul music. That was a snippet of Montell and Kristin’s duet “I’m All In” on Montell’s current album “Masterpeace.” So I asked Montell this question:
Montell, I heard that you’re also still writing, you know, releasing the album called “Masterpeace.”
Montell Jordan 34:02
Latasha Morrison 34:03
Tell us a little bit about that. It is just something that the Be the Bridge community can know about this, that nobody else knows. Give us a little scoop.
Montell Jordan 34:11
Yeah, well, yeah. So we worked on a project because our marriage—because “Marriage Masterpeace” allows us to well, before COVID, we were able to go and speak and teach in places. Remember when you actually could go places? And so what we would do is the same way we have access to world venues, we also have access into ministry venues. And, you know, sometimes ministry venues have different kind of rules and expectations about secular music and, you know. When we’re coming in to talk about intimacy, we’re coming into help marriages, but a lot of times, you know, they want me to play the Smokie Norful, you know what I’m saying? Who’s my man, I love Smokie, you know, but there’s a difference between Smokie Norful and Smokey Robinson. You’re gonna get two different feels, you know? And so what we did was we created an album called “Masterpeace” which is a compilation of new R&B love songs and party songs without compromise from the heart of a man that loves God and loves his wife. So from that standpoint, it’s basically the soundtrack to our “Marriage Masterpeace” ministry put in R&B hip hop form, to be able to infiltrate and be acceptable and actually desirable for ministries to be able to have music that they can look at and say, “For our couples, for those who want to be married, this is the soundtrack for your lives.” And so that is available now on all streaming platforms, the whole world don’t know about it, but Be the Bridge knows about it! So they can go to MontellandKristin.com or any place that, you know, Apple Music, iTunes, Google Play, Pandora, all those places they can go. But I would say buy the album, don’t just stream it, you know, help a brother send some kids to college and go and spend that $9.99 and buy the album.
Latasha Morrison 36:13
I love it.
Some of you listening probably are asking yourself how you can be as effective as they are in these spaces, especially in the times we are in. Great question! So I decided to ask them for you. Check this out.
What advice would you have for people that are listening as they’re trying to navigate these spaces, especially in the season and the environment that we have right now? The racial tension, the unrest that we have right now. What advice would you have for people?
Montell Jordan 36:49
You wanna go first?
Kristin Jordan 36:50
No you go.
Montell Jordan 36:51
Okay, yeah, here’s what I would say. A lot of folks recognize that truth is what gets you into all—truth can go into whatever theology you have. Truth can go into whatever color, nationality, that’s why I think you have the diversity and inclusiveness in your Be the Bridge. What I would say, especially to those white spaces, because those are most important, especially in this season: is that God is great. And because He loves us so much, He doesn’t want to leave us blind. And He asked the question, “Do you want to be healed?” Which is an interesting question, because you would think you wouldn’t have to ask somebody if they wanted to be healed. And so but He asked the question, and I think He’s asking the question today: do you want to be healed? And with healing comes certain things that are very difficult to be able to navigate. But that’s what brings healing. In order for Jesus to heal this guy, He had to spit. He had to spit on the ground and wipe something really, really disgusting in his eyes. In other words, he had to see something really, really ugly before he could be able to see some of the beauty of being able to see clearly.
And so what I would say is that in the spaces where guilt, white guilt, or shame, or feeling like if I avoid this, or “I don’t know what to say,” I would ask my white brothers and sisters out there—don’t shy away, don’t look away, don’t run away. Lean in. Because there is love if you can get past what initially seems to be like, it’s something you don’t want to see. And when I say that, I mean that you may not know what to say, you may not know maybe blacking your page out on social media feels like “I’m just doing it because the crowd is doing it” or “I’m supposed to say Black Lives Matter but I don’t understand what this means or I don’t agree with it.” Like there’s so many different things that make it difficult. Here’s what I would say. If you don’t know what to say in these spaces, one thing you can say is, “I don’t know what to say.” Which says a lot because it says “I can see, I don’t know what to say, but I know that I love you. I know that I’m listening. And I know that I’m learning right now.” Because if you don’t know what to say, and you say that, and you say “I love you and I’m listening and I’m learning” that gives you a license to be able to allow God to do in your heart what needs to be done. So you do know what to say! Kristin and I, we were talking about this. The Word says that out of the mouth comes what’s in a man or woman’s heart. So think about this, if what is in your heart comes out of your mouth. If nothing is coming out of your mouth, that’s either because you don’t know what’s in your heart, or you do know what’s in your heart, and you don’t want to say it.
Kristin Jordan 40:25
Because if it comes out, that could be a problem.
Montell Jordan 40:26
Because if it comes out, you look or you sound a certain way. And so the idea is “God, change my heart. Because if You change my heart, what then comes out of my mouth, is Your heart. Not my own.” And so that’s what I would say. That’s how I would navigate those spaces for anybody, don’t feel pressured as a white person, “I feel like I have to, I have to do this.” Listen, what you have to do is be able to stand before God and say, you know what I mean, “Lord when you opened my eyes, I did something with that. And I don’t know what to say to my Black friends. I don’t know what to say, and I can come to You and say hey, I don’t know what to say. But I love you. And I’m listening. And I’m learning.”
Kristin Jordan 41:13
Exactly. For me, it’s the whatever, the heart of the man goes out over the people. And that was the revelation that God gave me when we first went into ministry for worship leaders. The heart of the man goes out over the people. So it’s the same thing in the context of this social injustice. Do heart checks daily. Every day for me, I have to heart check and say, “God, there are things in here that don’t look like You and I don’t want that.” So I need a daily reckoning of fix my heart. For me, if I want to be a woman after God’s own heart, it can’t look nasty and dirty. I can’t say any old kind of thing. I can’t do what I want to do. And sometimes I think, especially in things where they’re heightened, and all of our senses are at an all-time high, right? We’re tempted to say or do things, especially when we don’t agree with them, or it hurts. Like for us when the Arbery case happened, like we literally are weeping at our table and our seven-year-old is like, “Why are you crying? What’s wrong with you?” And we had to say, “Because a man died, honey.” And she said, “Well, how did a man die?” And I said, “Well, he was murdered.” “Why?” “Because of the color of his skin.” And she says, “but I’m brown.” Yeah. “Well who murdered him?” You know, these, these things. And then now with the George Floyd thing, okay, now who murdered him, then it’s like, what do you say to the seven-year-old to reconcile? It’s the police. “But the police are supposed to help you.” Facts. And so it’s these reconciled thoughts. But I have to be careful about what I say, because what I say is going to manifest in my seven-year-old, and it’s going to kick back and it’s either going to breed love or it’s going to be hate. And so for me, I had to do a real heart check, especially in this season of like, “Okay God, like, arrest my words, arrest my thoughts, and allow me to only speak what You say. Or don’t let me say it at all.” And so I think we have to really do a heart check in this season. And invite people into spaces and ask questions. When you don’t know, ask questions. And listen. Because you have a unique experience. We have a unique experience of things that have happened to us. And it may not be yours.
Latasha Morrison 43:52
Unique experiences that may not be yours. Hmmm. That’s so good! I hope you enjoyed and grew from my conversation with power couple Montell and Kristin Jordan. Like Montell said earlier, let’s be intentional. Let’s step into new spaces and learn about each other’s unique experiences, so that we can all grow as one body together. Don’t forget to go to MontelandKristin.com. That’s Montell and Kristin with a K-r-i-s-t-i-n [dot] com to see conference excerpts, read their blog posts, and keep up with when they are in your town. And you can pick up some stylish tee shirts too! Also, don’t forget to pick up Montell’s latest album, “Masterpeace.” That’s all for now! But until the next time, let’s remember to build bridges and not walls.
Faitth Brooks 44:51
If you are a member of the Donor’s Table, you get access to today’s unedited episode. Go check it out!
Thanks for listening to the Be the Bridge podcast! To find out more about the Be the Bridge organization, and/or to become a bridge builder in your community, go to BeTheBridge.com. Again, that’s BeTheBridge.com. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, remember to rate and review it on this platform and share it with as many people as you possibly can. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Today’s show was edited, recorded, and produced by Travon Potts at Integrated Entertainment Studios in Metro Atlanta, GA. The host and executive producer is Latasha Morrison. Lauren C. Brown is the senior producer. Brittany Prescott was our transcriber. Please join us next time! This has been a Be the Bridge production.