Welcome to the Ferment Podcast - Conversations about Worship and Transformation. In this wide ranging podcast our host Adam Russell sits down with thought leaders, creatives, entrepreneurs, and other innovators digging into their personal stories of spiritual transformation. Current roster of guests include John Mark McMillan, Audrey Assad, David Ruis, James Duke, Carol Wimber-Wong, and many others.
Ryan Albrecht - Healed People Heal People: A Redemption Story
Ryan Albrecht is a psychotherapist, husband, father and musician from Long Beach, New York. He has been serving at the Experience Vineyard Church in Rockville Centre for nearly a decade where he volunteers as a worship leader with his wife and worship director Elisha. It is there where his life transformed and he continues to experience life giving community, family, and encounters with God. Professionally Ryan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker where he works with various mental, emotional, behavioral and spiritual health issues. Inspired by his own life experiences he is called to work with others to help heal from their trauma to realize lives that are full and unique to themselves. Ryan is also passionate about de-stigmatizing mental health in the church through sharing his story and professional insight to educate, equip, and train leadership.
In this episode of The Ferment, Ryan shares his story of leading a life of youthful rebellion after a series of traumatic events changed his course, and the way those decisions escalated into addiction, multiple overdoses and criminal activity. He also shares about the steady pursuit of the Lord, being drawn into community at a church and slowly turning his life over to the service of people. Ryan and Adam then chat about the need to mature emotionally as we are growing spiritually, and tending to the inner life. This is a powerful testimony of redemption and the goodness of God.
A Conversation with Legendary Music Teacher Alan Franklin - VSOW Takeover
Alan Franklin is a musician and music teacher, co-founder of MuzicNet School of Music in Park Forest and Chicago, IL, and the interim worship pastor at South Suburban Vineyard Church in Flossmoor, IL. He is a Chicago-native and one of twelve children. Alan and his siblings grew up singing and playing music in their parents’ church, and he has continued to be involved in worship ministry ever since. Alan has been married to his wife Terrilyn for 32 years and they have 4 daughters and one grandchild.
In this VSOW takeover episode of The Ferment, Mike O’Brien and Alan Franklin have a chat about musicianship, growing in music theory, and the value of taking music lessons even as a seasoned worship leader. Alan talks about learning to play music by ear in church and starting a music school in his brother’s basement after recognizing a need in his community. He also explains the “number system” and gives some practical suggestions for how to implement it in your worship team. Alan and Mike then talk about generational succession in our life together as a church, the role of elders, and the need for making space and room for kids to join the worship team.
MuzicNet School of Music
Vineyard School of Worship (VSOW)
Alexandria Faison - Showing Up and Saying Yes to Jesus
Alexandria Faison is the worship pastor at the Vineyard Church of Davenport, Iowa. She was born into a musical family of faith, singing solos in the choir at her Baptist church at 8 years old and eventually leading worship at 16 years old when they started attending the Vineyard. Alex felt God’s leadership call on her life while attending the University of Northern Iowa where she had a full-ride scholarship for music education, and she soon returned to her home church where she joined the staff as worship director in 2015. Alex has worked with Vineyard Worship for several years and was a featured voice on Vineyard Soul: Generous God. She will also appear as a vocalist on the much anticipated release Breathe In, Sing Out, releasing early 2022. Alex is passionate about leading people into the presence of God through worship.
In this episode of The Ferment, Alex shares about her gospel roots, growing up in the black Baptist church and what it was like for her family to join a predominantly white congregation when they started attending the Vineyard. She also talks about becoming a worship pastor as a teenager and how she processed some of the reactions people had, the environment she’s in that allows her to be brave and share her experiences as a young black woman, and how she has cultivated relationships in different seasons of life. Alex is an old and gentle soul and this episode is marked by her wisdom and joy.
VSOW Sound Lab
Discount Code: Ferment15
Vineyard Worship Together Daily- Alexandria and Kaleb Faison
Calvin Rodgers - Serving The Song
Calvin Rodgers is a Chicago native and drummer who has been credited with revolutionizing the voice of gospel drumming. His parents realized at a very young age that Calvin shared their love for music and an even stronger love for the drums in particular. Both parents worked very hard to invest as much as they could into their son’s promising future. Around the age of 9, Calvin began shadowing his father, a well-known gospel musician, and songwriter, as his personal drummer. This afforded Calvin the opportunity of learning from some of gospel music’s most prolific songwriters, artists, and musicians. By the time he entered high school, he was traveling with GRAMMY-nominated choir master Ricky Dillard & New Generation. Around the same time, he became a part of the Ravinia Jazz Mentors program, spearheaded by jazz pianist, Ramsey Lewis. Upon graduating high school, Calvin began touring with Lewis and learning his way around the studio. While recording a radio commercial for Rice A Roni, Calvin met R&B crooner, R. Kelly. Kelly invited Calvin to join his band for his upcoming world tour, TP2. Upon completion of that tour, Calvin decided to place his focus on becoming a recording drummer. He also began finding his voice as an arranger and a producer. With over 200 live/studio albums listed to his credit, he has also recorded and toured with artists such as R.Kelly, Ramsey Lewis, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Dionne Warwick, Destiny's Child, Ronald Isley, Ernie Isley, Avant, Jonathan Butler, Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, Fred Hammond, Yolanda Adams, Israel Houghton, Donald Lawrence, John P. Kee, Tommy Simms, Tamela Mann, and many, many others. Though quite accomplished, Calvin continues to push himself in all areas while making sure to sow into the next generation through mentoring and private lessons.
In this episode of The Ferment, Calvin and Adam talk about the church as a safe space to raise up musicians and the necessity of continuing to expose yourself to new styles and skillsets to become a well-rounded player. Calvin also gives some solid advice about bringing yourself humbly into unfamiliar gig environments so as to be in service to the songs and the intention of those who hired you while also offering what makes you unique. The conversation touches on investing in upcoming players, staying true to your roots, encouragement for the Vineyard Movement, and Calvin’s personal fermentation process. You won’t want to miss it!
Vineyard Worship: Generous God
Vineyard Soul: Chicago Sessions
Dee Wilson - Songs Are An Extension of the Spirit of God
Dee Wilson, born Terrell Demetrius Wilson, is a Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter, worship leader, husband and father. Dee is a member of Common Hymnal, a connecting point for believers whose voice are not being heard because they don’t fit into the mainstream Christian culture. He and his wife Jennifer are also worship pastors at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO and have a daughter, Adelle. Dee believes deeply in worship with a social conscience, writing honest songs with both message and heart, and being a whole person deeply loved by the Father.
In this episode of The Ferment, Dee and Adam meet up at the Vineyard National Conference for a chat about sports and songwriting. Dee talks about writing songs that resonate with the valleys of life and the importance of naming pain specifically so that God can heal it. He also talks about interacting with those who are provoked or challenged by the songs he writes, and he and Adam leave us reflecting on the question: what is a good life? This conversation is a treasure, and you won’t want to miss it!
Rose Petals written by Dee Wilson
Daniel Grothe - The Power of Place - Choosing Stability in a Rootless Age
Daniel Grothe is associate senior pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO as well as a drummer, author, father and farmer. He received an undergraduate degree in theology from Oral Roberts University and a Masters in Theology through Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of Chasing Wisdom and The Power of Place. Daniel and his wife, Lisa, live on a small hobby farm outside of Colorado Springs with their three children: Lillian, Wilson, and Wakley.
In this episode of The Ferment, Daniel talks about trading a theology of blessing and prosperity for a theology of suffering and how an incredibly traumatic experience reoriented his church’s priorities and mission. He and Adam also discuss the value of micro-communities, intentionally investing in the community you live in, and using social media as a tool and not letting it replace the people around you. This is an incredibly rich episode packed full of encouragement and challenge for those looking to build a deeply fulfilling life.
The Power of Place: Choosing Stability in a Rootless Age by Daniel Grothe
The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Highlight of my week
Words cannot fully express the impact you have had on my life this year. In a time of mass confusion due to the convergence of multiple crises your voice stands out.
I started listening to the Ferment podcast, when my wife pointed me to the session with Brian Zahnd. I was instantly hooked and have listened to one or two sessions every week since.
This podcast has been a watershed in my spiritual formation. It has helped to refocus my journey and personal growth and has changed my life.
As the pandemic deepened and racial and political tensions exploded it seemed like our society was careening toward a cliff. I became deeply disturbed to see church leaders being at the center of the crisis. Rather than speaking out against corruption, many saw the crises as an opportunity to grab wealth and power.
I felt despair over our social, political, humanitarian, and spiritual breakdown. From what you have shared on the podcast I know that you feel this same pain. The interviews showed me that there are many voices of reason and that the entire church has not become corrupted by nationalism and consumerism.
Your podcasts gave me a tremendous amount of hope and helped me see the spiritual struggle beyond the earthly struggle. These served as a reminder of what is truly important. I have been involved with the Vineyard since the early eighties and I have reveled in the memories of those early days.
There are several things that I love about your podcast
- The guests that you select are amazing.
- You are a very skilled interviewer. You listen well and ask great follow up questions.
- I love your opening question, "Tell me about growing up." It makes me aware that everyone has a story.
- Worship and Transformation - What a marriage!
- Fresh content constantly - I anticipate the next episode and am going backwards to get them all.
- Introducing new voices that I can follow up on.
The Ferment has been one of the most significant inspirational and informational resources for me this year. Not only the interviews themselves but the introduction to new people and new ideas. This has a real multiplying impact for me.
Thanks for all you do.
Mark Seaman (unabashed groupie)
Brian Zahnd, Eneagrams, and welcoming the Trojan Horse
So we are giving a platform to a guy who says the Bible is on its own journey to “Discover God’s Word”, therefor denying that it is God’s word. He denies penal substitutionary atonement that only a “monster God” would require. He denies the wrath of God. He states God didn’t actually command Israel to kill its enemies. He makes claims that there are contradictions in the Bible. There’s so much more.
The Enneagram was introduced into the Church by Richard Rohr, a Panenthiest (heresy). Its roots are based in New Age psychology, shamanism, and gnosticism, and it has been associated with psychedelic drug use and even a god named Metatron. It was designed to find one’s inner “Essence”. It was developed in part by “automatic writing” similar to the practice of using a Quija board.
There really needs to be more discernment here. Especially amongst our leaders. The influence of Zahnd and the Enneagram are a Trojan Horse. PLEASE pray, research, and reconsider.
Signed: V-Tribe since ‘85 and Worship Leader of 20 years.
Loving it so far!
I didn’t have high expectations for the podcast, as I often listen to Bible Project and Vox with Mike Erre (both very high quality). However, so far I have been impressed with this podcast, and it’s made me excited to be part of the Vineyard movement.
Keep up the great work!