Myron Butler has built accomplished career and ministry in music over the last 15 years. As one of the founding members and torchbearers for God’s Property, Butler established his gifts and reputation as a prolific writer, talented vocalist and capable leader in the state of Texas. His working relationship and synergy with Kirk Franklin, in the ‘hey days’ of the The Family, would further catapult Myron Butler as a minister and man to watch out for in the foreseeable future.
But it would be the launch of Myron Butler & Levi with the debut release of Set Me Free that would solidifyMyron’s place among Gospel’s anointed leaders. Aside from vocal and production contributions to familiar personalities like Yolanda Adams, Smokie Norful and Kirk Franklin, Myron Butler is steadily increasing his ministerial responsibilities, now serving as the Minister of Music at the Potter’s House Ministries under his senior pastor, Bishop T.D. Jakes. Hence, his latest album –Worship – is an outgrowth of his imminent calling to full time ministry. It was at the heart of our conversation recently with the maestro of worship.
Christopher Heron: Let’s begin by discussing the album. I believe it’s your fourth in the last seven years. It’s distinctly worship. Is this a new reflection on your ministry and on your musical style?
Myron Butler: I think it’s really something that’s always been there, something that was always been a foundation of who Myron is, but rarely did I showcase it on any of the recorded projects. So for me this time around I really wanted to showcase the other side of Myron Butler. It’s certainly something that God had instructed me to do sometime ago but I was a little apprehensive about it. So it’s really just me showing more of the side of who Myron Butler is.
Christopher Heron: When you say you were apprehensive about showcasing that side of you, I’m a little surprised. You are the worship minister at the Potter’s House. So how do you make that dichotomy between being a worship leader at a mega church and being a worship artist?
Myron Butler: Well, before I was a worship leader at Potter’s House we were doing the Myron & Levi releases. And before that, I was working in a church on the staff as the assistant minister to music at United Methodist Church. I’ve just always worked in church, but to me I kind of look at Myron Butler in different strides. On Sunday morning, I’m not trying to showcase or trying to be Myron Butler & Levi because that’s not what’s conducive for the worship, or that may or may not be what’s conducive for that worship environment on Sunday morning.
All of the projects from - Set Me Free to Stronger to Revealed - were really cutting edge, progressive and contemporary. That’s great to listen to. It’s great to engage the listener. It’s great to expose those that may not listen to gospel music. It’s great to expose that to them to let them know that Gospel music is cutting edge and interesting musically as any other genre.
So for me, given what had already been released with Myron Butler & Levi, to go and do just an exclusive worship record that to me was the okay from God. It’s knowing that when you get your music to the world in one way, they begin to look at you through those eyes throughout the rest of your recording career.
Christopher Heron: It simply says Myron Butler in the credits of your latest album. No Myron Butler & Levi. Was that a label decision or was that a reflection of where your ministry is currently at?
Myron Butler: I think it’s a little bit of both. That’s not to say that there won’t be any other Myron Butler & Levi records. That’s not what I’m saying. I think just this time around it really was a reflection of what this project needed to be and is. And I tell people they may, or may not, know that Levi is actually still a part of the small choir that I put together. But in a sense, it still made more sense to call it Worship featuring Myron Butler.
Christopher Heron: You introduce on your album a powerful worship leader inTasha Cobbs. Tell me how that relationship developed?
Myron Butler: Well, to be honest, I was on a website and I saw her album, listened to her music. Of course, I’m a music junkie as well. I knew that she sang, Chasing After You with Full Gospel Baptist Church. So I’d heard of her. But when I listened to her independent project, I was literally drawn in to her ministry. And at the time she was still just, to the best of my knowledge, operating as one of the worship leaders at William Murphy’s Destiny Church in Georgia.
But since then, the world has really come to know of her ministry and her anointing. But that’s really how the connection came about. It was me just surfing the Internet one day and I saw her and said ‘wow’ about her ministry and her heart and her anointing on her songs. It just reached out to me as soon as I heard her music.
Christopher Heron: The last time we spoke a few years ago, you mentioned that you felt a calling towards ministry. Did you believe that your ministry would be one that you would be serving in a ministerial capacity or as a worship leader?
Myron Butler: I think that the introduction probably is as a worship leader and ultimately as a pastor of minister of some sort. I do feel that pretty much is my journey. And so now it’s just doing or taking that process in God’s timing. You know, it’s kind of like in my spirit that’s what I sense and that’s what I believe to be. But as far as God’s timing and how it is to have happened, I’m not sure. So it’s just a faith walk. So for me it’s just continuing that journey.
Christopher Heron: There are two very powerful people that have been a very integral part of your life over the years, and I want you to tell me how they’ve affected both you personally and professionally, Kirk Franklin and Bishop T.D. Jakes.
Myron Butler: Kirk Franklin personally really has been a living example. First, just on a personal level, being a married man and operating in this calling, that it can still work. I mean it’s doable. And even not having a father figure growing up or having someone guide me along the way, he’s been that natural example.
Spiritually and musically he has made me aware or cognizant of the fact that it is possible to become so consumed in doing the work of God and the work of ministry that that begins to choke the marital relationship. You can get so consumed in doing the work that you are not spending dedicated time.
It’s just as important to not be with the mic, to not sit in front of a piano, to not be in front of a group of people, but just spend time between you and God. And a lot of times you begin to just assume that because you’re doing the work, that the relationship constitutes your personal time with God.
But Kirk has really been a person that’s says, “Hey, you’ve got to check yourself. You’ve got to allow yourself to be held accountable to God. It is possible to be doing this line or to be operating in this calling and personally you’re in shambles. You’re singing to thousand and thousands of people at night and you’re a mess.”
Bishop T.D. Jakes to me…what’s the right words? The anointing on his life provokes me to want to dig into God’s Word with all that I have.
To listen to him on a weekly basis and to listen to the level of revelation that comes out of his mouth that God imparts to him, it literally sets a fire under me to get into the Word, to seek after God, to ask God to reveal himself through His Word. There is just such an anointing on Bishop Jakes. I know there are so many things that he’s doing in the business world but it’s that one singular thing that I get a chance to witness every week that is the utmost encouragement to me.
Christopher Heron: Finally, what is the ultimate impact you would like this album to have on the listener?
Myron Butler: You know, Chris, I was telling someone earlier that I think now because of social media, because of the Internet, because of all of the access we have and that our culture has to information, it doesn’t necessarily promote people to seek after God. It doesn’t promote people to sit and just spend time in the Word. Now we can get on the Internet. We can look at CNN. We can get news at the drop of a dime. We can look on Twitter.
We can see what this person just did an hour ago and there’s so much instant access, instant information, that the instant mentality begins to seep in and it affects how we do everything. Now I want to come in church and I don’t want to be in church more than 25 minutes. Hurry up and get to the point. You know, excite me really, really, really quick. And all of that to me causes the listener to stray away from foundational principles.
So from this album – Worship - I pray that this collection of worship songs provokes the listener to want to have an active, consistent worship lifestyle with God. I pray that they love the songs. I pray that the songs that are sung are songs that the people can enjoy in church on Sunday mornings, but it is my utmost desire that people are provoked to have a personal worship relationship with God after listening to this record.