These days, you just can’t escape the constant barrage of worldly messages that come at us from all sides during most of our waking hours. From the TV to the internet to the newspaper, billions of dollars are spent every year crafting eye popping, shock and awe advertisements meant to draw our attention and pique our interest in buying some product we probably don’t even need anyway. Even grocery carts and the sides of city buses compete for our attention, projecting provocative images and offensive content.
As a parent, how do you prepare your child to filter out the junk of this world that seems to be almost everywhere? What can be done to guard the young hearts and protect the minds that have been entrusted to us from all the ugliness in the world?
Phil Joel, a former 14 year member of the Christian rock group the Newsboys and the founder of the deliberatePeople movement, has a simple but innovative idea to combat these very things.
DeliberateKids is a children’s music project that Joel, together with his wife Heather, originally created after becoming parents to their two children. “There’s a lot of kids music out there,” said Joel with his trademark New Zealand accent, “but much of it is very, very old. I wanted to create something rockin’, catchy, and super fun that would pour God’s truth into the hearts of kids everywhere.”
The original deliberateKids 1 & 2 were recorded and distributed thru a deal with a record label, and that deal officially came to end recently, said Joel in an interview at the WFRN Friend Fest on Saturday, June 22nd, 2013. Now that the rights have been returned to the Joel family from the label, they are anxious to relaunch deliberateKids and “get this music back into the minivans and living rooms all over the country,” Joel said with a smile.
While Joel is passionate about getting the music back out to families, obtaining the financial backing for a grassroots project such as this one has proved rather challenging. “A lot of people don’t realize that to do things the right way, it can get rather expensive to license your songs, pay out royalties, manufacture the CDs and so on,” said Joel, “but it is important to us that we do this the right way.”
This is why the Joels have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $15,000 needed to manufacture the project. Currently, the campaign is a little over 50% funded with 3 weeks remaining in the campaign. Project backers can donate as little as $1 or more than $3,500 with incentives ranging from a 5 song digital download sampler of the CD to a visit from Phil Joel to your church on Sunday morning.
“Every day, we receive calls or e-mails from people who want to know where to buy deliberateKids,” said Joel. “It’s rather frustrating to tell them they can’t buy it because it’s nowhere to be found at the moment. This Kickstarter campaign can change that.”
Notable fans (and parents) of deliberateKids include tobyMac, Jeremy and Adie Camp, Matthew and Emily West, Peter Furler, Jon and Sherry Rivers, Patsy Clairmont, and comedian Bob Smiley. Of the deliberateKids CDs, Matthew West has said “Our children love the deliberateKids music! God has uniquely gifted Phil and Heather with the ability to write songs that are fun, entertaining, and filled with the hope and the joy that we find in God’s promises. We tell all of our friends about dKids because we know parents need to be armed with tools like this as a way of filling our children’s hearts with the positive message of the hope we have in Christ!”
Ultimately, Joel hopes to expand the deliberateKids family to include daily devotionals for middle schoolers, family tool books, VBS materials, Sunday School curriculum, music videos, and perhaps even a deliberateKids 3.
In addition to his work with deliberateKids and deliberatePeople, Phil Joel is also a solo artist and his projects are available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon.