Rockin’ Out with John Schlitt

Legendary Christian Rocker John Schlitt is living proof that God can radically change lives.

John spent eight years with the secular band Head East and was fired because of his drug and alcohol addiction. Then the Lord turned John’s life around. Through his wife’s prayers and a local church, God led John to a decision point where he surrendered his life to Christ. John thought his career was over and that he would never sing again. Until he got a call from Bob Hartman from the Christian Rock band Petra asking John to consider becoming the lead singer for the band. John joined Petra and began a ministry he never thought was possible. He was with Petra from 1986-2005.

In 2005, I was managing a Christian radio station in Greenville, SC and I had the opportunity to interview John during that time. Our conversation was memorable because Petra had just finished their Farewell Tour and he was unsure what the Lord had in store for him. I remember him being incredibly vulnerable and humble as he was in a time where he had no clue what the the Lord had for him next.

I’ve caught up with John and have seen him over the years at different functions. We ran into each other again this year at NRB. I asked him if he’d let me interview him again to catch up and to also talk from a perspective that you rarely get with a Christian Music Artist – the preparation and production side.

We talked about how Petra planned their concerts, what media and other elements went into their shows, using click track videos, and more. We also talked about churches that juggle traditional and contemporary styles of worship and he gave some insightful advice for church media staff and volunteers.

John is a humble and honest guy with one of the most powerful voices in the music industry. He is one of the pioneers of Christian Rock and helped form contemporary Christian music as we know it.

We can learn a lot from guys like John Schlitt how to create powerful experiences where people meet Jesus and grow in their relationship with Him. 

Listen to my full interview with John below.


Listen to the Full Interview:

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About the Author_02

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Creative Director / Owner
[twelve:thirty]media | Columbia, SC

Carl Barnhill has served on staff at some of the largest churches and organizations in the country. He served as Media Director at Precept Ministries International, directing the television and radio program Precepts for Life with Kay Arthur, broadcasted to over 98 million homes around the world. He served as Video Production Director at Pinelake Church in Brandon, MS, where he produced media content for four campuses, as well as led volunteer teams.

He most recently served as Video Coordinator for Newspring Church in South Carolina. Newspring has 10 campuses across the state with a weekly attendance of over 35,000. At one campus alone, the number of consistent volunteers serving in media production tripled, under his leadership.

He currently serves as Creative Director and Owner of [twelve:thirty]media, a company that serves churches and ministries all over the world through motion graphics content and church media coaching.

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