Wow Can This Woman Sing! Kai Pineda’s Debut CD Will Leave You Speechless!
“A lot of times we delegate worship to singing and that is just one fabric of it. Even if you can’t sing you can worship the Lord.” – Pastor Kai Pineda
This sentiment has been a driving force behind Pastor Kai Pineda since she was an adolescent singing in her church choir. Even then, says Pastor Kai, she knew there was more to God. So during Bible college in 2001, when God instructed Pastor Kai Pineda to stop singing, her reply was simply, “No problem.”
Now on the cusp of mainstream success with her debut album, Speechless, Pastor Kai Pineda takes a moment to invite Rocking God’s House behind the record and her ministry Authentic: The Movement. We begin our discussion of authentic worship in a St. Louis, Missouri, Cracker Barrel, her favorite restaurant.
Good Morning. How are things going with you?
All is well.
First of all, congratulations on the album Speechless.
Aw, thank you so much.
I absolutely fell in love with the album. It is amazing. It really touched me.
Oh, I’m glad. Thank you so much.
How did Speechless come about?
After I graduated Bible College I started a ministry. I went back home and was asked to help lead the worship team. At that time our pastor had fired all the musicians. We were literally singing without music. The first Sunday I kind of stepped back and was singing a song unto the Lord. Then it happened again the second Sunday. The next thing I knew, I could hear it, and the pastor’s wife put the mic to my mouth. From there it just became a different type of soul worship. That continued and people asked me to come and teach what I had learned, to do what I was doing—teach people what God had taught me through the Word. Fast-forward to 2011, my husband, who is also my pastor, stated that he believed it was time for me to do a project, an album. We moved in obedience and the result is the album.
You mentioned before releasing Speechless you learned what worship was Biblically. Could you elaborate?
In the Old Testament the Levites ministered unto the Lord. That was key, because a lot times when we’re in church we minister to people, trying to take their hand and show them into worship. The reality is the focus. It isn’t supposed to be on others. It supposed to be on Him. The attention was always on the performance, but it’s supposed to be focused on His presence. We are not to be worried about getting the praise of the people, but pleasing the Father.
The key phrase you mentioned was “minister unto the Lord.” How does a person minister to the Lord?
It is literally lavishing our affections towards Him, allowing our focus to be pointed toward Him. It is giving Him reverence during that time. A lot of time we delegate worship to singing and that is just one fabric of it, but even if you can’t sing you can worship the Lord. We worship Him for who He is. As creation we respond to the Creator by speaking the Word back, by having our eyes and heart on the Lord.
What have you found to be the most misunderstood aspect of worship?
Worship has been misdirected. We’ve been worshipping for people, asking them to come somewhere we have never been instead of worshipping one person and having everybody go to Him. When we look at ministry, ministry is focused on people. It’s not focused on Him. So how can we think people are going to have or put the right thoughts or attentions in (the right) place when we make everything about them? A lot of times we’re listening to messages, even when we’re listening to songs of today that we’re calling Gospel music, but we’re not singing about the Good News. We’re singing about our issues and then we put God in there for one second. If you listen to Speechless, it is word based. We’re talking about the word. Everything is about Him. It’s not about me. It walks us through the first six days of Genesis. I am in awe of Him, not what he’s done for me. One of the biggest misconceptions is we are created to minister to people. We were created to minister to God and that ministry will affect people to go to Him and not to us. It is this focus on God which causes people to go beyond a church experience and cross over to having an encounter with God. The charge is to teach people to worship in an authentic manner. That’s the movement itself, just going around to churches and venues sharing what we do. That’s the movement.
I can relate to the need to worship in an authentic manner. It has been just recently my husband was able to break past simply having a church experience. He had an encounter by listening to the single “Speechless” and I have seen him become vulnerable before the Lord in his worship as a result. Would you say that was the purpose or intended impact of the album?
I don’t see purpose as the world and the body of Christ have seen it for a long time because my Bible says, in Philippians 3:10 (Amp.), “My determined purpose is to know Him.” Everything God has charged me to do, which is very different, has been to create an encounter, to create an environment where people encounter God. That is the charge on my life. So whether I’m preaching or doing counseling, it is to create an environment where people encounter Him. Even with The Movement, the charge is to create atmospheres through the music and the preached word where we create an atmosphere in an environment that is solely about His presence—not about a program because when it’s solely about His presence you can’t do anything, but encounter Him.
Is that why the album is recorded live?
Yes. When it came to recording this album there was no other choice for me, but to record it live. I wanted to capture what happens when people are of one accord, in one place. It was always the plan.
In recording live, where there any moments when you had to pull back?
No. We didn’t do that. Literally there was like more than an hour and a half to two hours that’s not on the album.
Yeah, because I did what I do. (laughs) When you get the CD there’s also a DVD, but of course that also goes with the album. Not all the footage is on there. We literally still have about an hour and half that’s not on there. There are a lot of reprises because things just happened. Speechless doesn’t have a reprise, but there are a least 3 to 4 songs on the official album that have reprises because we just flowed. That’s what I do. I flow.
One of the biggest jokes is when we’re out somewhere they’ll ask me how many songs we’re doing. I’ll say three and they’ll all go “ok, we’re doing six,” because before it’s over God will just give me a new song and we just flow. It wasn’t a challenge because I am around and surrounded by people who not only know me they know my ministry and they’re like minded. It was like we’re not going here to do a concert. I get that we’re recording a live album, but we’re going to do what we always do which is create an atmosphere for people to encounter God.
There was no challenge, except one day in rehearsal because I was like “What is this? What’s going on?” I realized in that moment that we were just rehearsing. I’m not used to rehearsing and something not happening, but that day I’d just flown in and they were rehearsing. We were just trying to make sure we had everything together. The next day we really got to rehearse. That’s when I was like “Okay, this is what was missing yesterday.” The first day was mechanics. You have got to have things in order. That wasn’t a problem, but I’m used to God’s presence. Other than that there was no challenge.
You mentioned that sometimes God will give you a new song in the midst of a concert. Did that happen during the recording of Speechless? If so, which songs?
Yes it did. We have reprises on the CD that happened during the recording. Tracks like “Bread of Heaven,” “You Are,” and “You Are Love.”
What is your favorite song on the album?
“You Are Love.” It literally depicts why we worship and what He’s done for us.
I noticed that some of the proceeds from this album help sponsor Sickle Cell Anemia research. What was the inspiration for this?
I was married before. My husband passed away and he had sickle cell. I know about it very well. Secondly, Zambia, Africa, because we have a heart for the people there. We minister there. Our Godsons are there doing work for the Lord. That’s the reason why. You’re the first to ask in all the interviews.
I had a best friend pass away young due to complications from sickle cell; therefore, it touched me that proceeds would benefit those living with it. I want to thank you for that and for your time.
Thank you, Shawn.