WHY THE NAME CHANGE?

Well, the time has come to do something that we’ve been considering for the last four years. I’ll no longer minister under the name “Isaiah Six” or “Derek Joseph” but I’ll just use my good-old-fashioned name Derek Levendusky. Why?

There’s a number of reasons, but first let me say that this doesn’t mean that we’ll never use the name “Isaiah Six” again. It just means that we’ll try to use “Derek Levendusky” as much as possible. It also doesn’t mean that I won’t be traveling to minister on the road. I’ll continue to travel as much as God’s grace allows in the days to come. The not-for-profit corporation “Isaiah 6 Ministries” will still be the legal entity that I use for traveling ministry (donations, honorariums, etc.).

After asking the Lord for wisdom on how to approach the upcoming season, we decided to make the change. Here’s my reasons for the name switch:

1. I’m starting a church.
When we first started using “Derek Joseph & Isaiah Six” back in 2007, our goal was that I would eventually drop “Isaiah Six” and continue a solo music career as “Derek Joseph” (Joseph is my middle name). At the time, we wanted to keep the name “Isaiah Six” around for a while because of the name-recognition we had after ten years of ministry. Using “Derek Levendusky & Isaiah Six” was pretty awkward because of my long last name, and the practical issue of the fact that it wouldn’t fit into the I-Tunes search window and would create clumsiness issues for stuff like websites and conference publications. So we used “Derek Joseph” instead of “Derek Levendusky”—a good-ol’-easy-to-pronounce American name. I have always used my last name on my books, anticipating that later down the road, if I ever stopped doing music and just became an author-speaker, I’d want to use my last name.

All that said, now that I’m starting a church (yippee!!), we’ve realized pretty quickly how awkward it would be for me to have an artist name as a pastor. I’m still going to travel a lot, so we were running into issues like, “When will you be Derek Joseph and when will you be Derek Levendusky? What if you’re brought into one conference as a worship band one weekend and as a pastor-speaker at another conference on another weekend? Are you ‘Derek Joseph & Isaiah Six’ one weekend and ‘Derek Levendusky’ another?” Huh?

Now that I’m going to be a pastor, and not simply have a solo music career, we’ve decided to simplify everything and just use Derek Levendusky. I’ll use this for everything.

2. I’m a worship leader, not the lead singer of a rock band.
As I travel, I don’t want to feel the pressure of maintaining a band identity, especially (when it comes to music) I’m called to be a worship leader not a rock star. If you look at what a lot of guys are doing who do the kind of thing I do on the road—Darrell Evans, Chris Tomlin, Paul Baloche, etc.—none of them feel obligated to use a band name even though they all travel with bands.

3. When I do have a band, I don’t always travel with the same guys.
I use Brad Kahler and Evan Thorpe 75% of the time, but I’m often on the road with different guys, and our bassist has been a revolving door for years. It can feel awkward to try to sell a band identity when we constantly have different guys helping me out.

4. I don’t always minister with a band.
I do a lot of ministry now without the band. Sometimes I go with nothing but my guitar, sometimes I go with just a drummer, and sometimes I go just to speak and not do music at all. To try to use a band name (“Isaiah Six”) or an artist name (“Derek Joseph”) at all these venues can be confusing.

5. Lots of people still know me by my last name.
Though a lot of new friends on the road, on radio, and on the internet that know me by “Derek Joseph,” a lot of older friends still know me as that guy with the Polish name.

6. I can’t picture myself rockin’ out as the lead singer of a band when I’m 60-years-old.
I’m trying to set myself up for longevity. This change is something I can live with the rest of my ministry life. By the time I’m 60, should the Lord tarry, I don’t see myself jumping up and down on stage singing “Like a Freak” as the lead singer of a band. So this change was coming down the pipe anyway. Might as well make it now.

Well, hope that all makes sense! I know it will take 1-2 years for the public to get used to the idea, but I’m excited about the changes happening in my life. We’re not going anywhere. You’ll still see me ministering on the road, and see my mug on the internet with all that we do with videos and podcasts, so thanks for all your love, prayers, and support!

Derek

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