As worship leaders, one of our main jobs is to lead the people of God into His presence. Each week we carefully plan our setlist to center the church’s heart and mind on God. What we don’t always consider, is what a central role worship music can play in someone finding Christ.

I was reminded of the mysteries of how Christ works on this week’s podcast with Hillsong UNITED’s Taya Smith. I had the opportunity to speak to her just days after the band returned from Israel and the middle east. I asked her about what it was like to lead worship at the Sea of Galilee.

“We were actually singing at the Muslim Wall in the Muslim quarter, and we see people in the windows. Some people were filming, and I was like, ‘This is so cool.’ Then they’d see that we were looking and shut their windows. But they’d open it again, just a little, to let the music in. There are so many of those moments where you’re like, ‘I have no idea what God is doing behind the scenes, but there are little glimpses that He is.”

Each week there are people in our churches who don’t know Christ. While not always visible to our eyes, God uses worship music to reveal himself to people in ways we can only imagine. Music has a way of connecting with people so deeply that they are open to hearing Jesus’ call. Ushering our church into God’s presence unquestionably impacts those who may not yet have a relationship with Him. As Taya said, we have no idea what God is doing behind the scenes. Our role is to be faithful to the calling and rejoice in the knowledge that God is always at work.

This article was taken from the Worship Together Podcast. To listen to the full interview with Hillsong UNITED’s Taya Smith please visit your favorite podcast provider or listen to the Soundcloud embed below.

It's finally here! We are beyond excited about the release of Worship Central's newest album Mercy Road. This album uses captivating lyrics and melodies to encourage authentic worship. May your spirit and church be refreshed and renewed by the heart of Jesus within these songs!  

Below you’ll find song resources and a New Song Cafe*. Enjoy!

Song Resources

All That Matters*

Mercy Road*

Praise The Lord (Evermore)*

Devotion*

Waves

Lights

He Lives*

Hideaway

Pray*

To God Be The Glory

Blessings,

The Worship Together Team

“ I think in many ways the church has lost what it means to party, to really go for it, to have fun, and to dance. “ – Tim Hughes

Lately, this is a thought that has been heard repeatedly within the church. The idea that modern worship is lacking an element of celebration. We seem to be missing out on the release of joy in celebrating God whenever we let go and feel the need to dance. Worship is a powerful expression of how we revere and admire God and all of His different attributes. Sometimes worship needs to be serious. We need to feel the heaviness of God’s spirit and surrender under the weight of his tangible presence. Those serious elements of worship are of no less value but, how often are we dancing and celebrating during service in church?

"I'm alive in the

Love that You give me

Free to dance once again

You will lead me from

glory to glory

Jesus, You made a way”

Worship is an expression; it is a physical act of laying your spirit and flesh at the throne of God. God is our only true source of joy and celebration, He is the reason we come alive in worship. All of heaven celebrates Him with dancing and loud music, perhaps we should be doing that as well. He deserves all of the praise we can give.

“Praise God in his sanctuary; praise Him in His might heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness. Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with timbrel and dancing, praise Him with strings and pipe, praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals.“ Psalm 150:1-6

This need for exciting worship is what inspired Worship Central’ s Tim Hughes, Nick Herbert, and Ben Cantelon to write “The Way”. Hughes has the desire to encourage the church to have fun in worship just like they would anywhere else.

“We tried to capture in the production [of this song] just the joy and hopefully the release of [the fact that] we’ve got a great God that we’re going to serve and we’re going to enjoy and we’re going to dance and celebrate”

“The Way” is meant to encourage and excite the church to praise God for how good He is to us. It is being used to draw out the overflowing joy of the Lord in our hearts.

Watch the New Song Café with Tim Hughes and Ben Cantelon below:

"The Way" -Worship Central 

 Get song resources here: http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/the-way-worship-central

 

“Use what’s in your hand to establish what’s in your heart.”

- Brian Houston

 

In my experience, most musicians and creatives are also dreamers. We have dreams for our careers, our families, and our ministries. However, I think all of us have, at some point in our lives, watched one of our dreams die. It’s painful process that can cause confusion and heartache. We are often left asking God, “Where are You? What do I do now?”

 

On this week’s Worship Together Podcast, I talked to Joel Houston from Hillsong UNITED. Even though Joel is one of the most successful artists in the world, he is not immune from this pain. In fact, the death of his dream became the catalyst for creating UNITED.

 Houston: “I had a band with Mikey (Michael Guy Chislett), Marty Sampson, Luke Munns and some other friends. Everything was going great. Wonderful, to be honest. It was all lined up and then, out of nowhere the band broke up. It was heartbreaking because we had been in this band for six years and then, right when it was all happening, it was over. I remember Mikey was devastated, and so was I.

“My dad (Brian Houston) was preaching a message at the time, that he still preaches now, which says, ‘Use what’s in your hand to establish what’s in your heart.’ So Mikey and I just talked and said, ‘Let’s just throw ourselves into what’s in front of us. So we looked at what was in our hand, and it was our youth ministry. So we just threw ourselves into making Friday nights the best they could be and making the music something that we liked and that our friends liked. That essentially became what is now UNITED.”

Joel continued, “Sometimes it looks like we're not getting what we want because God knows what we need. But when you get what you need, you realize that everything you want, and everything you never knew you wanted, is in that as well.”

“Proverbs 16:9 says, ‘A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.’

 “I think for us it's actually just been a process of obedience. We've never had these dreams. If you asked me at any time along the journey, even a few years ago, how long I would be doing this, I would have said, ‘I don't know’. We're just doing it now because it's what's in our hand. And so when we were 19 that's what it looked like. When we were 25, it was still in our hand and the desire has been to, as long as it's in our hand, give the best of what we have.”

 To come close to your dreams and then watch them slip through your hands is difficult. It can be so painful that often we want to give up. In those times it’s important that we keep our faith in Him and remember that we do not labor in vain. If we are faithful with what God has put in our hand, He will continue to refine our hearts and fulfill dreams we don't even know we have yet.

 

This article was taken from the Worship Together Podcast. To listen to the full interview with Hillsong UNITED’s Joel Houston please visit Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider.

“If you lost your voice tomorrow, would your church still recognize you as a spiritual leader on Sunday?”

That is the question that worship pastor and artist Aaron Keyes posed to us at the 2017 Worship Together Conference. Through 10,000 Fathers, he is working to “raise up an army of men and women who are not only gifted musicians, but would be elders in their churches even if they didn't play music.”

Aaron believes that we have more than enough teachers, but not nearly enough spiritual fathers and mothers raising up leaders. Over the last decade Aaron and the team at 10,000 Fathers have gone beyond teaching spiritual growth, to pouring their lives into the next generation as spiritual fathers and mothers. To hear him explain it, “We are taught for our whole lives in church, grow, grow, grow. Most of the teaching, most of the training, most of the resources go to our growth. That’s good. We need to grow spiritually, but it’s not all about you growing. At some point it needs to become about you reproducing.”

After 15 years in ministry that has included leading worship around the world, writing and ministering to thousands Keyes says, "I realized that I’ve mislead as much worship as I’ve lead.”, a sentiment that many of us can relate to. You can hear more about this and a lot more on this week's episode of the Worship Together podcast. 

 

To listen to the full talk with Aaron Keyes from Worship Together 2017, please visit your favorite podcast provider or listen to the Soundcloud embed below. 

 

 

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The Worship Together Podcast is an opportunity for our team to have honest conversations about the songs we sing and the way we lead. Join us weekly as we speak with some of the most instrumental artists, worship leaders, songwriters and pastors influencing the creative culture of the church today.

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