When we gather to worship, what are we really hungry for? Why are we there? What is the goal?

  • Songs?
  • Great music?
  • Entertainment?
  • Powerful leadership?
  • Answers to questions?
  • God?

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I am so excited for you to meet this week’s guest: Malcolm du Plessis. He’s the real deal: humble, deep, challenging, and wise. Malcolm is a friend/consultant for some of the biggest names in Christian Music and a leader in the music industry.

This is such an important conversation. Malcolm and I take an honest look at where modern worship is and what we can do better. Get ready to be challenged on a whole new level.

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photo-1416339426675-1f96fd81b653The question needs to be asked: Are we in danger of worshiping worship?

The mood. The atmosphere. The melody.

The crowd. The emotion. Your favorite worship leader. Your favorite speaker.

The band. The performance. The feeling.

Are we being moved by the right things? Are our hearts aimed in the proper direction?

The problem with our worship culture is that we equate worship with an experience, a moment.

We end up loving worship more than we love God. We end up talking about worship more than we talk about God.

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562x3161386265915HunterThompson_562x316There’s something about honest, raw, beautiful writing that opens your heart to truth.

That’s why I’m thankful for Hunter Thompson and his newest EP with Bethel Music, Swan Song. This is one of the most beautiful collection of songs to be released this year.

Honest, stripped back, pure. In this interview Hunter and I talk about the album, his journey from getting saved to leading worship right away, how he got connected to Bethel, poetry, corporate worship, and much more.

Don’t miss it!

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photo-1415226181422-279a51ca056eThere’s a lot of talk going around about the dire situation of contemporary worship music.

I can understand the complaints and am grateful for the conversations.

We’re after something that is real, Christ-exalting, true to the Word of God. Nobody wants to go from emotional experience to emotional experience, feeling good but lacking depth and understanding.

We’ve already discussed some of the issue in a post a few months ago that went viral.

But many of these complaints are centered on why contemporary music is terrible. We need more hymns. We need more theological depth. It’s an age old argument and a war that may never be resolved on this side of heaven.

Here’s the bottom line for me:

Contemporary and traditional worship must be backed by an obedient heart. If you’re willing to sing and shout but unwilling to do the will of God everyday, it isn’t worship.

If worship songs are your only spiritual diet, therein lies the problem. They were never meant to replace the Word of God and learning how to feed yourself from the Scriptures.

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1011675_635451406572978_8214628952985731038_nI don’t know about you, but I’m after the real thing in worship.

It’s not enough to sing the songs, go through the motions, and feel good about how we executed our plans.

We need God – His nearness, His Word, His voice, His sovereign move.

That’s what I love about Housefires Music. I was joined by Matt Reynolds and Pat Barret for this interview.

Matt is the lead pastor of Grace Midtown and lead visionary for Housefires Music. Pat is the lead singer & songwriter.

Their church is the real deal. Their hearts are the real deal. And this music may be the most powerful thing you’ve listened to all year. No joke. It’s that good.

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Ever feel like you’re all alone and no one understands?

It’s impossible to serve and labor in the local church and not be discouraged at times.

I feel there is a unique discouragement for worship leaders due to the nature of combining art and ministry.

Are we artists or are we pastors? Are we creatives or are we managers?

Do we make art or do we lead and mobilize people?

For most of us, the answer to these questions is “yes.” We juggle numerous identities in one multi-faceted job description.

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Kim-042When it comes to pursuing Jesus, there’s only one way to come: with boldness. 

We have been given access into His presence by a new and living way. So we come trembling in awe yet with the confidence of sons and daughters.

That’s what I love about the ministry of Kim Walker Smith. She is bold, takes risks, and listens to what the Holy Spirit is saying.

We talk about that as well as Jesus Culture music, her new Christmas album, and about carrying a message, not just talent.

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How would you define it?

Hearing that word almost creates confusion.

It has become so many things. Songs, services, singing, and industry.

Records, sold-out shows, iTunes charts, and royalty checks.

Jobs, productions, and emotional feelings.

But what is it…really? More than anything, we need to get this right. Worship is foundation – it’s the rock that everything is built upon.

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PastorClayton_LargeSometimes you just have to be honest. You have to strip away the game and get real with God.

As worship leaders we have a tendency to live in a world of comparison, criticism, man pleasing, and self centeredness. But without pure, honest, real hearts of desperation for God, we have nothing.

That’s what I love about this conversation with Clayton Brooks. Clayton is the Worship Pastor at the Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak, Texas.

Clayton’s story is a call to obedience, to face what’s uncomfortable, to be the real thing. You excited to hear this?

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