Say hello to WorshipMob

What happens when there’s no agenda, no ego, no limits and no expectations? When a disparate bunch of burned-out singers and musicians whose souls are sucked bone-dry by week-in, week-out service simply show up for no other reason but to see what God has up His sleeve?

Sure, there’s talent in the room, and plenty of it. But there’s something so healing about laying down the individual to become part of a mob.

WorshipMob began in Colorado Springs, CO, in 2011 for the sole purpose of ministering to worship leaders, empowering them to minister to each other and experience worship together beyond church walls. To simply allow space for God to move, for these musicians to respond and to, eventually, share the result for free with people all over the world.

“Originally, the idea was to capture as close to a live worship experience as possible,” explains Sean Mulholland, a worship musician who started WorshipMob in his home studio. “I was quite jaded at the time, and the worship experience I was part of every week didn’t seem real to me. It felt like a musical performance with a few, select people. I wanted to know what it would feel like to get a bunch of people like me, mostly singers and musicians of a similar caliber, and go for something more free, to see where the Holy Spirit might lead.”

Within a year, word started getting out, and it was standing room only in this little “hospital for worship leaders.” But the numbers belied the most significant growth. “A year in, it started developing in a way we could not have imagined,” Garrett Chynoweth, who serves as a lead pastor for WorshipMob, says. “It began to explode… in expression, heart and spirit…we didn’t try to impose a particular style or sound on it, instead allowing people to find their own voice.”

What developed was a new kind of mob culture; a unique community wherein the greater expression is less about individual contribution and more about serving the whole. Less about what you bring to the table; more about what God brings to the table.

“Our culture is enthralled by talent, but we lose focus in that,” Garrett continues. “In WorshipMob, every gift we have is put on the altar, everything is surrendered for the glory of God’s Name, and soaked in God’s presence and in agape love, consistently, week after week. And in that atmosphere, people are transformed, released from their struggles for validation to find their true, complete identity. Empowered, fully righteous and free in the finished work of Christ.”

This is the emphasis found in the WorshipMob live worship videos—independent and made available online for free to everyone—which have already touched lives around the world with over 9 million views and 54,000 Youtube channel subscribers to date.

WorshipMob’s CARRY THE FIRE—its first project in partnership with Integrity Music—captures not only the core concept behind this unique servant/musician community but also the impact, the contagious joy and regeneration discovered in its wake.

Intimate, spontaneous, at times ambient, at times exuberant, but at all times collaborative, WorshipMob’s CARRY THE FIRE expresses the joy, freedom and empowerment of life infused by the Spirit of God. From the opening verses of “Satisfy” (Come lay down your burdens, And I’ll become your peace) to the benediction of “Love Break Down These Walls,” it’s not about our effort, but about response to what God has done and is doing,” Garrett explains. “The fire of God’s presence is in people’s hands because Christ lives inside. It’s a natural outflow, not a forced thing or expectation. It’s in your hands because you’re a child of the king who has given you all authority and power to face the enemy.”

“Arrested By Grace (You Call Me Worthy),” a driving modern anthem of irrevocable acceptance in Christ, sets the tone for the album. “If there’s one song that captures the core of our message,” says Garrett, who co-wrote the songs with his wife Elaina and Nico Perez, “the chorus and the bridge of this song say it all.”

Adopted by perfection, you rejected my rejection,

Made whole by resurrection, I’m yours…

“Love Outran Me” stands out as a hallmark on the album. “It’s the song of my life, and if you knew the story of my life, you’d know there are no theories in my faith,” says Garrett. The grandson of a polygamist cult leader who was eventually imprisoned, Garrett spent his formative years without his father—who was murdered by cult members—in witness protection, then orphaned by his mother who committed suicide. “God became my Abba at a young age. I was afraid for my life for four years, with no one to comfort me but the Holy Spirit… this is my journey. My ministry now, and the message of ‘Love Outran Me,’ especially for people hearing the gospel for the first time, is this: ‘You are deeply loved and not judged.’”

You reached through my darkness, to pull me in

You stood in my place and became my sin

To these dead bones, You say, arise, arise

When I couldn’t do it, You crossed the distance

Your love pushed harder than my resistance

I was a slave, You said, be free

“Light Up the World (Rain Down On Me),” written by WorshipMob’s Seth Enos, serves as both a call to worship and a powerful reminder that God’s redemption is ongoing.

Spirit fall down, rain Your glory /Come have Your way / Come have Your way Father hear us, crying for You to / Come have Your way, come have Your way

The song is the first “concept” video shot by WorshipMob, whose members gathered to create a tribute to victims of Colorado’s Black Forest Fire that destroyed over 500 homes and 14,000 acres in June of 2013. “We knew people who’d lost some property in the fire,” Sean explains, “so about 40 people showed up to shoot the video in the ruins of the fire, to capture this whole concept of redeeming loss in the world. To present a picture that the heart of God is to light up the world.” The riveting result, much of which is filmed as rain soaks the charred landscape, captures the spirit of this collective.

Ultimately, WorshipMob represents something we all come to terms with at some point in our lives: the answer to the question ‘Who am I?’

“We’re all trying to work out who we are and how we’re supposed to serve God,” Sean says. “My whole life, I wanted to make a career of music, which is often destructive to our souls. It wasn’t until I turned 40 that I gave up and began learning surrender over and over again; new ways of trusting God, who has a better and more creative plan than ours, who protects his children from getting in over our heads… Anything that happens is the fruit of that surrender.

“What I’ve learned from starting WorshipMob is that most of us are missing who God already created us to be, missing the internal peace,” he continues. “Our hearts are to encourage people to seek this intimacy with Father, to seek their true identity in Him. Only in him do we find our true value; only in him is peace and contentment, whatever our circumstances.”

Written by Melissa Riddle Chalos

Jesus music: brought to you by Allstate Insurance Company

It is interesting to see that Gospel music has corporate sponsors…for instance, there’s the Allstate Gospel Superfest television extravaganza being filmed on Saturday, March 21. The show will be at Chicago’s House of Hope Arena with “a star-studded array of performers, hosts and presenters that resemble a made in Hollywood presentation,” according to the press release. Hosted by Vivica A. Fox and others, look for performances by Kelly Price (who was a total jerk in the show R&B Divas: LA so I don’t like her, at all), Dorinda Clark-Cole, J. Moss, and Vanessa Bell Armstrong, among others.

The show is title-sponsored by Allstate Insurance Company of Northbrook, IL.  Allstate has been title sponsor of The Gospel Superfest for seven consecutive years.

“We are absolutely thrilled to work with the Allstate Insurance Company. It is a privilege and honor to have the faith and confidence of a prestigious corporation like Allstate,” says show founder and executive producer Bobby Cartwright, Jr.

Queen of Christian music to release third hymns album

Amy Grant, the Queen of Christian music, has been popular since the 1980s and had many hits, including a duet with Peter Cetera (“Next Time I Fall”) and, more recently, two albums of hymns. Well, just like the movies, there’s going to be another album of hymns since the first two sold well. Teaming up with her hubby Vince Gill, they’re bringing ya Be Still And Know…Hymns & Faith this April 14th. The April release will include two newly-recorded songs produced by Gill: “Power In The Blood” and “Be Still And Know.”

And the Queen of Christian music will pair up with the King of Christian music, Michael W. Smith, this May, for concerts celebrating the new album.

Be Still And Know…Hymns & Faith
1. Power In The Blood
2. Be Still And Know
3. Jesus Take All of Me (Just As I Am)
4. Rock Of Ages (Featuring Vince Gill)
5. Carry You
6. This Is My Father’s World
7. El Shaddai
8. Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
9. It Is Well With My Soul/The River’s Gonna Keep On Rolling
10. My Jesus, I Love Thee
11. Deep As It Is Wide (Featuring Sheryl Crow and Eric Paslay)
12. What A Friend We Have In Jesus/Old Rugged Cross/How Great Thou Art
13. ‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus
14. Softly And Tenderly
15. Holy, Holy, Holy

NEEDTOBREATHE to release Live From The Woods

NEEDTOBREATHE is a Christian rock band which plays both Christian festivals and “mainstream secular” ones. They’re going to release their first live album, Live From The Woods, April 14th.

Recorded in Nashville (which is where all the Christian rock bands record), the album will include “Washed By The Water,” “Something Beautiful” “Keep Your Eyes Open,” and “Multiplied.” It’ll be a two-CD set.

As mentioned earlier, NEEDTOBREATHE is straddling the line between preaching to the choir and preaching to the unwashed masses. That said, they’ll have a new single out called “Brother,” featuring Gavin DeGraw, which they hope will make a splash on the Hot AC radio stations that soccer moms listen to. The video for that song will be on Vh1.com– they play music videos?!

Look for the band on tour starting April 23rd. They’ll be on the road this summer with Ben Rector, Switchfoot and others.

The return of Tree63

Following a seven-year hiatus, internationally-renowned South African Christian rock band Tree63 is doing a Kickstarter campaign for its fans to participate in the recording and promotion of its seventh full-length album slated for release this summer. Following the enthusiastic reception the band received at a series of reunion events last year in South Africa, John Ellis (vocals and guitar), Darryl Swart (drums) and Daniel Ornellas (bass) reformed the trio and are working on new music.

While Tree63 has been on hiatus, John moved back to South Africa from the U.S. and released a solo album. Daniel has been living in Nashville touring and producing and Darryl started a recording studio in Canada.

“We’ve stayed in touch over the years and stayed friends,” says John. “Even though we’ve all ventured into other musical projects since, there hasn’t been anything like the special experience of playing as Tree63.”

“So when we got back together to play a few dates in South Africa in April 2014, we talked about making new music,” adds Daniel. “John has songs he’s written since, so we decided to come to Nashville and record this new album.”

Formed in 1996, the three-piece band first came to international attention with the release of their second album, 63 (Survivor Records), in 1999, followed by the 2001 self-titled release on U.S.-based InPop Records that sparked the radio hits “Treasure” and “Look What You’ve Done.” Picking up a Dove Award that year for “Rock Album of the Year,” the band went on to record four more critically acclaimed albums, release numerous radio singles, including the No. 1 hit and Billboard’s most played Christian Song Of The Year in 2004, “Blessed Be Your Name,” from 2004’s The Answer To The Question.

Tree63 toured with Jeremy Camp, Delirious?, Rebecca St. James, Festival Con Dios and others. They also made numerous appearances with the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, headlined Canada’s multi-denominational Christian youth conference (YC) events and more.

“The music industry has changed in a lot of ways since our last album, and we now have the opportunity to independently release our own record,” says Darryl in anticipation of the new album. “However, without a record label behind us, we also don’t have the money they would usually give us to make a record… But, we don’t want to cut corners; we want to make something we and our fans can be proud of and enjoy!”

Matt Maher’s fifth studio album is called Saints and Sinners

Since his 2008 major label debut, Catholic recording artist, songwriter and worship leader Matt Maher has become a staple in the artistic and songwriting community. A five-time GRAMMY® nominee, he has garnered multiple radio successes writing and recording songs like “Lord, I Need You,” “Hold Us Together,” “Christ Is Risen,” “All The People Said Amen” and “Your Grace Is Enough.” Maher has penned songs recorded by Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Third Day, Matt Redman, Hillsong, Passion and Meredith Andrews, among others.

On March 17, Maher will release his fifth studio album, Saints & Sinners. Inspired by leaders of faith who left profound marks on Christianity, Saints And Sinners boasts a collection of cuts highlighting influencers such as Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa.

Co-produced by Maher and longtime friend and collaborator Paul Moak (Third Day, Mat Kearney), Maher also brought together a host of songwriters including Thad Cockrell (Leagues), Jon Foreman (Switchfoot), Bo and Bear Rinehart (NEEDTOBREATHE), and Jason Ingram.

Darlene Zschech on worship and mission

Taken from her bi-monthly column in Worship Leader magazine, Darlene Zschech is a regular contributor to Worship Leader magazine and will be a general session speaker at National Worship Leader Conference in Kansas City, KS June 23-25. 

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I’ve been really praying about this topic: worship and mission. These two words are like fire in my belly; they daily give me my purpose and reason. They are not entirely separate from each other; they are almost like a bride and groom—hard to have a wedding with just one of them. Yet mission will always be trumped by worship for worship abides forever. As we continue to create God’s throne room here among us, building his glorious throne of praise and going deeper in our understanding and experience, we will realize the passion God has for the lost and broken, that everyone needs to hear, see, and know the goodness of the gospel.

Revelation
I continually find myself in John 4, seeing and hearing the scene where “true worship” is discussed by Jesus and the Samaritan woman. Seeing once more that when Christ’s Lordship is established, living waters are our promise, our inheritance, our radical need, and God’s even more radical provision.

As we continue to reveal Jesus in every area of our lives, I see God’s throne being established among us in our churches, in our communities, in our families, in our new experiences and in our traditions. For wherever He is enthroned, there you’ll find hearts that are open and thirsty for the one thing none of us can acquire elsewhere, only from relationship with Jesus: Living Water.

How can truthful and authentic worship be anything but missional? In genuine worship we are constantly declaring God’s goodness, always announcing and declaring that he is with us, always being filled with joy in his presence, always announcing freedom, always dependent on the Holy Spirit to fill us, change us, lead us, and turn our sorrows into joy, our mourning into dancing.

More Than a Song
To worship with our life means that it is not just in the singing of songs that we find our hearts emblazoned with mission, but it is the result of a worshipful life where mission finds its expression in the going, the sending, and the daily expression of our faith in the ordinary. As Christ followers, all that we are should be somehow resulting in bringing the love and light of Christ to our world. Is this mission? Yes. Is this worship? Yes.

Limitless Connection
I’ll never forget sitting in the South African dirt with a beautiful four-year-old boy in an orphanage in Johannesburg. It seemed nothing could reach his lonely little heart, no toys or games, not even the crazy young musicians traveling along with us could find a way to connect with him. His eyes were glazed over; I cannot bear to think about what he had endured at such a young age. So in the dirt, into his gorgeous, perfectly formed little ears, I started to sing, “Jesus loves me.” It only took moments for his stunning tear-filled eyes to look up, and it was like our hearts connected right there and then. Building Jesus a throne in the middle of the dirt. As we drew near, he drew near to us (Jas 4:8). That’s the promise. There is no other name like the name of Jesus to heal our wounds, calm our fears, walk with us through suffering, and to even hold an aching four-year-old heart tenderly in his hands. This little boy’s heart was opened to the love of Jesus, and he experienced what it was like to draw from a well that could never be taken from him, and certainly never run dry.

I may not have been leading lots of worship through music over the last 12 months, but the mission of my life, as a worshiper, has not changed one bit. As I’ve sat in doctors’ waiting rooms and laid in bed for many months, that call to take Jesus to every sacred place burns in me just like leading people to his glorious courts through praise does. Living our lives poured out … in response to his great love for us…

That the world may know!

Love you dearly, Darlene 

Lonnie Hunter to release “Forever I Will” and #GETITDONE

Stellar Award winning recording artist, choir conductor and syndicated radio show host Lonnie Hunter has signed with Tyscot Music & Entertainment, the oldest minority-owned and operated Gospel music label in the USA. Tyscot will release Hunter’s new radio single, “Forever I Will,” in March, from his forthcoming #GETITDONE album.

A Chicago native, Hunter began his career as a runway and print model but music was his first love. He was a soloist for the U.S. Air Force Jazz Band and a celebrated gospel choir conductor. He was well known for his work with the Voices of St. Mark Choir where he produced three albums for Malaco Records that resulted in the radio hits “Even Me” (The Drip Drop Song),” “Let’s Dance” and “There’s Power In His Name.” He began his radio career with Chicago’s #1 gospel radio station WGCI where he dominated the morning drive ratings for three years. Since 2007, Hunter has been a radio personality with Radio One where he currently hosts the nationally syndicated afternoon drive program “The Lonnie Hunter Show.” He also serves as Pastor of Worship at Bethany Baptist Church, a 26,000-member church in Lindenwold, NJ, where Bishop David G. Evans is the Pastor.

Inpop Records Update

Inpop Records, a Nashville-based entertainment company, is coming off an immensely successful 2014 and is preparing for a monumental lineup for 2015. To kick off the year, Inpop is celebrating the release of Just Kids (Inpop/Aware) on Feb. 24, the highly anticipated album from critically acclaimed singer/songwriter MAT KEARNEY.

Additionally, Inpop is announcing two new additions to their roster: Pop/hip-hop artist V.ROSE and Southern/Pop act CONSUMED BY FIRE. Both of these new artist’s music will be prominently featured in the upcoming film “Four Blood Moons,” as well as the soundtrack which Inpop will distribute this summer.

FOUR BLOOD MOONS (Goose Creek Productions/Inpop) is a theatrical one-night event exploring a rare lunar phenomenon that over the centuries has accompanied both tragedy and triumph for the Jewish people. From Pastor John Hagee’s New York Times best-selling book of the same name, “Four Blood Moons” is in theaters March 23 and the DVD releases June 23.

“2014 was a great one for us,” says Mark Lusk, President of Inpop. “We are really proud of the success of “God’s Not Dead” and the artists involved. We are expanding Inpop in ways we never have before. We are broadening our reach and making our focus on not just delivering great music, but developing brands that will make an impact for years to come.”

Last year, Inpop was awarded three RIAA Gold Certification Awards. The first was for the Shane Harper single “Hold You Up,” which also claimed the #1 spot at Christian radio for multiple weeks. The two other awards were for NEWSBOYS for their “God’s Not Dead (Like A Lion)” single and the God’s Not Dead album. In addition, Inpop released “Let Them See You” from the JJ Weeks Band, which finished 2014 as one of the most-played tracks at Christian Radio.

Inpop is an independent entertainment company based in Nashville, Tenn., that was founded in 1999. They are committed to the unique visions of our artists and are passionate about using music and film to inspire popular culture. Key artist releases include Mat Kearney, V.Rose, Newsboys, The God’s Not Dead Motion Picture Soundtrack, Consumed By Fire, and the Four Blood Moons Soundtrack.

For more information on Inpop and its roster of artists, please go to http://www.inpop.com.

Church Triumphant from David Glenn

Your church will probably be singing “Church Triumphant” from David Glenn. It sounds exactly like the type of worship song you hear in every evangelical, non-denominational megachurch in the USA.

“I’m always writing with a congregation in mind and ‘Church Triumphant’ was no different,” says Glenn, who often draws comparisons to contemporaries like Chris Tomlin and Passion. “During one of my writing sessions with Jason Cox, I told him that we needed to write a song for the church to sing about who we are corporately, as a body – the Body of Christ. ‘Church Triumphant’ is a powerful, driving reminder of who we are and why we are here.”

Worship leaders will be excited to know that “Church Triumphant” is available at CCLI, and the charts, lead sheets and click track loops are available on PraiseCharts.com. Worship resource videos will be releasing soon, including a bass and drum tutorial.

Glenn’s first national album, “Relentless,” was released in 2013 by Glenn’s own Evident Music label. Originally released only to digital outlets, early buzz and a Top 25 debut on the iTunes Christian and Gospel Albums Chart led to a national distribution deal with Nashville-based Elevate Entertainment, who quickly placed the album in stores nationwide.

Worship Leader Magazine selected his song “You Reign” for their popular Song DISCovery series, and Glenn has been featured on numerous television programs including LESEA Broadcasting’s “The Harvest Show,” Cornerstone Television Network’s “Real Life,” Christian Television Network’s “The Good Life,” nationally syndicated talk show “Babbie’s House,” “Atlanta Live” and more. Glenn has toured with Newsong and shared the stage with Hawk Nelson, Earl Bynum and others.

Glenn is currently in the studio working on a new album, due later this year.

For more information, visit David Glenn online at www.davidglenn.com.

Family Force 5 hits number one with “Let It Be Love”

Family Force 5 recently reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard CCM Hot AC/CHR Chart with their lead single, “Let It Be Love,” from the alternative pop/rock band’s latest studio effort, Time Stands Still. Family Force 5’s current radio single, “Show Love,” is off to a strong start with support from the entire CCM Hot AC/CHR panel, coming in at No. 9 this week. Family Force 5 is currently playing to arena-size crowds on Winter Jam 2015. This summer, the band will be a main stage artist during the Warped Tour 2015.

Family Force 5 consists of members Derek Mount (“Chap Stique” / guitar, vocals), Jacob Olds (“Crouton” / vocals, drums), Joshua Olds (“Fatty” / bass, vocals), Nathan Currin (“Nadaddy” / keyboards, vocals, percussion) and Teddy Boldt (“Hollywood” / drums, percussion). They formed in Atlanta in the summer of 2005. Since then, the band has not only joined The Vans Warped Tour and headlined The Alternative Press Tour, but have also performed at Sonisphere Festival, Bamboozle Festival, Rock and Worship Roadshow, Parachute Festival and toured with artists such as TobyMac, Cobra Starship and Flyleaf. Creating chart-topping albums and achieving impressive success at radio with their No. 1 hit “Let It Be Love,” alongside singles such as “Superhero” and “Not Alone,” Family Force 5’s music has been featured on ESPN, while their official music videos have received more than 30 million YouTube views, including “Sweep The Leg,” “BZRK (feat. KB)” and “Chainsaw.”

Introducing Audrey Cher

Christian Music Makers is happy to introduce you to Audrey Cher, a talented singer-songwriter making inspirational music, including her song, “Follow You.” Hear her music here.

Born in Detroit and now residing in Chicago, Cher has been singing since she was 3-years-old. Having shared the stage with Karen Clark-Sheard, Shirley Caesar and Jennifer Hudson, Cher is currently singing new music from her upcoming project, Bigger and Better, with the group PJ & Soul. Visit her reverbnation page to hear some tunes.

Like Lecrae? Well then, here’s KB…

If you like Lecrae, then you’ll probably like KB, too. His sophomore album, Tomorrow We Live, is due out on April 21 from Reach Records.

Born Kevin Burgess, KB was raised in Florida and Illinois where he had a troubled youth that began when his parents divorced when he was 8-years-old. His dark lifestyle continued through his teens, but a divine intervention led KB on the path of redemption with an early enrollment in college at 16, due to his high-level academic skills. It was during this time that KB was introduced to Christian rap, which led to his acceptance of Christ. Upon graduation from the college program, KB enrolled at Trinity College to study theology and joined a popular rap group, His Glory Alone (HGA). One of the followers of HGA was a fellow rapper and future labelmate Lecrae, and that meeting led KB joining an Acquire The Fire tour and signing with Reach Records in 2011. KB’s first national release was the EP Who Is KB? and it garnered over 30,000 downloads, followed by his first album release in 2012, Weight & Glory. Today, KB resides in Tampa, FL with his wife Michelle and their son, and serves at Living Faith Bible Fellowship Church.

Casting Crowns at Carnegie Hall

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. Well, Casting Crowns has had plenty of practice, becoming one of Christian music’s most beloved bands. Since 2007, they’ve been Billboard’s top-selling act in Christian music! Recently, the band played NYC’s famed Carnegie Hall. The event featured a 275-member choir and a 40-piece orchestra. Pretty cool, huh?

Covers from Point of Grace

In the 1990s, Point of Grace was Christian music’s go-to girl group. They’re still around in 2015, and like many artists who’ve been in the game awhile, they’re now releasing an album of cover songs. Due April 7th, look for Directions Home, where the group covers their own favorite songs from over the years– songs like “The Climb” and “Something in the Water.” Ricky Skaggs and Vince Gill make guest appearances on the new album.

News about Christian and Gospel music from Mark Weber

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