Artist Spotlight: Bethel Music – Resonating Hearts with Spirit-Filled Worship


Bethel Music is a prominent Christian music group known for their impactful and inspirational worship songs. Originating from Bethel Church in Redding, California, they have significantly influenced the Christian music scene with their unique blend of contemporary sounds and deeply spiritual lyrics. Over the years, they have released numerous songs that have resonated with Christians worldwide, becoming staples in many worship services.

Among their most popular songs are “No Longer Slaves,” a powerful anthem of God’s love and liberation, and “Raise A Hallelujah,” a stirring call to praise amidst adversity. Another standout track is “Reckless Love,” which beautifully encapsulates the overwhelming, never-ending, and reckless love of God. These songs exemplify Bethel Music’s ability to craft deeply emotional tunes that inspire faith and devotion among listeners.

Their music not only touches individual hearts but also has significantly shaped the sound of contemporary Christian worship globally. Their influence can be seen in churches around the world as congregations sing their songs as part of weekly services or special events.

Origin and Formation

Bethel Music’s roots trace back to Bethel Church in Redding, California. The music collective was formed in 2001 as an integral part of the church’s mission to pursue and steward the presence of God. Initially, it started as a local worship team serving their congregation but quickly grew into a global music ministry reaching millions worldwide.

The initial vision behind Bethel Music was simple yet profound – to write and produce songs that express the church’s heart for worship and that carry the culture of heaven to earth. Brian & Jenn Johnson, who were the senior worship pastors at Bethel Church, played pivotal roles in shaping this vision and turning it into reality. Their passion for authentic worship experience led them to create a platform where gifted songwriters and musicians could come together for this shared purpose.

From its inception, Bethel Music has been committed not only to expressing their love for God through music but also fostering a community where people can encounter God’s presence through these songs. This ethos is deeply embedded in their work, from songwriting sessions to album production.

The group believes that music is more than just an art form or entertainment medium; it is a conduit for conveying spiritual truths and facilitating personal encounters with God. They have stayed true to this vision over the years, producing songs filled with biblical truths wrapped in personal stories of hope, struggle, victory, and faith.

Musical Journey and Achievements

Bethel Music’s musical journey has been marked by a consistent release of albums that have significantly influenced the Christian music landscape. Starting with their debut album “Here Is Love” in 2010, the collective has released numerous live and studio albums that have resonated deeply with listeners around the globe.

Their discography is rich and diverse, featuring a variety of musical styles from anthemic worship to intimate acoustic sessions. Albums such as “Tides” (2013), “We Will Not Be Shaken” (2015), and “Victory” (2019) are just some examples of their extensive body of work. Each album is unique, yet they all carry the unmistakable Bethel Music signature – a passionate pursuit of God’s presence expressed through powerful lyrics and compelling melodies.

Over the years, Bethel Music’s songs have consistently topped Christian music charts. For instance, their song “No Longer Slaves,” from their album “We Will Not Be Shaken,” reached number one on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs chart in 2015. This success was followed by other chart-topping hits like “Reckless Love” and “Raise A Hallelujah,” further cementing their influence in contemporary Christian music.

In terms of achievements, Bethel Music has received several accolades recognizing their contributions to Christian music. They have been nominated for multiple Dove Awards – one of the highest honors in Christian music – across various categories including Worship Album of the Year and Song of The Year.

Beyond these achievements lies an even more significant accomplishment: Bethel Music’s ability to foster spiritual encounters through their songs. Their impact extends far beyond awards or chart positions; it can be seen in countless lives touched by their ministry.

Members and Their Contributions

Bethel Music is a collective of gifted artists, each bringing unique elements to the group’s sound. Among these members, Brian & Jenn Johnson stand out as key figures in shaping Bethel Music’s musical direction.

Brian and Jenn Johnson are not only senior worship pastors at Bethel Church but also co-founders of Bethel Music. Their leadership and vision have been instrumental in defining the group’s ethos. They have contributed numerous songs that are now considered classics in modern worship music, such as “Love Came Down” and “You Make Me Brave.”

Beyond Brian & Jenn Johnson, Bethel Music boasts a roster of talented artists who each bring their distinctive style to the table. For instance, Jeremy Riddle’s passionate vocals on songs like “Furious” and “This Is Amazing Grace” have become synonymous with Bethel Music’s emotive worship style.

Similarly, Steffany Gretzinger’s ethereal voice has graced many of their tracks, including her poignant performance on “No Longer Slaves.” Her ability to convey deep spiritual truths through her music has made her an integral part of the collective.

Another notable member is Cory Asbury whose song “Reckless Love” became a global sensation for its depiction of God’s unconditional love for humanity. The song not only topped Christian music charts but also crossed over into mainstream recognition.

The diversity among members extends beyond vocals to songwriting as well. Each artist brings their personal experiences with faith into their lyrics creating a rich tapestry of testimonies sung around the world.

In essence, each member contributes uniquely to the collective identity that is Bethel Music – from their individual vocal stylings to their personal faith journeys reflected in lyrics – making it a beacon within Christian music worldwide.

Impact on Christian Worship Scene

Bethel Music’s impact on the Christian worship scene is profound and far-reaching. Their songs have not only topped Christian music charts but also deeply resonated with worshippers worldwide, becoming a staple in many church services and personal devotion times.

One of the key ways Bethel Music has influenced the worship scene is through their innovative approach to songwriting. They’ve managed to blend biblical truths with personal experiences, resulting in songs that are both deeply spiritual and relatable. This has ushered in a new era of worship music where songs aren’t just sung; they’re experienced.

Examples of such impactful songs include “Reckless Love,” which beautifully captures God’s boundless love for each individual, and “No Longer Slaves,” a powerful anthem declaring freedom from fear through God’s love. These songs have resonated with countless Christians by providing them with a musical language to express their faith journey.

Moreover, Bethel Music’s live albums often capture raw moments of spontaneous worship, inspiring listeners to engage in similar expressions during their personal or corporate worship times. This has influenced the way many churches conduct their worship services, incorporating more space for spontaneous and prophetic singing.

Bethel Music’s global workshops and conferences like “Worship U” have also had significant impact on equipping aspiring musicians and worshippers around the world. These events provide training on various aspects of worship leading, fostering a new generation of leaders who carry similar values into their local churches.

In essence, Bethel Music’s influence extends beyond producing popular songs; they’ve shaped how millions connect with God through music by encouraging authentic expressions of faith that go beyond traditional boundaries of Christian music.

[Jubilee columns] Unfolding Praise: 6. The Role of the Worship Leader

I. Introduction

Worship, a fundamental aspect of the Christian faith, serves as a medium through which believers express their reverence, gratitude, and adoration towards God. Central to this act of devotion is the role of the worship leader—a figure who guides and fosters an atmosphere conducive to heartfelt praise. This essay aims to delve into the intricate role and responsibilities of a worship leader within Christian communities.

A worship leader’s role extends beyond mere facilitation of song or prayer; they stand at the intersection where theology meets artistry, leading congregations in expressions of faith that resonate both emotionally and spiritually. As such, understanding this position requires an exploration into its theological underpinnings as well as its practical implications.

The impact that a competent worship leader can have on a Christian community is profound. They are not just song leaders but spiritual guides who help shape congregational experiences during services—moments when members connect with God and each other in meaningful ways. By fostering an environment that encourages participation and reverence, they play an integral part in nurturing communal spirituality.

However, fulfilling this role effectively requires a delicate balance between creativity and spontaneity while maintaining due reverence—an equilibrium that will be examined further in this discourse. This essay thus offers insights into what it takes to be an effective worship leader within Christianity: from defining key responsibilities to understanding how creativity can coexist with tradition.

II. Defining the Responsibilities and Expectations of a Worship Leader in Guiding Praise

A. Overview of Key Responsibilities within a Christian Context

In the diverse landscape of Christian worship, the responsibilities of a worship leader can vary greatly depending on cultural, denominational, and congregational contexts. However, certain key tasks are commonly shared across these different settings.

1) Leading Congregational Singing: One of the most visible responsibilities of a worship leader is leading congregational singing. This involves not only performing hymns and contemporary Christian music but also inviting and encouraging congregants to participate actively in these expressions of faith. The aim is to create an atmosphere that fosters communal participation in praise, rather than merely presenting a performance for passive listening.

2) Planning and Organizing Worship Services: Another critical task involves planning and organizing worship services in line with the liturgical calendar or specific church traditions. This requires understanding significant religious events such as Advent, Lent, Easter, or Pentecost, as well as recognizing how different elements—songs, readings, prayers—can be woven together to create a cohesive narrative that underscores the theological message of each service.

3) Coordinating with Other Church Leaders: A worship leader often works closely with other church leaders such as pastors or elders, musicians or choir members to ensure smooth running services. They might collaborate on choosing appropriate songs that align with sermon themes or coordinate rehearsals with musicians and technical teams for seamless execution during services.

In essence, these duties reflect more than mere logistical management—they embody spiritual stewardship aimed at fostering meaningful encounters between God and His people through collective acts of worship.

B. Setting Expectations for a Christian Worship Leader

The effective performance of a worship leader’s responsibilities hinges upon several key expectations that are generally held within Christian communities. These expectations, while diverse and context-dependent, typically revolve around three primary areas: spiritual maturity, musical proficiency, and leadership skills.

1) Spiritual Maturity: A worship leader is expected to possess a deep understanding of the theological content embedded within hymns, songs, and prayers. This spiritual maturity enables them to select appropriate music that aligns with the liturgical calendar or sermon themes and to provide meaningful guidance during worship services. Additionally, their personal faith journey should reflect a life lived in alignment with biblical principles—a life that serves as an example for others in their community.

2) Musical Proficiency: While this may seem obvious given the nature of the role, it’s worth emphasizing that a certain level of musical proficiency is expected from a worship leader. This involves not only technical skill in singing or playing an instrument but also the ability to guide the congregation through music that honors God. A good sense of timing, pitch control, and awareness of dynamics all contribute to leading music in such a way that it facilitates rather than distracts from worship.

3) Leadership Skills: The role of a worship leader extends beyond individual performance; they are responsible for guiding others in communal acts of praise. Therefore strong leadership skills are crucial—they must be able to inspire others towards active participation in worship services while also coordinating effectively with other church leaders or team members.

In essence, these expectations underscore the multifaceted nature of being an effective worship leader—one who combines spiritual insight with artistic talent and leadership prowess for creating engaging yet reverent spaces where congregants can connect meaningfully with God.

III. Balancing Creativity, Spontaneity, and Reverence in Worship Leading

A. The Importance of Creativity in Christian Worship Leading

Creativity holds a significant place within the context of Christian worship leading. It serves as a dynamic tool that can invigorate services, foster engagement, and deepen the congregation’s spiritual experience.

1) Encouraging Engagement through Innovative Approaches: A worship leader’s creativity can manifest in various ways—from song selection and arrangement to the integration of visual arts or technology. By innovatively shaping these elements within biblical guidelines, they can cultivate an environment that encourages active participation from congregants. This could involve introducing contemporary renditions of traditional hymns or incorporating new forms of artistic expression that resonate with different age groups or cultural backgrounds within the congregation.

2) Maintaining Interest and Participation while Honoring God’s Word: Creativity also plays a role in maintaining interest during worship services. An imaginative approach to leading praise can help prevent monotony and foster an engaging atmosphere that sustains congregational attention throughout the service. However, it is crucial to note that this creativity should not overshadow the primary purpose of worship—honoring God’s word. The use of creative elements must always align with biblical teachings and serve to enhance rather than distract from this central focus.

In essence, creativity in Christian worship leading involves finding innovative ways to facilitate communal praise while staying rooted in reverence for God’s word—an endeavor that requires both imagination and discernment.

B. The Value of Spontaneity in Christian Worship Leading

While planning and preparation are crucial aspects of leading worship, there is also significant value in embracing spontaneity within this role. A worship leader’s ability to adapt and respond in the moment can foster an environment that facilitates authentic encounters with God.

1) Facilitating an Authentic Connection between Worshippers and God: Spontaneous prayer or song can often capture the collective emotions or spiritual needs of a congregation at a particular moment more effectively than preplanned elements. This could involve impromptu prayers that address specific situations within the community or spontaneous songs that encapsulate the mood or theme of a service. Such moments can facilitate an authentic connection between worshippers and God, fostering a sense of shared experience and deepening communal spirituality.

2) Inspiring Deeper Spiritual Engagement while Respecting Liturgical Norms: Spontaneity can also serve as a source of inspiration, sparking deeper engagement during worship services. It might encourage congregants to step out of their comfort zones, participate more actively, or connect with familiar elements of worship in new ways. However, it is essential to balance this spontaneity with respect for liturgical norms—ensuring that spontaneous elements align with biblical teachings and church traditions.

In essence, incorporating spontaneity into Christian worship leading involves navigating the delicate balance between freedom and structure—a challenge that requires both sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and an understanding of liturgical boundaries.

C. Maintaining Reverence while Incorporating Creativity and Spontaneity

While creativity and spontaneity can enrich worship experiences, it is crucial to remember that the primary purpose of Christian worship is to honor God. Therefore, maintaining reverence—a profound respect for God’s holiness—is paramount even as we explore innovative or spontaneous expressions of praise.

1) Ensuring that Creative Expressions Align with Biblical Teachings: While creativity can make worship more engaging, it must not compromise or distort the core tenets of Christian faith. Every creative element—be it a song, a visual artwork, or a dramatic performance—should align with biblical teachings and doctrines. It should serve to illuminate these truths rather than obscure them. Worship leaders need discernment to ensure that their creative endeavors enhance congregants’ understanding and appreciation of God’s word.

2) Balancing Innovation with Respect for Tradition: Similarly, while spontaneity can bring freshness and authenticity to worship services, it should not disregard established liturgical norms or traditions rooted in scripture. These traditions often carry deep theological significance; hence their value extends beyond mere ritualistic practice. A balance must be struck where spontaneous elements coexist harmoniously with traditional ones—each enriching rather than detracting from the other.

In essence, effective worship leading involves balancing creativity and spontaneity with reverence for God’s holiness—a delicate equilibrium that requires both artistic imagination and spiritual wisdom. It invites continuous exploration yet anchors itself firmly in the unchanging truth of God’s word.

IV. Conclusion

A. Summary of Key Roles, Responsibilities, Expectations Required for Effective Leadership in Guiding Praise within Christianity

Throughout this discussion, we have explored the multifaceted role of a worship leader within the Christian faith. Their responsibilities extend beyond leading congregational singing to include planning and organizing worship services and coordinating with other church leaders. These duties require not only musical proficiency but also spiritual maturity and strong leadership skills.

We’ve also examined the importance of balancing creativity and spontaneity in worship leading—how these elements can foster engagement, maintain interest, facilitate authentic connections with God, and inspire deeper spiritual engagement. Yet at all times, it is essential to maintain reverence by ensuring that creative expressions align with biblical teachings and that spontaneous elements respect liturgical norms.

B. The Potential Impact an Effective Worship Leader Can Have on Their Community’s Spiritual Growth as Followers of Christ

The potential impact of an effective worship leader extends far beyond the confines of individual services or events. By guiding their communities in meaningful expressions of praise, they can contribute significantly to their spiritual growth as followers of Christ.

Through their thoughtful selection and arrangement of music, innovative approaches to praise within biblical guidelines, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s guidance during services—they can help congregants encounter God in profound ways that transform hearts and lives over time.

In essence, a worship leader plays a pivotal role in shaping communal experiences of divine love—a responsibility that requires both artistic talent and spiritual discernment.

Artist Spotlight: Jeremy Camp – A Journey of Faith and Resilience in Christian Music


Jeremy Camp is a renowned figure in the Christian music scene, with his soulful voice and powerful lyrics resonating deeply with fans around the world. Since his debut in the early 2000s, Camp has consistently produced inspiring music that reflects his strong faith and personal experiences. His influence extends far beyond just music; he has also been a beacon of hope and resilience for many, exemplifying how one can find strength in faith during times of adversity.

Camp’s discography is rich and diverse, featuring a variety of songs that have topped Christian music charts. Some of his most popular tracks include “Walk By Faith,” “I Still Believe,” and “He Knows.” These songs not only showcase his musical talent but also provide an intimate look into his spiritual journey, making them favorites among both Christian music enthusiasts and casual listeners alike.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Jeremy Camp was born on January 12, 1978, in Lafayette, Indiana. Raised in a Christian household, his faith played a pivotal role from an early age. His father, a pastor at Harvest Chapel church in Lafayette, also served as an influence in Camp’s musical journey as he taught him to play guitar.

Camp’s passion for music was evident early on. After high school, he attended Calvary Chapel Bible College in Southern California for two years. It was during this time that his pursuit of a music career truly began to take shape.

The beginnings of his professional music career can be traced back to his time leading worship at his college and local churches. His heartfelt performances caught the attention of those around him and eventually led to a recording contract with BEC Recordings.

His debut album “Stay” was released in 2002 when he was just 24 years old. The album resonated deeply with listeners thanks to its raw emotional honesty and poignant lyrics about faith and hope. The song “I Still Believe,” which chronicled his personal loss and subsequent reaffirmation of faith following the death of his first wife Melissa Lynn Henning-Camp from cancer, particularly touched many hearts.

Thus began Jeremy Camp’s influential journey within the Christian music scene – one marked by resilience, unwavering faith, and soul-stirring melodies.

Musical Journey and Achievements

Jeremy Camp’s musical journey is a testament to his talent, dedication, and the deep-rooted faith that fuels his songwriting. His debut album “Stay,” released in 2002, laid the groundwork for a successful career in Christian music. The album featured several hit songs, including “I Still Believe” and “Walk by Faith,” which were inspired by personal experiences and resonated with many listeners.

Following the success of his debut album, Camp continued to release a series of successful albums over the years. His second album “Carried Me: The Worship Project” (2004), was followed by “Restored” (2004), each offering a unique blend of rock-infused worship music that further cemented his place in Christian music.

Camp’s discography is impressive both in terms of quantity and quality. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, he had released 11 studio albums, four live albums, and numerous singles. Several of these releases have achieved significant commercial success with multiple chart-topping hits on Billboard’s Christian Songs chart.

His achievements extend beyond just commercial success; he has also been recognized by various prestigious award bodies for his contributions to Christian music. He has won numerous Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association (GMA), including Male Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year early in his career.

Collaborations have also been an integral part of Camp’s career. He has worked with several prominent figures within the Christian music scene, adding further depth and diversity to his body of work.

Overall, Jeremy Camp’s musical journey reflects not only his artistic growth but also mirrors his personal life experiences – each song serving as an intimate testament to faith’s enduring strength amidst trials.

Personal Life and Faith

Jeremy Camp’s personal life and faith have been inextricably intertwined, with his spiritual beliefs shaping his music and personal experiences influencing his songwriting. His faith has been a constant source of strength, guiding him through the most challenging times.

One of the most significant events in Camp’s life was the loss of his first wife, Melissa Lynn Henning-Camp. They were married in October 2000, but sadly, Melissa passed away from ovarian cancer just four months into their marriage. This tragic event had a profound impact on Camp, leading him to question his faith before ultimately reaffirming it with even more conviction.

His song “I Still Believe,” from his debut album “Stay,” is a poignant reflection of this period in his life. The lyrics encapsulate the pain he felt while also expressing an unwavering belief in God’s plan. It stands as an enduring testament to how faith can provide solace during times of immense grief.

In 2003, Camp remarried to Adrienne Liesching, former frontwoman for The Benjamin Gate. They have three children together: Isabella Rose Camp (born 2004), Arianne Mae Camp (born 2006), and Egan Thomas Camp (born 2011). His family has been a source of joy and inspiration for many songs throughout his career.

Camp’s journey—marked by both trials and triumphs—has deeply influenced not only the music he creates but also how he lives out his faith daily. His resilience serves as an inspiring example for many listeners worldwide who are grappling with their own challenges.

Impact on Christian Music Scene

Jeremy Camp’s impact on the Christian music scene is substantial and multifaceted. His ability to convey profound spiritual messages through compelling melodies has made him one of the most influential figures in contemporary Christian music.

Camp’s songs often delve into themes of faith, hope, and resilience in the face of adversity, resonating deeply with listeners navigating their own struggles. His music provides comfort and solace while also inspiring strength and perseverance.

For instance, his song “I Still Believe,” inspired by his personal tragedy, has touched countless hearts with its message of unwavering faith amidst trials. Similarly, “Walk By Faith” encourages listeners to trust in God’s plan even when circumstances are challenging.

Camp’s influence extends beyond individual listeners to the broader Christian community as well. His music has become a staple in many churches worldwide, often used during worship services to inspire congregations and foster a deeper connection with faith.

His success in bridging mainstream pop-rock sounds with spiritually rich lyrics has also helped expand the reach of Christian music. By making this genre more accessible to a broader audience, he’s played a significant role in bringing spiritual messages to those who might not typically engage with religious content.

Moreover, Camp’s openness about his personal journey — both victories and hardships — has humanized him for fans around the globe. This vulnerability coupled with his steadfast faith creates an impactful combination that continues to inspire individuals within and beyond the Christian community.

In summary, Jeremy Camp’s influence on the Christian music scene is both profound and far-reaching. Through his heartfelt songs that resonate deeply with listeners’ experiences and challenges, he continues to make significant contributions towards shaping contemporary Christian music.

[Jubilee columns] Unfolding Praise: 5. Contemporary Praise and Worship Music in Modern Christianity

I. Introduction

Contemporary praise and worship music has become an integral part of modern Christian worship, bridging the gap between tradition and innovation. This column aims to explore the characteristics of contemporary praise and worship music, such as the popular songs by Elevation Worship, Brooke Ligertwood, and Minister GUC, among others, discuss the impact of modern music styles on Christian worship, and examine the challenges that arise from this fusion of diverse influences. This column also draws on the insights and research of various scholars who have studied the history, theology, and sociology of contemporary praise and worship music.

II. Background and Evolution of Contemporary Praise and Worship Music

Christian worship has a long and rich history that spans across centuries and cultures. From the early church to the present day, Christians have expressed their faith and devotion to God through various forms of music, such as chants, hymns, psalms, spirituals, and gospel songs. These musical traditions reflect the theological doctrines, liturgical practices, and cultural contexts of different Christian communities.

However, since the mid-20th century, Christian worship has undergone a significant transformation with the emergence and development of contemporary praise and worship music. This genre of music is influenced by multiple musical styles, such as pop, rock, folk, jazz, blues, soul, R&B, hip hop, and reggae. It also incorporates elements from various cultural backgrounds, such as African American, Latino, Asian, and indigenous traditions. Contemporary praise and worship music is facilitated by advances in technology, such as electric guitars, keyboards, drums, microphones, amplifiers, speakers, recording devices, and digital platforms. These technological innovations enable contemporary musicians to create diverse sounds and effects that enhance the musical expression and quality of worship.

Furthermore, contemporary praise and worship music is influenced by the effects of globalization, which have broadened the reach and accessibility of various forms of worship music. Globalization has enabled the cross-cultural exchange and transmission of musical styles and resources among different Christian communities around the world. It has also fostered the emergence of transnational networks and movements that promote contemporary praise and worship music as a universal language of worship. Some examples of these networks and movements include Hillsong Church, Passion Conferences, Integrity Music, Vineyard Music, Maranatha! Music, Bethel Music, Jesus Culture, and Worship Central.

According to Lester Ruth and Lim Swee Hong, authors of A History of Contemporary Praise & Worship: Understanding the Ideas That Reshaped the Protestant Church, contemporary praise and worship music came about through theological reflection on the Bible, not merely as the result of cultural impulses. They argue that contemporary praise and worship music is rooted in the biblical concepts of praise, worship, and renewal, as well as the historical movements of revivalism, charismatic renewal, and evangelicalism. They also trace the key ideas, events, and people that shaped the development and diversity of contemporary praise and worship music over the past five decades.

III. Characteristics of Modern Praise and Worship Music

The defining features of contemporary praise and worship music include a blend of musical styles and powerful lyric themes that express adoration, gratitude, and surrender to God. Contemporary praise and worship music draws from various musical genres that appeal to different tastes and preferences of worshippers. For instance, some songs are influenced by pop music that features catchy melodies, simple chords, repetitive choruses, and upbeat rhythms. Some examples are The Blessing by Kari Jobe & Cody Carnes or Confidence by Sanctus Real. Other songs are influenced by rock music that features electric guitars, drums, bass lines, distortion effects, and energetic vocals. Some examples are Mighty to Save by Hillsong Worship or Lion And The Lamb by Leeland. Still other songs are influenced by gospel music that features soulful vocals, harmonies, call-and-response patterns, and syncopated rhythms. Some examples are Way Maker by Sinach or Break Every Chain by Tasha Cobbs Leonard.

Along with the musical diversity, contemporary praise and worship music also emphasizes the lyrical content that conveys the message and meaning of worship. The lyrics of contemporary praise and worship songs often focus on themes such as praising God’s attributes, thanking God for his blessings, declaring God’s promises, confessing sins, asking for forgiveness, seeking God’s guidance, surrendering to God’s will, and expressing love for God. The lyrics also use various metaphors, imagery, and symbolism to describe God’s character and actions, such as light, fire, water, bread, wine, shepherd, king, father, friend, savior, healer, deliverer, and more. The lyrics aim to create an emotional connection between the worshippers and God, as well as inspire them to live out their faith in their daily lives.

Monique M. Ingalls, author of Singing the Congregation: How Contemporary Worship Music Forms Evangelical Community, identifies five distinct types of “congregations” that worship together in song: local congregations, concerts, conferences, praise marches, and worship on screen. She argues that contemporary praise and worship music is a contingent social practice that both shapes and reflects the religious collectivities that create, circulate, perform, and critique it. She also emphasizes the span of denominational, regional, and ethnic expressions of contemporary worship, taking into account the liturgical dynamics involved in its emergence and the dynamics that led to its growth.

IV. Impact of Contemporary Music Styles on Christian Worship

The integration of contemporary music styles into Christian worship has enhanced audience engagement and participation, fostering a more immersive and interactive worship experience. Contemporary praise and worship music invites worshippers to express their faith and emotions through music in various ways, such as singing along with the lyrics, clapping their hands, raising their arms, dancing their feet, or kneeling down in reverence. Contemporary praise and worship music also encourages worshippers to use their own words and creativity to communicate with God, such as improvising their own melodies, harmonies, or lyrics, or composing their own songs.

Moreover, the roles of worship leaders and musicians have evolved with the advent of contemporary music styles. Worship leaders and musicians are no longer merely performers or accompanists of worship songs, but rather facilitators and guides of worship experiences. They are responsible for selecting and arranging the songs that suit the theme, mood, and purpose of the worship service. They are also responsible for leading and directing the congregation in singing, praying, and responding to God’s presence. They use various techniques and skills to create a dynamic and engaging worship atmosphere, such as modulating the volume, tempo, and pitch of the music, using verbal cues, gestures, or expressions to signal transitions or changes in the music, or sharing testimonies, scriptures, or insights to enhance the meaning and relevance of the songs.

Furthermore, contemporary music styles have been adopted by various denominations and cultural contexts, enriching the universal language of worship. Contemporary praise and worship music transcends the boundaries of tradition, doctrine, and geography, creating a common ground for Christians from different backgrounds and perspectives to worship together. Contemporary praise and worship music also reflects the diversity and creativity of God’s people, who use their musical gifts and talents to glorify God and edify one another. Contemporary praise and worship music celebrates the richness and variety of worship expressions across cultures, languages, and generations.

V. Challenges and Concerns Surrounding Contemporary Praise and Worship Music

The blending of tradition and innovation in contemporary praise and worship music raises concerns about preserving the core values of Christianity. Theological debates emerge over the interpretation and scrutiny of song lyrics, as well as potential commercialization of worship music. Striking a balance between tradition and innovation remains crucial for cultivating a meaningful worship environment.

One of the main challenges that contemporary praise and worship music faces is ensuring the theological integrity and accuracy of song lyrics. Some critics argue that contemporary praise and worship songs are too shallow, vague, or repetitive, lacking in biblical depth, doctrinal clarity, or historical continuity. They contend that contemporary praise and worship songs fail to address the full spectrum of Christian beliefs, such as the Trinity, the incarnation, the atonement, the resurrection, the second coming, or the judgment. They also claim that contemporary praise and worship songs emphasize personal feelings, experiences, or desires over God’s revelation, sovereignty, or holiness. They suggest that contemporary praise and worship songs should be more faithful to Scripture, tradition, and creed, as well as more balanced in expressing both the joy and sorrow, the grace and truth, or the love and justice of God.

Another challenge that contemporary praise and worship music faces is avoiding the commercialization and commodification of worship music. Some critics argue that contemporary praise and worship music is influenced by market forces, consumer demands, or industry standards, compromising its spiritual quality, authenticity, or integrity. They contend that contemporary praise and worship music is driven by profit motives, popularity trends, or performance pressures, rather than by God’s glory, people’s edification, or ministry’s mission. They also claim that contemporary praise and worship music creates a culture of celebrity, entertainment, or spectacle in worship, rather than a culture of humility, reverence, or service. They suggest that contemporary praise and worship music should be more mindful of its purpose, values, and ethics, as well as more respectful of its audience, context, and tradition.

VI. Conclusion

Contemporary praise and worship music plays a vital role in modern Christianity, fostering creativity, diversity, and unity among worshippers. By embracing the rich tapestry of contemporary worship styles, Christians can continue to grow in their faith, deepen their relationship with God, and celebrate the universality of worship across cultural boundaries. However, contemporary praise and worship music also faces some challenges and concerns that require careful consideration and evaluation. Therefore, Christians should be discerning and responsible in their use of contemporary praise and worship music, ensuring that it aligns with God’s word, honors God’s name, and serves God’s people.

Artist Spotlight: Lauren Daigle – A Distinctive Voice in Contemporary Christian Music

I. Introduction

Lauren Daigle is an acclaimed singer-songwriter known for her exceptional vocal talent and distinctive music style within the contemporary Christian music scene. This Artist Spotlight takes a look at Daigle’s life, career, and the impact her music has on the Christian community.

II. Background and Early Life

Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, in 1991, Lauren Daigle was raised in a devout Christian family. From a young age, she discovered a passion for singing, eventually finding her calling in Christian music as her faith grew stronger.

III. Musical Career

Daigle’s debut album, “How Can It Be,” was released in 2015, marking her entry into the professional music scene. Some notable albums and songs in her discography include:

  • “How Can It Be” (2015) – featuring “First” and “Trust In You”
  • “Behold” (2016) – a Christmas album featuring “Light Of The World”
  • “Look Up Child” (2018) – featuring “You Say” and “Rescue”
  • “Lauren Daigle” (2023) – featuring “Thank God I Do” and “World of Color”

Through her career, Daigle has earned numerous awards and nominations, including several Dove Awards and two GRAMMY Awards.

IV. Impact on Christian Music and Community

Daigle’s music has left a lasting impression on Christian worship and contemporary Christian music, providing emotionally stirring and powerful songs suitable for personal reflection and group worship. Through her music, she seeks to create a shared experience between herself and her audience in their collective faith journey.

Daigle’s music has also reached a wide audience, both within and outside the Christian community, breaking records and crossing genres. Her song “You Say” became the first song to simultaneously top five Billboard charts. She has also performed on various mainstream platforms, such as The Ellen Show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Live With Kelly And Mark.

Daigle has also used her platform to support various causes, such as music education and social justice. She has partnered with organizations such as The Price Fund, which provides scholarships and mentorship for aspiring musicians; Compassion International, which sponsors children living in poverty; and Prison Fellowship, which ministers to inmates and their families.

V. Interviews and Perspectives

In past interviews, Daigle has been open about her personal life and faith, discussing her motivation to create music that brings people closer to their faith and speaks to the hearts of the listeners. With plans to continue making music that resonates with people across the globe, she remains an innovative and influential figure in the Christian music scene.

VI. Recommended Listening

For newcomers to Lauren Daigle’s music, the following songs and albums are a great starting point:

  • Top Songs: “Trust In You,” “You Say,” “Rescue”
  • Albums: “How Can It Be” (2015), “Behold” (2016), “Look Up Child” (2018), “Lauren Daigle” (2023)
  • Collaborations: “Back To God” (with Reba McEntire), “Who You Are To Me” (with Chris Tomlin), “Joy Invincible” (with Switchfoot), “Almost Human” (featured in the movie Blade Runner 2049)
  • Live Performances: [Live With Kelly And Mark], [The Bluebird Cafe], [The Ryman Auditorium]

VII. Conclusion

Throughout her career, Lauren Daigle has established herself as an influential figure in Christian music, using her extraordinary voice and unique songwriting to spread hope and love. We encourage readers to explore her impressive discography and experience her powerful music firsthand.

[Jubilee columns] Unfolding Praise: 4. The Role of Music in Praise as a Component of Christian Worship

(This column was written easily for educational purposes targeting everyone above middle school students.)

I. Introduction

Praise is an important part of Christian worship. It means telling God how great He is and thanking Him for what He has done. Music is one of the best ways to praise God. Christians have used music to worship God since ancient times. Different kinds of music can help us express our feelings and thoughts about God. In this column, I will tell you about the history and meaning of music in praise and worship. I will also talk about how singers, choirs, and bands can lead us to praise God together.

II. Examining the historical and theological perspective on the use of music in praise

A. Praise and music worship during the Old Testament period

The Old Testament is the first part of the Bible that tells us about God’s people before Jesus was born. The people of God used music to praise Him for many reasons. They praised Him for creating the world, saving them from their enemies, giving them laws and promises, and showing them His love. They used instruments like harps, lyres, and cymbals to make music for God (Wilson, 2002). They also wrote songs called psalms that tell us about their feelings and experiences with God.

B. Early Christian music and praise

The early Christians were the followers of Jesus who lived in the first centuries after He died and rose again. They learned from the Jewish people how to use music to worship God. They also made new songs that told about Jesus and His teachings. Some of these songs are in the New Testament, which is the second part of the Bible that tells us about Jesus and His followers (Harris, 2017). The early Christians used music to make friends, learn from each other, and share their beliefs about God.

C. New Testament period of praise and worship

The New Testament tells us that Christians should sing to each other “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19). Psalms are songs from the Old Testament that praise God for who He is and what He has done. Hymns are songs that teach us about God’s character and works. Spiritual songs are songs that express our personal feelings and experiences with God. The New Testament shows us that music can help us grow closer to God and each other.

D. Modern Christian worship music

Today, Christians around the world use different kinds of music to worship God. Some use traditional hymns that have been sung for centuries. Some use contemporary songs that use modern instruments and styles. Some use songs from other cultures and languages that show us how diverse God’s people are. All kinds of music can help us praise God and tell others about His greatness.

III. Discussing the role of singers, choirs, and worship bands in leading congregational praise

A. Singers as worship leaders

Singers are people who use their voices to make music for God. They can sing alone or with others. Singers can lead us to praise God by showing us how faith and music are connected. They can also help us express our emotions and thoughts to God. Singers should sing with skill and sincerity, so that they can inspire and encourage us.

B. The role of choirs in historical and modern worship settings

Choirs are groups of singers who sing together in harmony. Choirs have been part of Christian worship for a long time. They can make the music more beautiful and powerful by using different voices and parts. Choirs can also remind us that we are part of a bigger community that worships God together. Choirs should sing with joy and reverence, so that they can honor and glorify God.

C. Worship bands as facilitators of contemporary worship

Worship bands are groups of musicians who play instruments like guitars, drums, keyboards, and others. Worship bands are very popular in modern churches. They can make the music more lively and engaging by using different sounds and rhythms. Worship bands can also help us participate in worship by inviting us to sing along or clap our hands. Worship bands should play with skill and sensitivity, so that they can support and enhance the singing.

In conclusion, music has always been an important part of Christian worship. Music can help us praise God and learn more about Him. Music can also help us connect with other Christians and share our faith with others. Singers, choirs, and bands can lead us to worship God with music in different ways. We should use music to worship God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Artist Spotlight: Matt Maher – A Pillar of Contemporary Christian Music


Matt Maher is an accomplished singer-songwriter, guitarist, worship leader, and speaker whose music has made a lasting impact in contemporary Christian music. This Artist Spotlight delves into Maher’s life, career, and the significance of his music within the Christian community.

Background and Early Life

Born in Newfoundland, Canada, in 1974, Matt Maher was raised in a devout Catholic family. His love for music began at an early age, with his roots in piano, eventually transitioning to guitar. He studied jazz piano at Arizona State University and was inspired by artists like Rich Mullins, U2, and Bruce Springsteen. As his faith grew, so did his desire to use his musical talents to serve God.

Musical Career

Maher’s debut album, “The End and The Beginning,” was released in 2001, marking the start of his professional music career. Some notable albums and songs in his discography include:

  • “Empty & Beautiful” (2008) – featuring “Your Grace Is Enough”
  • “Alive Again” (2009) – featuring “Hold Us Together” and “Christ Is Risen”
  • “All The People Said Amen” (2013) – featuring “Lord, I Need You”
  • “Saints and Sinners” (2015) – featuring “Because He Lives (Amen)”
  • “Echoes” (2017) – featuring “What A Friend” and “Your Love Defends Me”
  • “The Stories I Tell Myself” (2021) – featuring “Leaning” (ft. Lizzie Morgan), “Run To The Father”, and “Alive & Breathing”

Throughout his career, Maher has garnered numerous awards and nominations, including nine Dove Awards, a GRAMMY nomination, the Unity Award by the Catholic Association of Musicians in 2006, Songwriter of the Year by the Gospel Music Association in 2015, and many more. He has also performed at various events and venues around the world, such as the World Youth Day in 2013 and 2016, the Vatican, the White House, and Carnegie Hall. He is currently on tour with Jon Reddick, visiting various cities across the US.

Impact on Christian Music and Community

Maher’s music has left an indelible mark on Christian worship and contemporary Christian music, offering powerful songs for personal reflection and communal worship. His songs are often sung in churches of different denominations and traditions, reflecting his ecumenical vision and passion for unity. His commitment to social and charitable causes, such as working with Compassion International and other organizations, further demonstrates his dedication to making a positive impact within the global community.

Interviews and Perspectives

In past interviews, Maher has been candid about his personal life and faith, often discussing his goal to create music that speaks to the hearts of people around the world while staying grounded in his faith. He has also shared his struggles and challenges, such as losing his father to cancer and dealing with anxiety and depression. He has expressed his gratitude for God’s grace and mercy in his life, saying: “I think one of the things I’ve learned over time is that God is not afraid of our questions. He’s not afraid of our doubts. He’s not afraid of our struggles. He actually wants us to bring them to him.”

Maher has also received praise and recognition from other artists who have collaborated or admired him. For example, Chris Tomlin said: “Matt is one of those rare talents who can write songs that are both deeply personal and universally relatable. He has a gift for expressing the truths of Scripture in a fresh and compelling way.” Other artists who have worked with Maher include Audrey Assad, Matt Redman, Crowder, TobyMac, Casting Crowns, Third Day, MercyMe, and many more.

Recommended Listening

For those new to Matt Maher’s music, the following songs and albums are the perfect starting point:

  • Top Songs: “Hold Us Together,” “Christ Is Risen,” “Lord, I Need You”
  • Albums: “Alive Again” (2009), “All The People Said Amen” (2013), “Echoes” (2017)
  • Collaborations: “Sons & Daughters” (ft. Aaron Boyd), “Hold Fast: Michael W. & Friends” (Michael W. Smith ft. Matt Maher)


Throughout his career, Matt Maher has established himself as an influential figure in Christian music, using his talents to spread love and hope. He is indeed a pillar of contemporary Christian music and a blessing to many people around the world. We encourage readers to explore his extensive discography and experience the power of his music firsthand.

[Jubilee columns] Unfolding Praise: 3. The History of Praise in Christian Worship: Tracing the Development and Influences


Praise has always been an essential component of Christian worship throughout history. It is a way to express our love, adoration, and gratitude to God. In this column, I will explore how praise in Christian worship has developed throughout history, from early biblical times to contemporary church practices, and how various cultural, theological, and musical influences have shaped the expression of praise in worship.

Tracing the development of praise from early Christian worship

The origins of praise in Christian worship can be traced back to biblical times, where elements of praise were adapted from the Old and New Testaments. Early Christian worship practices often included the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs as a way to worship and give thanks to God. These musical compositions laid the foundation for the development of praise in Christian liturgy, reflecting the faith and commitment of the believers.

Psalms are poetic prayers that express various emotions and themes, such as lament, joy, trust, and praise. They were originally sung by the Israelites in their temple worship and later adopted by the early Christians as part of their daily prayers and communal gatherings. Psalms are still widely used in Christian worship today, as they provide a rich source of inspiration and guidance for believers.

Hymns are songs of praise that celebrate God’s attributes, works, and salvation. They were composed by various authors and influenced by both Hebrew and Greek traditions. Some of the earliest hymns were attributed to apostles, such as Paul and John, who incorporated hymnic material into their epistles (Colossians 1:15-20; Philippians 2:6-11; Revelation 4:8-11). Hymns were also written by church fathers, such as Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch, who used them to teach doctrine and exhort the faithful.

Spiritual songs are songs that express personal or communal experiences of faith, such as conversion, devotion, or testimony. They were often spontaneous and improvised, inspired by the Holy Spirit. Some examples of spiritual songs are found in the book of Acts, where the believers sang in tongues or praised God for his deliverance. Spiritual songs were also composed by charismatic leaders, such as Montanus and Tertullian, who claimed to have prophetic gifts.

Changes in praise during the Medieval and Protestant periods

As Christianity spread and evolved over the centuries, praise in worship evolved as well. Medieval Christians developed hymns that borrowed from both Hebrew and Greek traditions. Moreover, the Protestant Reformation played a significant role in introducing new ways to express praise in worship. Leaders like Martin Luther and John Calvin helped transform the worship landscape through the creation of hymns that communicated the doctrines of salvation and God’s sovereignty.

Luther was a prolific hymn writer who composed about 40 hymns in his lifetime. He used hymns as a tool for catechesis, evangelism, and reformation. He translated some Latin hymns into German, such as “Veni Creator Spiritus” (“Come Creator Spirit”) and “Veni Redemptor Gentium” (“Savior of the Nations Come”). He also wrote original hymns based on psalms or biblical passages, such as “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” (“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”) and “Christ lag in Todesbanden” (“Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands”). He also encouraged congregational singing and introduced chorales, which are simple tunes that can be sung by everyone.

Calvin was also a reformer who advocated for biblical worship and congregational singing. He preferred to use psalms as the main source of praise in worship, as he believed they were divinely inspired and suitable for all occasions. He commissioned several poets and musicians to produce metrical psalms in French, which were later known as the Genevan Psalter. He also introduced psalm tunes that were easy to learn and remember, some of which are still sung today.

Praise in contemporary church worship

In recent times, the praise and worship movement has revitalized the expression of praise in church worship. Modern praise songs center on the themes of God’s grace, love, and presence, reflecting various cultural, theological, and musical influences.

Contemporary praise music has ushered in new styles, blending traditional hymns with contemporary sounds to create a diverse offering of worship songs across various cultures. These modern praise songs provide a unique way to connect with God and engage the congregation in meaningful worship experiences.

Some examples of contemporary praise songs are:

  • “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” by Matt Redman, which is based on Psalm 103 and expresses gratitude for God’s blessings.
  • “This Is Amazing Grace” by Phil Wickham, which celebrates God’s grace and power in saving us through Christ.
  • “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” by Hillsong United, which expresses trust and surrender to God’s will and guidance.
  • “How Great Is Our God” by Chris Tomlin, which magnifies God’s greatness and majesty.
  • “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury, which describes God’s unconditional and relentless love for us


Throughout the history of Christian worship, praise has remained a vital component in expressing love, gratitude, and adoration to God. By understanding the historical development of praise and the cultural, theological, and musical influences that have shaped it, we, as believers, can continue to engage in authentic and transformative worship experiences that honor God and strengthen our faith.

Artist Spotlight: Hillsong United – Pioneers of Modern Worship Music


Have you ever wondered how Hillsong United became one of the most influential worship bands in the world? With countless heart-stirring worship songs, Hillsong United is a pioneering force in modern worship music, consistently inspiring millions of believers across the globe. In this article, we will explore the formation and early years, the breakthrough and influence, the band members and collaborations, and the outreach and ministry of Hillsong United.

Formation and Early Years

Hillsong United was formed in 1998 as part of the youth ministry of Hillsong Church, led by Pastor Brian Houston. Originally named “United Live,” the group’s members came together with a vision for creating worship music that resonated with a younger generation of believers. Their first album, “Everyday,” was released in 1999, featuring a fresh and distinct sound that set them apart in the contemporary Christian music landscape.

Hillsong United developed their musical vision and style through various influences, mentors, and challenges that they faced along the way. They were influenced by artists such as Delirious?, U2, and Coldplay, who taught them how to blend rock, pop, and alternative elements into their music. They also learned from worship leaders such as Darlene Zschech, Reuben Morgan, and Marty Sampson, who mentored them in songwriting, leading worship, and expressing their faith through music. They faced challenges such as balancing their ministry and personal lives, dealing with criticism and expectations, and staying relevant and authentic in their music.

Breakthrough and Influence

Over the years, Hillsong United has grown into an internationally recognized worship band with numerous chart-topping albums and critically acclaimed songs. Their music fuses heartfelt worship lyrics with energetic melodies and modern instrumentation, giving voice to the praises of millions around the world. Some of their most beloved songs include “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail),” “Mighty to Save,” “Hosanna,” and “So Will I (100 Billion X).”

Hillsong United has received numerous accolades for their contributions to Christian music, including a Grammy Award, numerous Dove Awards, and several Billboard Music Awards. They have been recognized as one of the most successful and influential Christian music artists of their generation.

But more than awards and recognition, Hillsong United’s songs have impacted people’s lives and culture in profound ways. Their songs have inspired, comforted, and challenged people in their faith journeys. For example, “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” has been described as a song that helps people overcome fear and trust God in difficult situations. Their songs have also been used in various events and occasions, such as the Global Day of Prayer, the World Youth Day, and the International Justice Mission’s Freedom Sunday. Hillsong United’s music has transcended boundaries and touched the hearts of millions of believers worldwide.

Band Members and Collaborations

Over the years, members of Hillsong United have changed, with new faces joining to bring their unique musical gifts to the table. Key members have included Joel Houston, Taya Smith-Gaukrodger, Jad Gillies, JD Douglass, Matt Crocker,
and many others. Each member plays a vital role in the band’s musical production and performance.

  • Joel Houston is the leader and main songwriter of Hillsong United. He is also the co-pastor of Hillsong NYC. He plays guitar, piano, and sings lead vocals on some of the band’s songs. He is known for his creative vision and passion for worship.
  • Taya Smith-Gaukrodger is the lead vocalist of some of Hillsong United’s most popular songs, such as “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” and “Touch the Sky.” She joined the band in 2010 after auditioning for Hillsong Church’s creative team. She is known for her powerful voice and humble spirit.
  • Jad Gillies is one of the original members of Hillsong United. He plays guitar and sings lead vocals on some of the band’s songs. He is also a worship pastor at Hillsong Church. He is known for his energetic style and charismatic presence.
  • JD Douglass is another original member of Hillsong United. He plays bass guitar and sings backup vocals on some of the band’s songs. He is also a creative pastor at Hillsong Church. He is known for his enthusiasm and joy for worship.
  • Matt Crocker is one of the main songwriters and producers of Hillsong United. He plays drums and sings lead vocals on some of the band’s songs. He joined the band in 2006 after being discovered by Joel Houston at a youth camp. He is known for his musical talent and sincerity.

Hillsong United has also collaborated with artists such as Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Chris Tomlin, and Michael W. Smith, further broadening their impact on Christian music. They have also featured guest vocalists such as Brooke Ligertwood, Lecrae, and Kari Jobe on some of their songs.

Outreach and Ministry

As an extension of Hillsong Church, the mission and purpose of Hillsong United are deeply rooted in serving Christ, touching lives, and transforming communities. Their passion extends beyond making music, reaching out to the vulnerable and marginalized through various charitable and humanitarian initiatives.

Some of the projects that Hillsong United supports include:

  • Compassion International, a Christian organization that sponsors children living in poverty and provides them with education, health care, and spiritual guidance.
  • A21, a global anti-human trafficking organization that rescues and restores victims of slavery and prevents human trafficking through awareness and advocacy.
  • Watoto, a holistic care program that provides physical, emotional, and spiritual care for orphaned and vulnerable children in Uganda.
  • Vision Rescue, a non-profit organization that provides education, nutrition, health care, and empowerment to children living in the slums of Mumbai, India.

Hillsong United also uses their music as a tool for evangelism and discipleship. They have performed in various countries and regions where Christianity is not widely accepted or practiced, such as Israel, India, China, and Africa. They have also partnered with local churches and ministries to share the gospel and disciple new believers through their music.

Recent Activities

Hillsong United is always busy with new projects and initiatives that showcase their musical talent and ministry heart. Some of their recent activities include:

  • They released their latest album “People” on April 26, 2019, which features 12 tracks of live worship songs recorded at Hillsong Church in Sydney. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Christian Albums chart and number two on the Billboard 200 chart.
  • They are currently on tour with Amanda Lindsey Cook, another popular worship artist, for the “People Tour” that runs from April 25 to July 2, 2019. The tour will visit 32 cities across the United States and Canada, offering fans a night of powerful and intimate worship.
  • They recently participated in a special event called “The Send” on February 23, 2019, along with other Christian leaders and artists such as Francis Chan, Todd White, Bethel Music, and Jesus Culture. The event was held at two stadiums in Orlando and Brazil simultaneously, gathering over 100,000 people to pray, worship, and be commissioned for evangelism.
  • They are also preparing for the upcoming release of their documentary film “The I Heart Revolution: We’re All In This Together” on May 31, 2019. The film follows the band’s journey around the world as they share their music and their heart for social justice.


Hillsong United has played a monumental role in shaping the sound and reach of contemporary worship music, nurturing a generation of worshipers who are drawn to Christ through their music. As we celebrate their journey and contributions in this Artist Spotlight, we eagerly anticipate the continued inspiration and spiritual impact they will have on future generations.

[Jubilee columns] Unfolding Praise: 2. Praise as a Component of Christian Worship and Its Biblical Foundations

I. Introduction

Praise, an essential component of Christian worship, has been practiced since the early days of the Judeo-Christian faith. The act of exalting and acknowledging God’s greatness fosters a deeper sense of gratitude, joy, and community among believers. In this column, we will delve into the biblical foundations of praise, explore key scripture passages on praise and thanksgiving, and understand how these passages bear relevance for contemporary Christian worship.

II. Exploring Key Scripture Passages on Praise and Thanksgiving

A. Old Testament Foundations

The Psalms serve as an everlasting exemplar of praise and worship literature in ancient Israel. These sacred songs capture expressions of gratitude, adoration, and utter reliance on God across various situations and emotions. Furthermore, the lives of prominent biblical figures, such as Abraham, Moses, and David, demonstrate the centrality of praise to their faith.

Throughout Israel’s history, praise has been interwoven with its culture and religious experience. From the nation’s deliverance from Egyptian captivity to the construction of Solomon’s Temple, moments of praise punctuated the lives of God’s people, reflecting their love, trust, and admiration for Him.

B. New Testament Reinforcement of Praise and Thanksgiving

The New Testament carries forward the theme of praise and thanksgiving. Jesus’ teachings encourage thanksgiving, demonstrated in parables and miracles. Moreover, the apostle Paul and other New Testament writers often emphasize honoring God in both trials and triumphs, as shown in their letters to various churches.

The early Christian church practiced praise with vigor. The Book of Revelation, replete with visions of heavenly worship, depicts the ultimate culmination of praise, where all creation acknowledges the majesty of God, the Lamb, and the Spirit.

III. Understanding the Relevance of Praise Passages for Contemporary Christian Worship

A. Praise and Worship in Modern Evangelical Traditions

Although certain aspects of ancient Israelite worship might differ from contemporary practices, the core biblical principles of praise endure . Authentic worship—an expression of the heart, grounded in sound theology and reverent posture towards God— remains timeless and transcendent throughout generations.

B. The Role of Praise and Thanksgiving in the Life of the Church

Emphasizing praise within the Christian community provides several benefits. The collective act of praising God promotes unity, fosters a spirit of gratitude, imparts joy, and inculcates humility among believers. Moreover, gratitude has psychological and emotional benefits and positively impacts individuals’ well-being.

C. Examples and Testimonies of Praise and Thanksgiving

Praise and thanksgiving can be practiced in daily life in various ways. For instance,

  • We can express gratitude to God through prayer. Prayer is a powerful way to communicate with God and thank Him for His blessings, guidance, and presence in our lives. The Bible exhorts us to “pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).
  • We can express gratitude to God through journaling. Journaling is a helpful way to reflect on God’s goodness and faithfulness in our lives. We can write down what we are thankful for each day or week and review them periodically to remind ourselves of God’s grace.
  • We can express gratitude to God through singing. Singing is a joyful way to praise God with our voices and hearts. We can sing along to worship songs or hymns that glorify God or compose our own songs that express our love for Him.
  • We can express gratitude to God through serving others. Serving others is a practical way to show our gratitude to God by being His hands and feet in the world. We can serve others by volunteering at a local church or charity organization or by helping out a friend or neighbor in need.

Praise and thanksgiving have also impacted many lives throughout history and today. Here are some examples:

  • Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights leader who fought for racial equality in America, was known for his faith and his praise for God. He once said: “I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land” (King Jr., 1968).
  • Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who helped Jews escape from Nazi persecution during World War II, was known for her gratitude even in the midst of suffering. She once said: “Every experience God gives us . . . is the perfect preparation for the future only He can see” (ten Boom, 1971).
  • Nick Vujicic, an Australian motivational speaker who was born without arms and legs, is known for his joy and his thanksgiving for God. He once said: “I have the choice to be angry at God for what I don’t have, or be thankful for what I do have” (Vujicic, 2010).

IV. Conclusion

Praise has an immutable presence in Christian worship and its roots run deep within the Bible. By examining the scriptural foundation of praise, believers can appreciate its enduring significance and learn to integrate praise and thanksgiving into their daily lives, both individually and corporately. As we remember and reflect upon the role of praise in our faith, may our worship grow ever more authentic, vibrant, and pleasing to God.

This column is the second in a series of columns ‘Unfolding Praise: Exploring the Many Facets of Praise in Christian Worship