Released this week is the brand new album by WorshipMob "CARRY THE FIRE." This allbum is their first in partnership with IntegrityMusi and it captures not only the core concept behind this unique servant/musician community but alsothe impact, the contagious joy and regeneration discovered in its wake.
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.
Within a year, word starting 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 developingin 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."
We are so honored to catch up with them for this exclusive Hallels' interview:
Hallels: Thank you so much for your time. Let's start from the beginning, how did WorshipMob start?
Garrett: After being exposed to different worship environments for many years, we felt called to create a new type of worship gathering - where unity, honor, and freedom of expression and exploration were welcome. In 2011, we began to host various worship leaders & musicians from around Colorado Springs at Sean's home every Thursday to spend time being loved by God and each other and then recording songs with heart and Spirit-forward focus. WorshipMob was born and began to take on a life of its own.
Hallels: I believe right now there are about 30 local churches with 70-80 leaders gathering regularly to form the "Mob." What usually do you do together when you meet?
Garrett: We believe that the Lord Himself leads perfectly well when given the chance to. So, we just promote an atmosphere of safety, encouragement, confident expectation, and boldness - and then launch into both soaking and engaging worship songs where each person can encounter agape love, and be forever changed. One unique part of WorshipMob's gatherings is that a song, a prayer, an encouraging word can come from any one of the beloved folks that are present...totally spontaneously. Every Thursday gathering is unique to what God seems to be doing in and through the body of Christ. Every 2-3 weeks, we record a song after an intimate time with our Father, and that's when a different kind of beauty develops because the videos seem to ooze the same love and passion we experience.
Hallels: How did you end up signing with Integrity Music? And how many worship leaders were involved with the recording of "Carry the Fire"?
Garrett: We never really intended to sign with a label, because we wanted to protect the vibrant yet intimate sweetness of the family that had become WorshipMob. We have always wanted the focus of our ministry to be about learning to feel intimate with God - loved by Him, and to learn trust, through developing a deep relationship with Him. However, we enjoyed getting to know the Integrity team over a period of almost 3 years, and kept meeting with these like-hearted people, until they became close friends. In mid-2014, after prayer and some confirmations from the Lord, we felt called to partner with them.
As to your question about how many people are on the album... we've had well over 100 worship musicians record with WorshipMob during our Thursday night meetings, but this album - "Carry the Fire" features over 50 musicians from 20 local churches. Almost every time we record our worship, that exact line-up / band has never played together before that night. For this recording concept to work, everybody sacrifices something to be involved, which provides its own beautiful fragrance, which we've observed can be felt in the music.
Hallels: With "Carry the Fire," what is the message you want listeners to grasp after hearing your record?
Garrett: That's easy. We hope that each listener grasps just how beloved, accepted, purchased, redeemed, and lovely they are to our Father. We want God's kids everywhere to encounter true agape love and be forever transformed by Him. We want people to see how immensely valuable they are to God the Father - Abba. We want worshipers around the world to feel just as much a part of WorshipMob as we are, here in Colorado Springs. Everybody who comes to worship is part of WorshipMob...it's worldwide. We want to share together in the good news - that Jesus finished the work, and that our righteous identity has been made certain! We want people listening to feel infused with the love and empowerment to go out and heal the broken-hearted, letting God use them to spread the message of just how far, wide, and unconditional His love really is.
Hallels: With the original songs on the album, which songs stand out as most meaningful to you?
Garrett: Well...you ask five different people and you might get five different answers. For me, personally, "Arrested By Grace" always hits me deeply. I helped write it, though, so I'm probably biased. The lyrics came from my lifelong journey to learn to be loved by God (God IS Love). I grew up thinking that God wanted me to do more, do better, do more often, and try harder. I never could seem to measure up and usually ended up feeling more beat down than before I became a Christian. Then, I was arrested by Grace! ...Now, learning how to trust God's goodness, work, and kindness is the goal. I'm finding that the fruit of trusting is 100 times greater than when I tried as hard as I could to please God. Knowing I am pleasing to Him - just because He made me His beloved son - changed my life. Peace is easy now, even amidst turmoil in the physical world.
Hallels: I love the covers too, especially your cover of Hillsong UNITED's "Oceans." What inspired you to record this song?
Garrett: "Oceans" is such a powerful and engaging song. It's about the pure desire for such a child-like trust in God's faithfulness and love - and that very much aligns with our Thursday night experiences. We've found that this song resonates with most worshipers at a very deep level. It's the cry of our hearts as love-filled kingdom people. We all want to know that we are being led by God, but often don't feel that confident in it. We all want to be used by God in powerful ways - to bring hope to the hopeless - but sometimes we feel hopeless, ourselves. This song, I think, is written from that middle ground tension. We hope our worship within that song helps express that desire, on behalf of the hearts of God's people everywhere.
Hallels: For our readers who would like to find out more about you or purchase the new album, where can they go?
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