Dream Label Group worship band, New Hope Oahu Music, will release their new album, Scripture Songs, February 8th, 2019. New Hope Oahu Music blazed onto the Worship scene in 2013 with the release of their debut album Hope is Alive which premiered at #2 on the Billboard Praise and Worship Chart and featured the global hit song "How We Worship."
New Hope Oahu has since released 4 albums, Victorious (2014), Greater Together (2015), Future + Hope (2016) and Kingdom (2017), each of which have reached #1 on the Billboard Charts for Christian Music. Their albums have also been recognized by The Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts, the "Grammy's of Hawaii," as Religious Album of the Year in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
As a ministry of New Hope Oahu, led by Senior Pastor Wayne Cordeiro, New Hope is listed as one of the Top 10 most innovative churches in America with Outreach Magazine listing them as one of the "top five churches to learn from." New Hope is known for redeeming the arts and technology with thousands attending services each week between their 6 Campuses and via the Internet.
Q: Thank you for doing this interview with us. Your upcoming album is different in that all the songs are based directly off scripture. What prompted towrite an album of songs based on scripture?
This album was a dream of our creative director, Lanu Tilton. New Hope has always been a church with an undying devotion to God and His word. This totem, in partnership with our core value to present the Gospel in creative ways, resulted in this album. Our prater is that "these songs would ignite afresh a passion to grow in love for God and His word."
Q: What are some of the passages of scripture you have covered on this album?
The scriptures put to song have been inspired by the Holy Spirit and our life journal reading plan founded by our senior pastor, Wayne Cordeiro. I say the Holy Spirit inspired a lot of the scriptures; they were revealed to the songwriters through their daily devotions and journaling.
Q: In your opinion, what is the role of Bible in worship?
2 Timothy 3 sums it up best: "All scripture is breathed out by God..." Just as the creator breathed life into us (Genesis 2:7), our only reasonable response is to take his breath and use it for his glory through worship.
Q: But it's not just in citing scripture, in many of the songs you have also included the contexts of scripture. I specifically like "Jeremiah 29:11" where you situate the text in the Babylonian exile. Why is context important?
Our heart is for the listener to learn these scriptures as well as the heart and context. Regarding Jeremiah 29:11, this is our church's life verse so an understanding of the context is key. We serve a good God and whatever season He has us in He will use for His glory.
Q: On the album, you covered a large swath of scripture from both the New and Old Testament. Do you decide first what passages to write songs about or did the songs come more organically?
As mentioned previously, the majority of the scriptures were revealed to the songwriting through their life journaling/daily devotion time. Others like Jeremiah 29:11 and Psalm 40 were commissioned verses by our creative team.
A side story to how God has directed and inspired each and every step along the way with this album is the scripture song "James 5 (Praise and Prayer)." This song, written by Doulesha McCormick, came from a devotional time and shortly after that was put on the heart of our campus pastor, Jon Burgess, as a focus of our worship services, where we pause to praise God as a church and offer up specific prayers for those in need. I'm in awe in how God orchestrated this alignment of song, heart and vision.
Q: What are some things you have done in your church to help worship leaders to be more saturated in scripture?
Pardon me for being redundant, but an intentional and committed daily devotional time through our life journaling plan is a core value for our worship team, worship leaders and church. As we continue to read scripture, the more we begin to think as God thinks and act as He acts.
Q: Something more personal, what's your own favorite Bible passage? And why?
My wife Jana and I are music lovers so a verse that has been a favourite is Psalm 95:2 (NIV): "Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song." God has blessed us to be able to serve at a wonderful fellowship called New Hope, and our calls is to do so with a heart of thanksgiving.