29:11 Worship Talks About Identity-Defining New Album "Marble and Mortar Vol.1"

29:11 worship

29:11 Worship is a collective of singers, songwriters, musicians and worship leaders who desire to connect our community with the heart of God. Through authentic lyrics, creative melodies, and passionate expression, they seek to cultivate a worship experience that stirs both the heart and spirit of the listener. Having been birthed from a church plant, they faithfully serve their local community at 29:11 Church in Phoenix, Arizona.

29:11 Worship partnering with DREAM Worship will be releasing their brand new album Marble & Mortar Vol. 1. due out February 15th, 2019. 

Q:  Thanks for doing this interview.  Let's start with yourselves: what does 29:11 Worship mean?

We're so honored to be a be able to share just a bit of what God is doing! When it comes to 2911 Worship, our name stems from the foundational verse of our home church - Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." This scripture was written by the prophet Jeremiah during a time of captivity for the Israelites; it was an encouragement and a reminder of God's faithfulness to them, even in the midst of their tribulation. It spoke of a promised hope and future on the other side of their struggle. Most of us can probably relate to the feeling of struggle and discouragement in our own lives. In this day and time, we can see the same hopelessness and bondage that the Israelites were facing mirrored in our own culture. As a team, our goal is to declare the message of HOPE and PURPOSE to a desperate generation, in the same way Jeremiah's words inspired the Israelites. 

Q:  Who makes up your worship team?

Our worship team is more representative of a ministry. We currently have over 60 instrumentalists, vocalists, worship leaders, and sound/tech engineers who serve across our two campuses... and they're all volunteers! There's been individuals who have literally spent days practicing, writing, memorizing, and mixing in order to make this album a reality. It humbles me to serve alongside such an amazing team of dreamers, and I can honestly say that this project is a reflection of every single one of us. We all have left a fingerprint somewhere, and we all have been deeply impacted in return. 

Q:  What would you say are some key ways that set you apart from all the worship teams out there?

The truth is that we really have no idea what we're doing! We're just a team of worship leaders, artists, and songwriters who couldn't help but tell the story that God was writing in our lives. There's nothing super special, compelling, or even really that unique about us. If I had to pinpoint maybe one thing that sets us a part from some of the other teams out there, I would say it's our willingness to be honest, vulnerable, transparent and intentional with every word that we pen. Let's be real - sometimes serving Jesus can be hard. Really hard. But, we know that the power of worship can carry us through even the the most difficult and dark times; the times when we're exhausted and discouraged; the times when we're not sure if we can continue on. We draw strength from the words of our testimony and the unchanging truth of the Word of God. 

Q:  How did you get to work with DREAM Records?

It was totally a God thing! What I love about DREAM is that they are entirely built upon the foundation of relationships, which was evident from the first moment I connected with Lance, our primary contact at DREAM. It has been such an honor to see our aspirations, dreams, and  futures to become one unified vision. DREAM is all about equipping the local Church to be the hope of the world, as our God intended it to be. They believe in compelling sounds and relevant lyric, but they care even more about resourcing the Church to be all that it can be, which is simply awesome! 

Q:  You have a new record coming out entitled "Marble and Mortar Vol.1."  Explain to us the title of record.

I think often times we can be overwhelmed by the tasks set before us, and maybe the pressure of the season we may be in, and forget the fact the cross was the eternal solution for our fears, doubts, failures and disappointments. I was inspired by the opening words of the disciple John's gospel - in the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the Word was God. And that Word (Jesus) became flesh and joined mankind. Jesus was there in the beginning. He was there when man was created. He was there when man fell, and he was already anticipating the cross. The cross was always the solution. I find such encouragement in that truth. I love that Jesus, even in the Old Testament, was the main character. Through the pressures of the church planting journey, we as a community began to discover the importance of bringing it all back to Jesus. It was always Jesus, and it will always be Jesus. Jesus is the foundation, the solution, the beginning and the end. As a songwriting team, we found that this truth was one that we needed to declare corporately. 

I remember marveling at the Roman Empire when I was in grade school. I found it interesting that, after such incredible power during a certain time frame, all that remains is the marble columns that used to hold up their palaces and temples. Everything else - their worldly attempts for glory, organization, governances, and culture... it all faded with the rest of their civilization. But even now, with a modern world surrounding them, those columns remain. Jesus, like those columns, is the foundation that has stood the test of time; and He will continue to stand the test of time! He always was, and always will be. We want to build our lives on Jesus as our marble and our mortar. Only He can carry the weight of what is going on around us, because He already has. Every song on this album points back to Jesus. Jesus as the Messiah, the words Jesus spoke in the Beatitudes, the power of Jesus' name, the depths of His love... Jesus is our foundation, and our marble and mortar.

Q:  What excites you the most about this new record?

I am simply excited for the world to HEAR this album! For the past four years, we've been searching for our identity as a group of artists. In the same way that we have found who we are as a Church, we have found who are as worshipers. The kingdom of God includes such a vast variety of different artistic expressions of love towards our Father, and I think we have found our voice in the conversation - one that includes patiently waiting on the Lord, and allowing space for the Holy Spirit to move; one that also includes relevant and honest lyrics, as well as punchy synth lines and compelling electric guitar riffs, reminiscent of the 80's rock age. It's a collection of our musical histories that has arrived as something that is fresh, singable, and so much fun to listen to! These songs have changed the lives of the people in our community at 29:11 Church. If we can be a part of helping to change the lives of others, even if it's only one, then it's worth it. We can't wait for you to hear it!

Q:  What's the story behind your latest single "In God we Trust"?

This song has become such a personal song for us as a community, because it was written from such a broken place. I have walked the long and trying road of dealing with depression. Sometimes in those dark places, it's hard to find the name of Jesus, especially when you don't want to. It's in those dark places where self-destruction becomes the most real. We fall in to habits, sin addictions and patterns that literally tear our wellbeing a part. In the United States, there were 47,173 suicides in 2017. Just think about how many stories and sad endings that is. The suicide rate has gone up 30% in the past 10 years... we have a problem, but we also have the solution. I have found in my life that learning to declare these truths out out loud has become the most important and crucial part of facing internal mental and emotional instability. I will choose to say "I trust in God," even when I don't feel like it, and even when I feel like He's not there. This song was written as a way to have that conversation; to walk through the heartaches, honestly and vividly, but to then share the truth of our Jesus in response. Jesus is the solution. The Church is the solution. It's time we start saying something. 

Q:  Personally, can you recall a time in your life when God was the only one you trusted.  And what happened as a result?

On a very recent note, I think this entire recording process has been an example of this. In countless conversations, I can remember thinking "I am so in over my head." I recall having a conversation with God where I told Him that I didn't have the capacity to do what He was asking me to do. I told Him "no", because I was too insecure... but, He didn't take "no" for an answer. Soon, I found myself in a company of dreamers who were all praying the same thing - "God do what you want through us." As a church plant, we didn't have the resources, budget, or manpower to pull this off, but God didn't ask for our supply. He asked for our willingness and obedience. In every step of this journey, it has taken all the faith we could muster within ourselves to keep moving forward. But, in every step of the process, we have seen a miracle. And, I love that we're not waiting for more results. We've already seen results- lives be changed, our faith being strengthened, and the name of God being exalted. Whatever God brings next, we're willing and obedient.  

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