Birthed from a passion for creativity, collaboration, and authentic worship, Expression58 (E58) Worship has just released their debut album, MAKE WAY. Recorded live in Los Angeles, E58 Worship is the music branch of Expression58 Church in Glendale, CA.
Much like the worship community, the Expression58 church began eleven years ago with a specific focus to make a home among the unchurched in the Los Angeles community. Founding pastors Shawn Bolz and Jona and Jennifer Toledo felt called to plant a church committed to the message of Isaiah 58. A church focused on inspiring personal faith, creative and cultural renewal, and societal transformation.
MAKE WAY was birthed when the music community at E58 began to submit original songs that could be used at the church. Soon, 20 members of the community set off on a retreat, focused on prayer, listening to where God may be leading the community, and songwriting. By the end of the week, the group of 20 people had completed 20 original songs, 8 of which are featured on the 12 song project.
Q: Thank you for doing this interview with us. Tell us a little about E58 Church. What does E58 mean?
E58 is reference to Isaiah 58... Love, creativity and justice are the heart of why we do what we do! All for Jesus! The community is a beautiful mix of race and age but share a common ground of serving Jesus and putting his brilliance on display.
Q: Who makes up E58 Worship?
Lovers of Jesus. Lovers of worship. A rag-tag bunch of beautiful souls from all over the globe who've been called by god to serve him in Los Angeles. Everyone on our team attends expression58 as their home church. We are so fortunate! Dan and Michelle Lutz have been the worship pastors for the past three years.
Q: I believe you wrote most of the songs on your new album at a retreat. Tell us more about this retreat and how the songs were birthed.
We knew we needed to create space for writing, so we gathered our songwriters and some intercessors and headed up to the mountains for a week together. It was during that week that about 80% of the songs were written! A few folks on the team brought in their own originals to throw into the pot, but we came down the mountain with 18 original songs! It was one of the coolest weeks of our lives!
Q: Is there a song or two on the new album that is (are) really special to you? And why?
I love "Powerful God." Wendy Vides is a powerful woman, lol! And she sent us this song on a voice memo via email. My wife, Michelle, was so moved by the song, that she made me sit down and write a chart so the team could do it that Sunday! The song still carries that excitement and I love how it came out on the recording!
Q: I believe this new album was recorded live. How is the live recording different as opposed to a studio album?
We knew that we had to capture how expression58, the church, worships collectively. There is something that God is breathing on at this church and it's such a thrill to be a part. We host encounter nights once a month and those nights became such powerful nights of worship! Plus, I'd always been a fan of live recordings because there's such a raw, authentic thing that happens... And when you're with a community of believers that really dig in to worship, it's so powerful. We needed to try and capture that, and I think we were successful!
Q: What really impressed you about the live recording of this album?
I think I was most impressed that we were able to really have a night of worship that we happened to record, rather than a live recording where people might worship. In other words, we were ourselves (albeit with lights and haze, lol) when it came down to the songs... It's genuine, authentic worship. We were free that night, and we were able to move and flow with Holy Spirit... Those songs weren't mapped out... Those moments were spontaneous... It represents us well... Honest worshippers and lovers of Jesus.
Q: How has your faith grown as a result of working on this new album?
Shawn Bolz gave my wife and I a prophetic word a year ago. He said that the synergy we'd be experiencing in the next few months and years would propel us into our future calling. He called it "synergy x 10"... It was just a few months after that word, that the team really started to unify and become tighter than ever before. I watched God do it. We didn't make one phone call or ask for one favor. God did this. My wife always likes to refer to the scripture Psalm 127:1- "Unless God builds the house, those who labor, labor in vain". We're proof of that. My faith is stronger as a result.