Desperation Band, the youth worship band at Colorado Springs-based New Life Church, Desperation Band, will be releasing their all-new worship album, BANNER, on Sept. 30 through Integrity Music. Recorded live during the July 2014 Desperation Conference, the 12-song album captures the spirit and energy of youth at worship during the conference, while sharing a deeply-rooted belief that the God of ages past is alive, well and moving mightily among people who are desperately committed to Him. Written specifically with today's students in mind, BANNER is deliberate both sonically and lyrically as it connects the past with the present and the future.
We are so honored to catch up with Jon Egan of Desperation Band for this exclusive Hallels' interview.
Hallels: Thank you so much for your time. You have a strong passion to get youths to worship God, what do you think are some of the challenges that hinder young people these days from worshiping God?
The ministry of the Desperation Band started with young people. 13 years ago we gathered to pray for 3 days with as many students as would show up. 13 years later, we're still at it...just with a few more people, some songs, and a ton of great stories! To answer your question-My belief is that it is the same things that hinder adults to worship Jesus that hinder young people. We have too easily become pre-occupied by "things." The God life is costly. It's not natural for flesh to pursue the divine. It's not easy to lean into an invisible God. It's not always a smooth process to activate faith. So we raise the Banner as high as we can. God is our source. He leads our way. He is making all things new, and there is great reward for those who choose Him now. We hope to provide songs and ideas to help the young person see. There are many who have gone before us and many to come. We are not alone.
Hallels: Many of our readers may come from smaller churches who may have a hard time getting young people to even come to church, do you have any words of encouragement for them?
I think we run into issues when we work ourselves ragged trying to "get" people to church. Any church committed to the local transformation of their city will go into the city. Let the students who come to church be trained and awakened to the things of God. Then they will go. Into schools, onto athletic fields, homes, and all the crazy places they go, carrying the hope of Christ. It can be a bit of the old "chicken and egg" conversation... What comes first? They come to church? Or the church goes to them? I would encourage churches to go out and serve more than worry about who's coming. Then the churches will grow in health. I believe it.
Hallels: Congratulations on the release of your new album "Banner." This album was not only recorded live at a youth conference, but it has students in mind. How does this album speak to young people today?
The theme alone is a big idea for young people. It was Moses, while leading the people of God out of slavery into hope, who said the words, "The Lord is our banner." In careful study of this, the visual image of a banner became very real. Something high in the sky, ripping through darkness, and leading the way for all who would keep their eyes on it. Our God is that banner. We wrote that song specifically for these young people. People from all walks of life, trying to sort out who they are and who God is. We hoped to raise the Banner high. Above the culture, pressures, and pains.
Hallels: What are you the most excited about in regards to this new album?
Many things. To choose one, I'd say it is that we sang this together. As a team. As a gathering of believers to declare some truthful things. It's LIVE, its real, and I love that it actually just happened weeks ago. We turned this around fast. So it feels very fresh to us. But we worked hard on the lyrics, themes, and message. We believe we tapped into some great truth, which lasts forever.
Hallels: You are also involved in a ministry called Heartwork, can you tell us more about it?
When you spend years worshipping God, its inevitable that you will catch His heart. Our worship turned us to action. Like Moses, we caught what Yahweh has been saying all this time. He hears the cries of his people and He sent Moses. He sends us. We discovered that we were awakened and rescued when we offered rescue to others. Orphans, widows, or really anyone needing a hand. Heartwork was something we started to beat that drum. It has been over 4 years since its inception and we have seen tremendous things happen in the lives of young people here in America while they work together to help others all over the world. Freedom is found by giving it to others. That's what we have discovered. That's what Heartwork is all about. Through the Heartwork program, we've been able to bring hope and meet the physical needs of others... raising money to build homes, supply mosquito nets, meals, water filtration kits. There's so much to tell... if anyone is interested, they can go to http://www.heartwork.tv to learn more and get involved.
Hallels: For our readers who would like to purchase "Banner" or find out more about the band, where can they go?
"Banner" releases September 30th through iTunes and Amazon and at Christian music stores. You can also pre-order it through iTunes and get 3 songs immediately and the rest on release day. We also have Digital Deluxe version of the album that includes live videos that we shot during the conference and recording.