Publisher’s note: When I first heard about this project I thought it was so unique of an approach that our readers needed to be aware of it and the opportunity it offers your churches voices to be heard. I asked Jonathan Mason (director of Word Worship Music and creator of The Church Will Sing album) to tell us about it…
[WM] So what is the core idea behind this collective recording project Jonathan?
[Jonathan Mason] Well, back in the days of paper hymnals, churches would often use songs for decades. Over time not only would songs become part of a churches DNA, memorized by generations of believers, but congregants would also recognize songwriter’s names between different songs regularly sung. Today we have turned more toward the digital world, which isn’t inherently bad, but it’s turned us over to recognize performers over the creators of the prayers and musical responses we are utilizing in our churches today. While the writers of our day write hundreds and hundreds of songs, there aren’t as many spaces for the songs to launch when it boils down to 10 spots on a performers album verses hundreds of pages of an old hymnal.
[WM] So what is your goal here?
[Jonathan] It’s our desire for this project to create a conversation about where worship songs originate and how they make their way into the Church’s lifeblood; we hope The Church Will Sing can help elevate the work of many of today’s great worship songwriters in much the same way the hymnal did for writers like John and Charles Wesley or Fanny Crosby.
[WM] How is this record different from a “regular” worship record?
[Jonathan] What’s different about this project in comparison to the many new worship albums launching almost daily, is that this one hopes to incorporate your actual church’s voice on the official recording. It is not artist driven, but instead song driven. It’s creating a platform for songs to grow and thrive within the lifeblood of the local church.
Churches may select any number of songs from The Church Will Sing track listing, record their congregational vocals, and submit the recordings for inclusion in the final release.
This album has fresh offerings from many of the writers that have written the most popular songs in the church today. Writers such as Tony Brown (“Good, Good Father”); Jennie Lee Riddle (“Revelation Song”); Meredith Andrews (“Open Up The Heavens”); Scott Cash (“Whom Shall I Fear [God of Angel Armies]”); and Matthews Ntlele (“Resurrecting”), among others, have all co-written songs as part of this new initiative.
[WM] That is what I like about it. How do our readers get plugged in?
[Jonathan] The easiest way to get involved is to go to TheChurchWillSing.com where you can listen to the demos of the songs and download recording assets and instructions for participation.
We would love to have as many churches as possible participate. We believe the Church has sung, the Church sings today, and the Church will sing throughout eternity. That is something to get excited about isn’t it?
[WM] Well said Jonathan!