Today we hear from worship pastor Chris Smith and worship leader Ryan Lewis as they discuss the vision behind the original songs being written, shared, and captured at Living Word. This past Friday evening our worship ministry recorded several original songs that will be released next year.
Chris: Over the past 5 years we have introduced about a dozen original songs at our worship services. Can you share a little bit about what has been inspiring the worship leaders at Living Word to write original songs for the local church?
Ryan: As we choose worship songs from other churches and movements, we have seen how the songs themselves echo the stories, heart, and culture of the group that wrote them. It’s our desire to capture the specific way that God has been moving at Living Word through song. Songwriting also provides a medium for us to shepherd and pastor our congregation. For example, Diana’s song “Send Us” was written out of our desire for a benedictory song to close services, and also from our desire to be a missional church.
Chris: What was the inspiration and vision behind doing a live recording?
Ryan: Our mission for this recording is to make these songs—again, woven from the fabric of our church—available outside the four walls of our building. We want to add our church’s voice to the soundtracks that are already leading us in worship in our homes, on our commutes to work, or in our devotional times. Living Word has been so blessed with talents and resources that capturing and releasing these songs is not a giant leap, but is instead a natural next step for us.
Chris: One of the things we believe at Living Word is that we are “blessed to be a blessing”—in other words, God has given us resources and we want to share them with others to help them flourish. What is the hope behind producing a live recording that can be shared with people beyond the immediate community at Living Word?
Ryan: We want to be missional with this recording. These songs are written from an honest, authentic, personal relationship with the Lord. We hope that the heart behind them will translate to people who wouldn’t consider themselves Christ followers. Music can be a universal language, and our hope is that it would perhaps plant seeds and reveal a bit of God’s nature, forgiveness, and great love to some who don’t know him well.
In addition, our congregation will be able to share this music with family, friends, coworkers, and more…saying “this is my church!” We as worship leaders work hard to make our worship a pleasing, excellent, meaningful experience for many people to engage with the Lord at Living Word, and this will help give a good first impression!
Living Word’s first EP of original songs will be available spring 2020. Sign up to get updates about the recording and details on how you can listen to it, download it, and pick up a copy.