Four of the UK’s top worship artists – Noel Robinson, Andy Flannagan, Lou Fellingham, and Donna Akodu – have released a new worship song that encourages Christians to reimagine how God might work through them to bring his kingdom into every sphere of life.
The song, ’We seek your kingdom’, together with a music video commissioned by the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC) and Thy Kingdom Come, is a powerful reminder of God’s presence in the public square – depicting ordinary Christians on their God-given frontlines.
Sung to the well-known tune of hymn ‘Abide with me’ and co-written with Graham Hunter, the lyrics start with the plea: “We seek your kingdom throughout every sphere / We long for heaven’s demonstration here”. The heart of the song is to reflect real life in our worship; for songs to be more about demonstrating the kingdom of God from Monday to Saturday than simply having a pleasant experience on a Sunday morning.
Flannagan believes that the songs we sing in church are instrumental in shaping our faith: “We need songs that help us see that following Christ is an everyday life thing. Maybe we’re a builder, a nurse, a teacher, but we need to know that our faith is active and meaningful, and that God is on our front line, wherever that might be.”
The heart of the song is to reflect real life in our worship
Hunter agrees: “It’s no good showing up to church and singing worship songs if you’re not going to then get out into the rest of your life and work out what justice, mercy [and] humility look like on your front line.”
An anthem for the everyday
“[It’s] becoming an anthem,” says Flannagan. “I’ve had accountants come to me saying: ‘Thank you for writing songs that talk about spreadsheets. It’s the first time I’ve felt that my world is represented inside the Church.’”
This is the reason that LICC were so keen to get behind the song. Their aim is to support Christians in living out their faith in their everyday lives, not least in the workplace.
Our hope is that this song will inspire the van driver to see that God cares about his delivery run
Paul Woolley, CEO of LICC, said: “We absolutely loved its message. The team at Thy Kingdom Come were also really excited about it, so we teamed up with them to commission this new version and music video, with the hope of seeing it go far and wide. We’ve also created materials to help churches use the song to inspire their congregations – everything from sermon notes to small group materials.”
Seeing God’s kingdom come
“Our hope is that this song will inspire the van driver to see that God cares about his delivery run, and that he can make a difference for Christ in and through it; or that it’ll encourage the accountant that her work matters to God, and that she’s there for a purpose; and that through all these individual stories, we’ll see God’s kingdom break in on earth, as in heaven.”
The song itself is well written. Each verse ends with the prayer: “Transform, revive, and heal society” eschewing the self-centredness often found in worship songs and preferring instead to look outwards and plea for integrity in our leaders, service to others and justice in the streets.
Lament and confession
It also includes a verse of lament, confessing that: “We have not engaged / Failing to scribe your heart on history’s page / Make us again what we were made to be.” Lines like this relate well to current issues like Black Lives Matter and how well the Church addresses the concerns of our time.
Everyone involved seems excited about the song’s potential to affect real change, from the way people view their day jobs to “shifting something in the spiritual realm.” Rend Collective’s ‘Build your kingdom here’ has a great tune, but is, perhaps, also popular because it expresses so well the heart cry of normal Christians for God’s kingdom to break through into society in a big way. Given that ‘We seek your kingdom’ shares that song’s DNA, there is a good chance that it will spread through the Church likewise.