Have you ever wondered what it would be like to grab a coffee and chat all things worship with two of the world’s most respected Christian songwriters? Well, imagine no more, because Matt Redman (‘10,000 Reasons’, ‘Blessed be your name’) and Jeremy Riddle (‘This is amazing grace’, ‘One thing remains’) have taken the conversations they were having in a coffee shop to a recording studio for a wider audience to savour – and it works a treat.
Taking a ‘this’ versus ‘that’ approach, the six episodes grapple with some of the tensions commonly felt in the world of worship, including ‘Encounter vs Entertainment’, ‘Comfort vs Confrontation’ and ‘Holiness vs Helpfulness’.
The topics are weighty and the hosts don’t shy away from hard questions or challenging conclusions. They draw from a rich array of scripture, as well as wisdom from notable Christian figures such as AW Tozer (Matt Redman may be his biggest fan!) and ensure their chat moves from the theological to the practical. How can we balance songs of declaration with those that are all ‘me, myself and I’? How can worship be a place to pastor people? To what extent should worship leaders retweet compliments?
Matt and Jeremy are lifelong friends, and the affection they have for one another gives the podcast a richness as they riff off each other and share stories. But despite this being a conversation between two friends from similarly high-profile worlds, they make the listener feel involved in the conversation. They’re talking with you, not at you.
3 episodes to listen to:
Episode 1: Encounter vs Entertainment
This first episode delves into the temptation to let the world seep into our worship. Matt and Jeremy helpfully reorientate our perspective, reminding us that God is glorious enough to make our worship a place of encounter.
Episode 3: Marketing vs Mantle
It’s never been easier to market and promote ourselves. How do we keep our character, and the worship culture in our church, in check to ensure worship remains wholly about God and not about us?
Episode 6: Dependence vs Experience
Taking stories from their own extensive experience of leading worship, Matt and Jeremy discuss how acknowledging our weaknesses provides opportunities to invite more of the Holy Spirit into our lives and ministry.
While those involved in worship will likely get the most from this podcast, its appeal is far broader. Matt and Jeremy wait on the Holy Spirit and pray into the issues discussed at the end of each episode, accompanied by their friend, Quinton, playing keys. It’s delicately led and epitomises the way the two worship leaders have made this a podcast that not only informs but nourishes.
We live in age where worship music has become increasingly consumable in the Western Church. The rising influence of the worship industry has brought enormous blessing but also comes with dangers, which are heightened further when you throw social media into the mix. Whether creator or listener, none of us are immune from losing sight of what worshipping God is really all about.
This is why conversations such as these are incredibly important, not just for our individual spiritual lives but the health of the wider Church. You will be challenged, but your relationship with God will be all the richer for it.