With a passion to encourage congregational worship, create resources for churches and draw listeners closer to God, Highlands Worship released its third, full-length album, Jesus You Alone, March 1 with global distribution for the first time through The Fuel Music. Debuting at No. 1 on the SoundScan Praise and Worship chart and selling 9,810 copies in its first week at retail.
The album also received 466,000 on demand streams in the US alone. Remarkably,Spotify listeners also grew from 100,000 to over 260,000 monthly listeners, marking a 160% increase in just one week.
We are honored to catch up with Highlands Worship's worship leader Bethany Barr Phillips for this exclusive interview.
Q: Thanks so much for doing this interview with us. Tell us a little about the Church of the Highlands.
A: Church of the Highlands is a multisite church based out of Birmingham, Alabama, USA, with locations all across our state.
Q: Who makes up Highlands Worship?
A: Highlands Worship is a team of pastors, musicians, worship leaders, and songwriters who serve every week at Church of the Highlands, led by Pastor John Larson.
Q: How would you define worship?
A: Worship is our response to who God is. It's also a response to all He has done and will do in our lives.
Q: As a worship leader, how do you prepare yourself and your team to worship?
A: Pray First. 'Pray first' is something we say quite often around our church - Praying first, giving Him our ideas first, setting our hearts on Him first allows us to know more of His heart for His people. Excellence through planning or even team culture is definitely a priority; but prayer is essential to everything we do, because we know we can't lead without it!
Q: Let's talk about your new album. What are you trying to convey about worship through this album?
A: Really, it's John 3:30: "He must become greater; I must become less." As we began the intentional process of discussing and developing what these songs would say, we kept coming back to this verse. So really, all of these songs came from the heart of wanting nothing more than to point to Jesus in it all.
Q: What were some of the highlights in the making of this record?
A: It was amazing watching this incredible team come together and work through the entire process. We had a song or two that turned into a dance party over choruses we knew would be impactful for our church. When that many people come together in unity for something greater, that's always a highlight to see and not forget.
Q: How did you feel when the album made its debut at #1 on Soundscan's Praise and Worship chart?
A: Humbling. We don't take lightly the fact that people are listening. Knowing that, we want to be good stewards of how we write and what we say so that we can build the local church.
Q: How has the making of this album helped you deepen your relationship with God?
A: Just as with any project of this size, it's always best to pray first and wait for response. It's been a strengthening process for our entire team as we have prayed, waited, listened and written down. Our heart is that this project points people to Jesus and strengthens their relationship with Him as they are reminded of who He is and wants to be in their lives.
For more information on Highlands Worship, its new music, chord charts, tutorials and many other creative resources, go to