Following the recent release of "Heaven's All Around," Life.Church Worship has recently released "Never Will," the second single from their upcoming EP, Jesus Is Near. Made up of worship pastors from Life.Church, the group first introduced the song to the church in the midst of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders.
Life.Church Worship is a collective of worship pastors from Life.Church, a multi-site church meeting at 34 physical locations in 10 states and globally at Church Online. As an extension of the church's mission to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ, Life.Church Worship is passionate about creating music that inspires listeners to pursue a relationship with Jesus. Following the release of the God So Good live album in September 2019, the group released its new singles, "I Won't Move" and "Heaven's All Around" earlier this year.
Q: Thanks for doing this interview with us. How are you coping in the midst of this pandemic?
Thank you for having us! It's definitely been an adjustment, but we're doing well. If nothing else, this season of physical distancing has taught us that we weren't meant to do this life alone. We need each other! So we've had to be a lot more intentional to seek out community, but we know God has never left us. He's still sovereign and He is moving in the middle of this uncertainty.
Q: You have a new EP coming out. Is it more challenging to release new music during this season?
There are some parts that make it a little tricky for sure, like staggering studio time, remembering to stay six feet apart, and doing more to keep everything sanitized. But at the same time, what an incredible opportunity to speak directly into what people are experiencing right now and give them hope! All the added precautions and logistics are worth it to reach people in some of their hardest times and comfort them.
Q: Your previous album was very successful, so successful that Cody Carnes also cut the song "Death of Death." Were you happy how the record turned out? What do you think of Cody's version of "Death of Death"?
We actually had the incredible honor of collaborating with him on the write for "Death of Death!" We met up in Nashville to make some music, and this powerful single was the result. Cody is such a talented artist and it was a lot of fun to be able to work alongside someone as passionate and as good at their craft as he is. We love his version of the song!
Q: How was this new EP birthed?
Interestingly enough, we didn't write these songs with the intent that they would become one project. They were written before the pandemic began and before all the unrest in our country when all we knew was they were songs God laid on our hearts for our church. Through everything we've faced these last few months, it became clear to us why God gave us these songs. They are songs anointed by the Holy Spirit, specifically for a season we didn't see coming. These songs have become anthems of hope for our church and are like altar stones to help us commemorate how God has and continues to move.
Q: Why did you decide to call the record "Jesus is Near"?
The phrase "Jesus is near" is part of the "Heaven's All Around" song lyrics, and we felt it really captured the theme of this season for our church and the global church. It's a vivid reminder of God's closeness. Even when we feel isolated, the truth is we're not alone.
Our creative team did a great job capturing the messages behind each song and translating it into the album artwork. For the "Heaven's All Around" single, the artwork shows a hand reaching up, like an invitation for God to come and move in our lives in whatever ways He wants to. For the "Never Will" single, the artwork shows God's hand reaching down as if to say He's not going anywhere and He will never let go of us. Then for the Jesus Is Near EP, the artwork shows both hands reaching toward each other to portray God's nearness to us. The artwork is a beautiful representation of these songs and the album.
Q: My favorite song off the new EP is also your latest single "Never Will." What's the story behind this song?
Oh, thank you. "Never Will" is a deeply personal song for our team. In the writing session, we began to talk about what someone needs to hear when they're struggling with depression. From our personal experiences, we understand it's not necessarily helpful to hear that "everything will be alright." More than anything, we want people to know that no matter how they feel, no matter what blanket of numbness may be pressing down on them, God is there. He's not going to let go or leave. There's nothing too dark or too deep to make him walk away or withdraw His hand from us.
Over the last several months, we saw this song become an outlet for people to express how they were feeling. So many people were gravitating toward it and requesting it. It's such a testament to how our personal experiences can impact others. Even though they may be on a different journey, God can use our stories to work in people's lives just as powerfully.
Q: What are your hopes for this EP? How do you wish these songs would impact the lives of your listeners?
Our hope is that these songs help people remember that even when life gets chaotic and things feel out of control, the truth is that God is in control, He is working for our good, and He's closer than a breath. We can have hope, no matter what is happening around us, because, as our Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel says, when the world gets darker, Christ's light shines brighter.
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