What was life like for you in Manila, Philippines?
Life was…a roller coaster. I spent most of my teen years and early 20s in this scary but thrilling city where a lot of opportunity, not necessarily always good opportunity, came around. I studied writing at university, started working when I was 18 and just hustled my way through.
The kind of lifestyle though that came with my jobs from doing back-end production to eventually getting to do music as a career was turbulent. It really led me down a pretty dark path, but Manila was also the place where God led me to amazing people who later on became instrumental in surrendering my life to Him after having really fallen into depression and anxiety.
Are you a singer, songwriter or musician from the Philippines with a passion to see people connect with God through worship? Would you like the opportunity to record your song with one of Australia's best Christian Music Producers?
WorshipCollective.co are searching for the best new praise/worship song in the Philippines, offering you the chance to have your own song professionally produced, recorded, mixed and mastered with Luke Munns from The LUKAS Band at The Lakehaus Studios Sydney, Australia valued at over 250,000 PHP.
Esther Lo: Life is pretty simple. I go to school, work on school assignments, work part-time, meet people, go to church, lead cell group and lead worship - living the dream!
How did you feel when you found out you had won the best new worship song throughout all of Asia?
I couldn’t believe it. There are so many talented songwriters in Singapore and I honestly didn’t think my song would stand a chance so I didn’t have any expectations. Although I don’t actually think it’s the best worship song in Asia, now that I’ve won I’m just so blown away, so grateful for and so encouraged by this opportunity. This is crazy!
"I'm so excited to finally release this song! The chorus of this came straight out of my heart one day as I was pretty upset and emotional about a situation that I was in. My prayer was God, I don’t want it if You’re not in it. It doesn’t matter if it looks “good” on the outside. It doesn’t matter if it means “wait”. Ultimately, God holds the very best for us and His ways are so much better than our own. It may not always make sense in the moment, but as long as you are walking in the footsteps of Jesus, you are walking into destiny. I hope you let these lyrics and melodies sink into your soul. Let it take you into a deeper trust and relationship with God. I hope you enjoy this song, Just Want You" - Sarah Reeves
There are two types of people in the world: those who divide the world into two types of people, and those who don’t.
As Christians, and especially as Christian leaders, we tend to be in that first group. We see an essential division in the world. The saved and the lost. Believers and unbelievers. The churched and the unchurched. While there is certainly some biblical support for that worldview, it can also keep us from establishing honest relationships with people outside our faith community. This is especially true for those in ministry.
Recently, I experienced difficulty in sending texts on my iPhone. Our youngest son, Arden, was in India speaking at a conference, and he needed to get in touch with me. He was texting me, but I couldn’t reply to his messages for hours due to a glitch in my phone.
Businesses, nonprofits, churches and ministries are all filled with people who are terrible at leading creative people. In some cases, they were promoted to the position and understand they are out of their depth. But in most cases (in my experience) they actually believe they’re good at leading creative people, when in truth, they are completely out of place. Based on working with more than a few horrible creative leaders over the last few decades, here’s my checklist of 10 Reasons You’re Not Ready to Lead A Creative Team:
As a somewhat cynical twenty-something, I looked down on people who promoted their work. To me, they were walking infomercials, always selling something. On a deeper level, I may have thought of these people as lacking humility or not trusting in God to provide.
Times have changed, though, and now I’m that guy. About once a week I’m criticized for promoting my books (haven’t done that in about two years though) or our movie, or the Storyline conference. About every fifth blog is an invitation to take part in something I’m doing. But I don’t feel arrogant about it at all.
The Worship Project at it’s physical form is an art project. I design / hand letter phrases and worship songs to be a blessing and encouragement to the body of Christ worldwide.
In it’s ministry form, it’s a movement that I’ve created to bring awareness of worship and what that actually means, to the global church. As a visual worship leader, I’m seeking to challenge what the church has long believed; that a worship leader has to be musical. I’m an artist and through this project I’m leading the world in worship.
Luke Munns: I've worked at The Grove Studios on many other artists' music for the last 10 years as a producer and it's always been a dream to record our own music there. What started as an idea and then a conversation grew in to a team of over 50 creatives from over 12 churches, gathering together for a night of creative expression and worship to God. It definitely exceeded my expectations, and the response from people has been very humbling.
It’s incredible that God gifts us in different ways for His glory. The book of Romans says that He gifts us by His grace (Romans 12:6-8). Every gift and talent we have is to serve Him and also to serve one another.
The problem with gifting is that naturally some people seem to have it all and some seem to have less. There are people I know who can pretty much do anything. They pick up any instrument and can make it sing. They pick up any artistic medium and use it to turn a blank canvas into a stunning expression of worship.
Elevation Worship is the worship team of Elevation Church, based out of Charlotte, NC. Led by Pastor Steven Furtick, the church was formed in 2006 with a vision to see people far from God raised to life in Christ. Over the past ten years, Elevation has launched multiple locations in North Carolina and beyond.
I believe one of the most important parts of a service for a worship leader is before and after the meeting. This is where we make connections with people and build relationship with our congregations. If you can build relationship off the stage, you will have it with the congregation when you’re on the stage.
Some great friends of ours Hillsong Young & Free have just released a new single 'Where You Are' with corresponding film clip being released on MTV, charting alongside mainstream artists such as Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift & David Guetta - which is pretty ground breaking for a Worship Artist.
Recorded live at Jesus Culture Church in Sacramento, “Let It Echo” captures the heart of a community seeking after Jesus with a desire to know Him more and to see this passion spread from cities to nations. The new album and 9th live recording from Jesus Culture includes 12 news songs featuring Kim Walker-Smith, Chris Quilala, Bryan & Katie Torwalt, and more.
I've been camping out at my local cinema waiting for tickets for almost a year now, growing a massive beard, living on popcorn and fast food from the food court and my Hillsong UNITED t-shirt is definitely needing a wash.
The question on everyone's lips is: Where is the new Hillsong "Let Hope Rise" movie?