If we could write anthems and prayers for the Church in South Florida to sing in this season, what would they say? This was the question we asked ourselves at a Village Hymns songwriting workshop. We decided to start a conversation about the brokenness we see around us and pulled out a whiteboard to dive into reflection about specific issues and needs. As this filled up with words like homelessness, racial division, affluence and poverty, drug addiction, and many other expressions of brokenness, the question we asked was: “Where is our hope?” We found ourselves confessing to each other that as a part of the Church we were either indifferent to the deep suffering of our neighbors ,or if we did engage with them, we carried doubt that the Gospel of Christ was truly enough to speak to that brokenness. Our response as a community of songwriters and worship leaders was to cry out for God to “revive us, lead us away from our comforts” and “to give us a heart for the broken” (“Revive Us” from “Songs of Our City”).
As we began to pray together over this new album “Songs of Our City,” the Spirit gave us words of hope and illuminated The WORD of hope. In Christ we see the victorious King who became a suffering servant to deliver all who walk in deep darkness. In the Gospel we find all of the power of God displayed, and as that truth wakes our hearts up again, the Spirit carries the wind of revival through His Church. If the Church comes awake to the love and grace of God, it cannot keep it in the doors. The Gospel will spill into the streets as the Church carries Christ wherever they go.
Night of Worship and Celebration
After months of writing and recording, we had the opportunity to release our album at the Church United Night of Worship and Celebration in December. As people from all over our city crowded expectantly into the sanctuary, we began to sing, pray and recount the faithfulness of God. Words fall short of the experience that we shared together that night. People of every age, background, race and denomination began to sing at the top of their lungs with one voice. We remembered the Gospel together and asked the Spirit of the Living God to move again in power like He did through the early Church, the Reformation and the Great Awakening. One of our united prayers was: “You are welcome, Holy Spirit, have Your way within Your Church” (“Move Again” from “Songs of Our City”). We saw the power of God on display that night as we sang new songs, and we experienced a taste of the glory of Heaven.
God is moving powerfully in South Florida and “Songs Of Our City” gives voice to what God is doing in the Church. This third Village Hymns album is a combination of prayers and anthems that carry themes of repentance, revival, evangelism and hope in the Gospel. Each local worship leader involved in the writing and recording of this project contributed their unique voice, bringing the heart of their local congregations with them. Though we hail from different denominations and backgrounds, we represent the Church and its prophetic voice in South Florida. Our song is Christ, our sound is united, and this project belongs to us all. We pray that this album ignites the Church to lift up Christ and love our city.