I was fascinated to see this interview with Simon Brading in Newfrontiers-USA’s
The Link . This was conducted at Mobilise USA earlier this year. I thought it was great!
Q. So this is your second year at Mobilise USA. Give us your thoughts on that.
A. I’ve loved it from the opening meeting! The preaching has been incredible. There’s been a real sense of God’s presence in every meeting – real energy, passion, heart-felt devotion and celebration of the gospel.
Q. What do you think about this generation in regards to their hearts and worship?
A. Quite frankly worship music is kind of a genre—an industry in the UK and America. So regarding this generation, my heart is that worship music remains fully gospel-centered and Christ-centered. Regardless of style, I’m hungry and prayerful that Jesus keeps taking center stage in this generation; that we’re still engaging with Him and prizing the presence of God, not just going through some motion of singing.
Q. Talk about participation in your church. What do you look for or hope to expect?
A. I’m keen that when people come together to worship it isn’t a show. It isn’t, “Okay, come on then, impress me” or “Okay, that was a good song, what’s next?” but actually there’s an expectation (even in a larger meeting) to meet with God and that we’re looking to Him.
Q. Who has influenced you personally?
A. That’s a tough question. I feel like I’ve had a lot of influences at different stages. Biggest one: my dad. He’s been an elder in a church all his life; so I’ve grown up with a strong, godly man of prayer in my life. Seeing that example every day and being in a family with a real climate of prayer, praise and worship at home had a massive influence on me.
More recently Joel Virgo, who leads our church (Christ the King) in Brighton, and Matt Redman (UK worship leader). I like to read a lot and listen to podcasts from friends like Mars Hill, Mark Driscoll … stuff like that.
Q. What is the process like for you in selecting a song list?
A. That’s a great question. I want it to be gospel centered, so in the five or six songs I am thinking, “Ok, what of the gospel is here?”
Obviously you can’t get the entire gospel in every worship set. Sometimes we want the theme of adoption or justification or freedom. I step back to think and look at the songs, always trying to be very prayerful and open to the Holy Spirit’s leading. The Holy Spirit is just as evident and present in the planning as He is in the meeting, so there is not “unspiritual” planning beforehand.
Q. What are some key or core doctrinal themes that assist you in writing songs?
A. In terms of doctrine I’m wanting to keep delving into the truth of the gospel—the full spectrum. I think it’s easy to sing songs that aren’t Jesus-centered. There’s a lot of cool songs out there that when you actually look at the words, they’re not really saying much.
Q. We’re grateful for your willingness to serve us here during Mobilise USA.
A. It’s been a real joy. It totally feels like family. From the first night here, I was thinking, “These guys are my brothers and sisters.”