“Glorious Ruins” from Hillsong Live is the next release in the long line of new worship music from Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. There is no questioning the impact that Hillsong has had on the worship repertoire and library of songs the church sings around the world and worship leaders everywhere are looking forward to “Glorious Ruins” releasing on July 2.
First things first, I’ve got THREE copies of “Glorious Ruins” from Hillsong Live to give away to lucky winners in Canada & the USA. The giveaway is at the bottom of this post and we’ll draw the winners the morning of Tuesday, July 2.
Second, I had the great opportunity of doing a Q&A with Hillsong worship leader Ben Fielding and you can see that below. Ben was gracious with his time in talking about the new album, his involvement in songwriting as well as the ongoing legacy of Hillsong worship as a whole.
Watch this short video trailer for “Glorious Ruins” to get a sense of what this album is all about:
I’ve had the opportunity to spend the last week or so listening to this album and, in short, Hillsong has done it again. “Glorious Ruins” is a collection of singable, accessible worship songs for the church. There really is something for everyone and songs like Christ Is Enough, Where The Spirit Of The Lord Is and Man of Sorrows will find their home in churches all around the world for years to come.
See the bottom of this post for info on how you can win one of three copies of Hillsong Live’s new album Glorious Ruins!
Ben Fielding, one of the worship leaders at Hillsong, was kind enough to take some time to answer some questions I sent him about Hillsong, “Glorious Ruins” and how they are praying God would use this new album. You can follow Ben on twitter @ben_fielding – thanks Ben!
The video introduction for the album starts with this line: “It is the fallenness of humanity that takes that which is glorious and makes it ruins. But it is the very nature of Christ to take the ruins, the broken core, the smoking ash and make them glorious.”
The title gives some direction to the album and sets up expectations for content of the songs so could you talk about the concept of “glorious ruins” and how you as songwriters and worship leaders have journeyed through that in the development of these songs?
The story of God is a story of restoration. We find ourselves somewhere in the middle of that story. God, having made all things beautiful, now works in and through us, restoring all things back to that place. What is often declared hopeless, ruined and of no value, is fertile ground for God’s grace and love. From that place, the ruins speak no longer of destitution rather becoming testimony to the glory of God. That is the story of every Christian; it is the story of the people of God; the Church; and it is the hope that awaits all who are yet to encounter Jesus.
The songs of this album speak to that reality; of the sufficiency of Christ (Christ Is Enough); the hope we have in God’s promise as an anchor for the soul (Anchor); showed most clearly through the death and resurrection of Jesus (Man Of Sorrows) and tied together in the title track Glorious Ruins.
What are some of the things you’ve been praying that God would do through these songs and this album?
Our prayer is that these songs would inspire hope in places that have seemed to be in ruins, that people would be stirred once again to pray and to believe, maybe where they have not for some time. Worship causes us to lift our eyes off what presently is, as our present circumstances are eclipsed by the glory of God. I am believing that these songs would lead us to worship, to see more of Jesus.
“Where The Spirit Of The Lord Is” has been on repeat in my office this morning. A great song! It really is a beautiful declaration of how Christ has set us free FROM our sin and set us free TO a new kind of life. Any thoughts on the concept in this song that you want to share?
2 Cor 3:16-17 “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
We easily take for granted our freedom. I think that’s why there is something so obvious and yet so profound about Galatians 5: It’s for freedom we have been made free.
The people of God have been given the Spirit of God. I am convinced that the Spirit of God is mysterious but was never to be known as unnecessarily unusual and unattractive. The Spirit should free us and unite us; not divide us.
The Spirit instructs us; reveals Jesus to us; empowers us to live God’s way. When we gather together in agreement, God says that He is there with us, by His Holy Spirit. It is this promise, the promise of God’s presence that defines our gatherings. Music can’t free us, the best songs can’t free us, but we have the assurance that Jesus can; that where His Spirit is there is freedom.
That song is one of the only ones on the album which is not a co-write. How do you approach songwriting differently as a solo writer compared to a co-writer or collaboration?
I love collaboration. It so often brings out the best in us and helps to turn good ideas into great ideas. I do far more co-writing these days than I ever have before. There is a discipline in finishing a song on your own that is important to maintain. Though it often takes longer to finish a song in this way, I had a clear idea of what I wanted this song to communicate.
Over the years Hillsong has clearly been able to pass the torch so well and we know this does not happen by accident. Could you talk about the importance of creating an environment where younger leaders can be encouraged, raised up and given opportunities to succeed?
Even Jesus, who is all sufficient on His own, understood the need to entrust and equip others. He said that even greater things would be done by those he was entrusting. I have personally been a beneficiary of a culture and mindset that is prepared to take a risk and entrust and equip the younger or less experienced. Our Senior Pastors, Brian and Bobbie Houston have led the way by example. The fruit of imitating Jesus’ leadership in this way is both challenging but incredibly rewarding. The future is bright. Our youth are writing incredible songs for church and leaders are emerging who will do greater things than those who have gone before.
Thanks Ben! So much great stuff in his answers about a foundational understanding of who Christ is, what He’s called us to, how the church operates in a new kind of freedom and the privilege we have to all be a part of that. Generations of worship leaders around the world will be impacted by the vision and the work of Hillsong and we are better for it.
Alright – time for the free stuff! Thanks to the fine people at Hillsong and EMI I’ve got THREE copies of the new Hillsong Live CD “Glorious Ruins” to give away. Entries must be done through the widget below and winners will be chosen and notified on Tuesday, July 2. Winners will receive one copy of the “Glorious Ruins” CD sent to them. CDs will only be shipped to addresses in Canada and the USA. Good luck!
Lots of different ways to enter – each entry gets you more chances to win. Come back every day to tweet about the giveaway for bonus entries!
I’m pretty excited about this album and think people are going to love it. Even if you don’t win make sure you pick it up through iTunes or wherever you buy Christian music on Tuesday, July 2. Thanks Hillsong!
PS This is a total aside but one of the things that really caught my attention was the set design from the live album recording. Check out this photo from the “Glorious Ruins” live album recording:
Now check out this photo from the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle:
I haven’t heard from anyone at Hillsong that they used the Met’s stage design as inspiration but I’m pretty sure it’s where it came from and they did a great job at making it happen!