There are very few musicians that interlínc has had a close relationship to for over ten years. Delirious? is one. Interlínc’s President, Allen Weed, recently talked with Delirious? founding member and keyboardist, Tim Jupp about modern worship, youth ministry, and their new album. Here’s a bit of their conversation. You can check out the whole thing at interlínc-online.com.
Allen: What do you see that God has done with modern worship since the time of, “I Can Sing of Your Love Forever”?
Tim: We were first introduced to America we were writing songs almost entirely for our church. Our first meeting with a record company was not the easiest because they were looking for contemporary Christian music and we were writing songs for churches to sing on Sunday morning. The two didn’t really mix back then! That was only twelve years ago, but now those are now the exact kind of songs labels are looking for. Amazing how things have changed.
Allen: What are some changes you have seen from those days?
Tim: What we’ve seen mostly is a change more from individual to corporate worship. Worship has become about the church and what we can do together. That seems somehow more powerful and more of what God wants. We can rise up and sing about the things we believe in, instead of one person singing to us from a stage. That dynamic of putting people together from a corporate standpoint is what worship does, it allows us to have a sense of “together we can make a difference” and “together we can do something important.” That expression enables us to realize that we can’t do any of this stuff on our own.
As we travel the world as a band, we realize we are one very small part of God’s jigsaw puzzle of life. It really takes all of us, and all our abilities, to make a difference in the different situations God puts us in. Worship helps us realize that ministry is not about the individual, but about all of us together.
Allen: I’d never experienced cross-generational modern worship until I watched you guys do it in a parking lot back in the late ’90’s.
Tim: That’s what music does – worship transcends generations. I mean, here we are today trying to write a piece for youth leaders, whereas we are talking about worship – which is for all of us. Worship can transcend the gaps. Music is an awesome thing that God created that not only can transcend generations but languages and cultural groups. Music enables us as a band to travel the world. We get to come to America and have corporate worship – but the great thing is that you can go to the other side of the world, and it’s exactly the same. That’s the great thing about being part of this one enormous family; sometimes worship becomes the focal point for putting us together and helping us realize that we belong to each other.
Allen: Why has modern worship struck such a chord in people’s hearts?
Tim: Every one of us needs to express what is in the deepest part of our hearts. As Christians, the very thing that’s that far down in our hearts is our love for and relationship with God. The modern worship song enables us to find a way of expressing that love, communicating it back to God. That’s another great thing that I love about worship: it’s not about us, but something bigger. Singing songs about life issues is great, but there’s nothing greater than taking our eyes off ourselves and singing about the Creator of the universe.
Allen: Do you still do the older songs like, “I Can Sing of Your Love” and, “Mountains Tremble”?
Tim: We still do those songs, and yet we’re trying to respond to where the Holy Spirit is leading us. I think from an artistic point we’re still trying to push things forward and write the best new music. We’ve written many songs – if we played the old songs forever and ever, not only would we get bored, but so will a lot of other people!
Some of those songs were written fifteen years ago with a small group of people on the south coast of England. “Did You Hear the Mountains Tremble” said, “Open up the doors and let the music play” – that was written to a group of a few hundred young people in a small room in the middle of nowhere of England. As much as we loved meeting together and singing our worship songs, we thought, “There has to be more to it than this.” We wanted to bust out of that little place and sing our songs on the streets. Now I’m not just talking about the literal songs but the songs in our heart, the expression in our heart of our relationship to God and what He’s done for us. So we wrote a song that says “Open up the doors and let the music play, let the streets resound with singing” because that’s what we were feeling God would say to us. We still sense today, and particularly with this latest record, that in some small measure we’re catching a part of what God’s heart is saying for the church at THIS time.
Allen: I sent you the note from one of our writers, Ed Backell. He said that he couldn’t stop weeping as he listened to the new album and wrote the Bible study around “Kingdom Comfort.” You guys tap into the power of God and people really get it. And it’s not just from a song fifteen years ago, but it’s from a song today. Are there worship songs on this new record that you can imagine kids in youth groups singing?
Tim: Oh definitely. We always test drive new songs by seeing how they go over in our church. We’ve been doing that for some months and some of them have definitely become anthems – not just for youth groups but also for all ages.
There is a track called, “My Song Sings” that we’ve been singing at church a lot. There’s another one called, “All God’s Children” that seems like another anthem. There’s another big song called “Jesus, How Sweet the Name” – hopefully, these songs are as strong as the earlier ones we wrote.
Many of the songs we wrote on this record are influenced by the things we’ve seen, particularly in developing countries with poverty and that kind of stuff, so there’s a line in “All God’s Children” that talks about the least of them all, everyone from the poorest of the poor up to the people in the Western world or whatever. We’ll all be singing that song one day.
Allen: What advice do you have for youth leaders?
Tim: Think about what you’re gonna do when you have a bunch of young people at your church who become excited and passionate about God. What are we gonna do about harvesting that passion? It’s not enough to keep that within our small youth meetings. God is challenging us to be a follower, not just a believer. We’ve seen this worship movement over the last ten years, and there’s been a great sense of corporate worship – but now we need to harness that passion and take what we believe to others outside our small world. The church is the only organized people group in the world that exists not for the benefit of those who are members but for the betterment of people who aren’t members.
We should let our worship be something that pushes us to understand what we can do for others