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PLANETSHAKERS: Endless Praise

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PLANETSHAKERS: Endless Praise
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Modern worship grown locally then catapulted onto an international stage, Planetshakers is organic to its environment and yet unique to the digital age in which it was born. It is a dedicated team of talented songwriters, musicians and worship leaders boldly leading as one, proclaiming the joy and freedom found in powerful encounter with God.

ENDLESS PRAISE marks the 26th live recording to capture the energy, excitement and commitment of Planetshakers City Church of Melbourne, Australia, a church rising up to change the world.

Under the direction of pastors Russell and Sam Evans, Planetshakers City Church is one of the fastest-growing churches in Australia and the catalyst for a worldwide movement. An outreach of epic proportions, recently leading more than 200,000 at a single event in Asia, Planetshakers will tour nine states throughout the U.S. in 2014, as well as an astounding 17 countries, including India, Germany, Poland, Korea and Malaysia.

“From the beginning, the idea of a movement was never in our vision, says Sam Evans, co-pastor and lead worshipper of Planetshakers. “We were just being obedient to God every step of the way. Of course we had faith and expectation; but as God began to break all the boundaries we had, to reach our city and our area, we’ve begun to see God use Planetshakers to win the nations of the world. And we’re moving with it, taking this message and encounter with God, to see the Kingdom of Christ come to earth as it is in heaven, to see a great harvest of souls.”

Produced by Joth Hunt for Planetshakers, in partnership with Integrity Music, ENDLESS PRAISE features 14 original songs that reflect the life and worship of Planetshakers City Church and its Awakening conference. Emerging in part from Pastor Russell Evans’ teaching over the course of a year and in preparation for Planetshakers’ annual conference in Melbourne, it’s an anthemic, joy-infused collection forged in a vibrant, celebratory community in the context of an ongoing movement of God.

“We’re always trying to write from a fresh perspective, to say something new,” Joth explains. “We’ll write toward Pastor Russell’s teaching on a given topic, but often it’s just in the flow of the Holy Spirit, which is the greatest way to do it.” In everything, he says, the goal is to support the vision of the church and give voice to how God is moving among them. “Our songs have to be full of power and life,” he adds. “Scripture shows us that the kingdom of God is full of joy and life, so that shapes our approach to the music.”

Transparent to its core, Planetshakers’ ENDLESS PRAISE reveals a breakthrough worship experience wherein believers abandon themselves in praise. “God’s just using us to remind the Church of the joy and celebration and passion He desires,” says Sam. “In a world that looks for happiness in all sorts of things, there is such great power in our praise — power against the forces of darkness, depression and heaviness that people live under. We want to break through that with praise so that people experience complete freedom in Christ.”
“This is prophetic, I can feel it in the air
We lift our praise and you change the atmosphere...”
                                           – from “Turn It Up”
That freedom is palpable. ENDLESS PRAISE gives honor to the One who makes all things possible. From the celebratory title track/ single and video that opens the recording, to the electric-joy explosion that continues with “Turn It Up” and “Dance,” the album gives listeners carte-blanche permission to leave their inhibitions at the door and dance for joy before the Lord.

From there, ENDLESS PRAISE slows the tempo a bit for moving declarations of faith, “No Other Name,” “Made for Worship,” followed by the spontaneous worship of “Kiss Toward” and “Unto God.”

For Sam, one of the most intimate tracks on the album is the ballad “Made to Worship”: “We had a moment at the conference,” she explains. “The atmosphere was electric, we were in awe of the presence of God, and one of our singers began to sing in the spirit, ‘I will bless the Lord at all times... we were made for healing, we were made for worship.’ I don’t know how to describe it, but listening to it again [months later], I just cried, remembering how amazing the moment was.”

Especially meaningful to Joth is the final track, the only studio-recorded song on the record and one that will be recorded live on the next recording. “Leave Me Astounded,” written by B.J. Pridam, is a piano-driven prayer for God to reveal Himself as never before, to “leave me astounded, leave me amazed. Show off Your glory, let heaven invade. We’re waiting with worship, we’re waiting with praise for the almighty presence of God to invade.”

Song after song, the intimacy, excitement and transformational nature of Planetshakers’ worship outreach is captured live on disc. On ENDLESS PRAISE, even more than in their previous live releases, Planetshakers continues to push the creative envelope, to write bold new melodies that celebrate life fully awakened by worship. “It’s definitely a progression,” Joth Hunt says of the record, “the same high energy that people have come to expect of Planetshakers, but a whole new level in terms of production and the quality and impact of the songs.”

The live DVD that accompanies ENDLESS PRAISE was shot with the spectacular Sony Red HD camera, capturing the Planetshakers experience visually like never before. Planetshakers has also launched a new blog, “The Well” (http://www.planetshakers. com/thewell), aimed at equipping worship leaders around the globe, sharing their Awakening (conference) experiences and what is happening with Planetshakers’ worship teams each week. A recent podcast on the blog, which is also available on iTunes, reflected on a Planetshakers Awakening event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where more than 1,000 people had to be turned away after the venue and two overflow rooms were packed to capacity.

With 26 albums and years of touring under their belts, the Planetshakers’ Awakening is just beginning. God is shattering boundaries, and His Word is touching lives all over the globe.

“We read testimonies sometimes of people listening to our albums being healed and restored,” Sam shares. “Our worship has declaration to it. We declare the power of God’s Word over these situations in our lives. It’s not just something you put on in your car; it’s a tool to praise and worship God, a doorway to break through whatever you’re going through, a way to see there’s going to be an answer to prayer. Whatever God uses this music for, above all, our prayer is to see His kingdom manifest in people’s lives.”

 

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