March 10, 2014
Reverence is hard to come by today. In a world wracked with cynicism, poisoned by hypocrisy and governed by profit, the concept of faith and the foundations of Christianity are frequently marginalized.
But in a world that has distanced itself from God and truth, the promises of the Bible still stand true.
“When you seek Me, you will find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
Since 2005, Centricity Records has been doing just that. Earnestly seeking, tirelessly pressing the boundaries of creativity and artistry, they have stood apart within the Christian industry not only for the talent of their roster, but for their intentional approach to create music that bridges the gap between faith and a distanced world.
They understand that a darkened world isn’t going to change without the truth. They know that the only way to serve the Kingdom is to get the word out about the King. Because they know that those who know Him love Him. Those who love Him adore Him. Those who adore Him can worship Him.
As with all things, the only way to reach and teach is to speak the language of those who hear. That’s what Centricity has done from day one and today, they are presenting their offering to a new audience—the church.
It is a blessing and righteous burden to provide such words.
These language weavers do not have a simple task, nor one to approach with anything less than the utmost humility, transparency and expectancy.
Such qualities have belied many songwriters, worship leaders, lovers of God who have joined hands to bring to life a new well of creativity God has clearly mandated.
Centric Worship is the manifestation of that mandate with a singular goal—“to publish songs that the church can and will use because the songs are applicable to their ministries,” says founder and music industry veteran, Steve Rice.
With that very clear mission in mind, Steve and a handful of fellow songwriters, worship leaders and musicians retreated to the Cascade Mountains for a week to pray, seek, worship and write. What was birthed there is but the beginning of a wellspring of songs for the throne room.
“All the Saints was birthed out of a real time with God and a real time of worship,” says Steve.
Of the 18 new songs, plus a few recreations of classics that were all recorded in that week in the mountains, the first release contains eight tracks that are as accessible as they are anointed.
“To me, a great song can be sung a cappella, with piano…a song is a song,” says Steve. “We stripped this down—very acoustically oriented. We were all in a studio together, threw a bunch of pillows on the floor and had a time of worship. We captured a real experience.”
And is is that very experience that is the goal and the driving force of Centric Worship. Just as the label has done from its inception, reaching a generation lost, this extension reaches into a church that is often equally as lost, confusing worship with performance and reverence with entertainment.
“I think the younger generation hears the term worship and immediately think of music. Thirty years ago, that’s not what we thought of,” Steve shares. “To some people worship has become a genre as opposed to a verb. Because of the way many worship songs have been taken to the stage, the younger church is tending to perform a worship song rather than using it in their worship. Lots of church-goers enjoy watching worship artists rather than worshipping. And while there are a lot of positives from music becoming appealing to a wider spectrum of people, it seems that to many people, worship has become a genre and not a verb.
“Worship is giving glory to God. Worship is honoring God for who He is and what He’s done,” Steve continues. “We tend to bring that back around, worshipping Him for what He’s doing for me; loving Him because He loves me. But real worship is exalting God regardless of me.”
The sound of the album is both eclectic and Americana. It represents world-class musicianship, while remaining accessible to church musicians around the world. Doctrinally sound, theologically correct the songs have substance.
“ For us, this is about doing something that will serve the kingdom of God,” says Steve. “The songs are applicable not because they’re the hot new songs, but because they will help people worship and take them to a new place with the Lord.”
A place of grace instead of greed.
A place of surrender instead of skepticism.
A place of honesty instead of hypocrisy.
“If we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. If we’re not drawing near, we won’t be touched by Him. If we’re not touched, we’re not changed,” says Steve. “If we can take a step closer to Him in our worship services, He heals us, speaks to us, changes us. That’s how our week changes. It’s not just about Sunday. We want these songs to be sung in the shower, in the car, when waking up, when cooking...If we can put prayers and Scripture into people’s mouths and minds, people can take that step towards Him.”
From the world to the throne…this is Centric Worship.
For more information, plus free music, charts and other resources, visit https://www.facebook.com/CentricWorship.
Caroline Lusk is editor of CCM Magazine.