The upside-down nature of the kingdom of God is built upon the unexpected. The poor are described in the Bible as rich. The foolish things of the world confound the wise. The strength of God is most evident in our weaknesses. The music of Benjamin dunn and friends flows out of this reality to create some of the most joyful, inventive music you’ve heard recently. Circus of Love is the new release from Benjamin Dunn and Friends, a collaborative effort with Dunn, his wife stephanie and others that takes the typical modern worship melody and turns it on its ear. Fans of Gungor will be especially pleased with the results. The end result is a positive, upbeat affair, one that comes naturally with Dunn’s ministry, Joy revolution, that focuses on the joy of God’s presence in our lives. “Joy revolution is the ministry entity that does a lot of stuff with the poor,” says dunn. “we’ve traveled to leper colonies. we’ve led mission teams. you can see some videos on youTube of us. I’ve just taken my banjo out and sung over lepers and that kind of thing. That’s our heart—reaching the poor and all of that. It’s interesting because a lot of the music is actually taken from that. A lot of our album came from spontaneously worshipping the Lord in some garbage dump or among poor kids or with a leper. “when we go to these places, we feel the Lord wants us to bring a party and a celebration,” he continues. “They’ve had enough tears. They don’t need someone to cry with them, but they actually need someone to lift them out of their tears. They need someone to help them rejoice. That’s what we do and that’s what we carry. That’s what the sound carries, that joyfulness and playfulness. It’s a Circus of Love.” Dunn’s journey to this point is rather unconventional—the story of a search for something meaningful alongside his wife that culminated in a church invitation. yet it’s that left-of-center entrance into the kingdom that allows Dunn to think and act outside of traditional circles. “Before we became Christians and met the Lord, my wife and I actually hitchhiked all over the country,” explains dunn. “we didn’t have anything. we were just traveling and doing drugs and trying to figure things out. Then on the streets one day, this guy asked us to come to this church and we felt the presence of God. It was exactly what we were looking for and we fell in love with Jesus right there. really from that time on, we would just play guitars on the side of the street and worship the Lord. It all came from that experience of meeting him.” Circus of Love should open doors for dunn’s music to find a wider audience, but there are no official plans for what’s next. He’s learned to trust God with whatever happens, and the goal is being obedient to what he hears and finding joy along the way. It’s been the very fabric that’s gotten him this far, so there’s no longing to diverge from the path. — Matt Conner You can find out more information on Benjamin’s music at Benjamin Dunn CCM 43