Tag: antioch live

Jireh: Song Story with Jonathan Gulley

I’ve been a part of songwriting for 10 years, parts of it flow and parts of it are really hard. But the song Jireh just flowed. In maybe an hour I had most of it written.

It was an intercessory song that was a cry for wholeness, not just for myself, but for a generation.

While writing this song I decided to go on a mission trip to South Africa that my brother, James Mark, was leading. As we were planning for the trip, we knew that worship would be an atmosphere shifter and our way of attracting people, whether it be in a township or a prison. Since African people have a music, dance-oriented culture, I knew I would really enjoy leading Jireh on their turf and it just made sense to do it.

When we came back from South Africa and played Jireh for the first time at church, it was breathtaking.

The song is a declaration: We are broken, but You can make us whole again.

So many parts of this song still surprise me. It started out as a prayer, then became this fun song African children danced to and ended up this battle cry, a fight song, for the people who sing it at World Mandate and Antioch. It went farther than what I intended it to be. I mean, had James Mark not wanted to sing it in worship in South Africa, it wouldn’t have been sung on Sunday morning, so to see the hand of God moving on that song, that’s humbling.

Of all the songs we do at World Mandate, there are so many awesome ones, so for people to yell Jireh, it just shocks me. At World Mandate 2014, they set the song to a beat people can actually dance to. I was able to come with my daughter, Ellie, and she was excited to see what they did with the song. She was like, “Dad, people love this song! It’s going to be fun to see everyone singing it.” When the song started, you could just tell the electricity in the room went to the next level. People didn’t know what to do, and James Mark came out and started singing and it was captivating. My favorite was when he was singing, and his voice goes up and the confetti dropped like a bomb.

When you read through the Gospels and you see Jesus taking a man born blind and healing a dead little girl who He brings back to life, the room becomes full with wonder. People are like, “God just made that broken thing whole.” That’s what this song is all about, a God who gives and makes us whole. Whether people are singing the 2001 version of Jireh, or this new version,

I want them to get lost in the wonder of who God is.

My prayer for my own heart and my family and the church right now is that we would be astonished with Jesus again, and captivated by the wonder of who He is. Being in a new line of work and interacting with different people from different businesses, I see how people get to the end of their day and they’re tired. I’ve just been carrying in my heart a promise that Jesus is going to astonish the world again. When I watched everyone worshipping at World Mandate 2014, I was awestruck. That was just a taste of the bigness of God and the bigness of the Kingdom of Heaven. I hope that whether it is kids at home dancing while mom is making dinner, or people working out or worshiping together at Lifegroup, that there would be lots of laughs and a sense of wonder at God.

By Jonathan Gulley

Jireh will be available on Tuesday, September 8th on iTunes. Check out this video if you want a preview!

AntiochLIVE: An Interview with James Mark Gulley and Owen Wible

AntiochLIVE is on the road to recording their third live worship album, It Is Finished.

We sat down with worship pastor James Mark Gulley and associate worship pastor Owen Wible to talk about the process of creating this album and hear what it’s been like working with big-time producer Jeremy Edwardson, who has worked with other major artists such as Bethel in the past! We’re so excited to encounter God and worship Jesus together on Friday, May 9th as they record!

How has producing this album been different than last time? What’s it been like working with big-time producer, Jeremy Edwardson?

JAMES MARK: I think the biggest difference between this album and the others has definitely been having Jeremy Edwardson as our producer. I’ve been the producer for all of our recordings since 2001, but for this project we really wanted to get someone else with a greater level of influence into the album. We wanted to get someone who can call us higher and innovate with us. After getting in touch with Jeremy and talking with him, it was very clear that working with him was going to be awesome. So it remains to be seen, or I guess it remains to be heard, but we are confident this album is going to be encouraging for everyone.

OWEN:  Two things really stand out to me about working with Jeremy. The first thing is that the quality level is so much higher than anything we’ve ever done before. We are honestly thrilled to be working with Jeremy because he has so much experience in recording live worship. We’re excited to learn from him and see our process become more professional. The second thing that’s been so awesome about working with Jeremy is that he shares our heart and passion for seeing the recording be a live worship experience. I think a lot of times when you’re working with a professional you think, “Ok this has to be perfect.” But he really shares our desire to have a time of raw, live worship where we’re encountering God and capture that for the body of Christ to hear and experience again and again.

Do y’all have a favorite song on the album?

They both laugh.

JAMES MARK: That’s probably a question that will never get a straight answer from any songwriter, ever. We all pour our hearts into each song, so we see the good and strong aspects of each one and what they each accomplish.

OWEN:  I think different songs play different roles and accomplish different things. When you hear a song like, “Shout, Shout” or “Free Forever” you just want to get up and dance! But then there are these sweeping anthems that just make your heart want to rise up and exalt Jesus. So it’s hard to just say, “This one’s the best!” because they all do such different things. Can we say all of them are our favorite?

What is your favorite song to lead in worship?

JAMES MARK: I don’t know that I have a favorite, but I have had some memorable experiences in leading certain songs. The writing process for Thomas’ song, “It Is Finished” was somewhat unique, but once we  finished the song and were arranging it, it all kind of came together really quickly.

OWEN:  It just fell into itself.

JAMES MARK: Yeah, it was almost like God wanted this song to be played; He wanted it to happen so He was just like, BOOM. And pretty much within an hour on the Awaken trip in Edinburg, TX, (our College Ministry spring break mission trip) we thought, “Why don’t we try this?” When a song just works, and everybody goes flying into worship immediately, you’re like, “Thank you Lord!” So that was memorable for me because I was thinking, “Am I crazy or do I love this already?” For the arrangement to just work out almost immediately was pretty unforgettable.

OWEN:  Originally the song, “To You Be the Glory” was just this little chorus I had written in my journal during my time with God. I never intended to do anything with it or show anyone. But I played it for James Mark one day in a group of songwriters that was sharing the songs they had written, and then at the first worship night this semester he came up to me and said, “Hey, I want you to start leading that chorus you wrote.” I could barely even remember how it went, but we just started singing the same four lines over and over. We had never practiced it, nobody had ever even heard the song before except for James Mark, but watching people immediately connect to it as if we’d been singing it in our church for years was amazing. So it’s just been cool to watch the song evolve, and seeing the church rise to it in that first moment.

What have you guys been listening to recently?

OWEN:  I would say Bethel’s new album You Make Me Brave. The song, “Shepherd” has been my go-to these days. It’s just powerful! That and, “It Is Well” are the two songs on that album that have been on repeat for me. Oh! And Kari Jobe’s “Forever.”

How do you get in the songwriting zone?

JAMES MARK: You want to answer that one Owen?

Both laugh.

OWEN:  No. I wouldn’t consider myself an experienced songwriter… I’ve written a song that happened to get chosen to be on the album. Oh and I wrote a song for my wife for her birthday last year, that’s about all of my songwriting experience right there.

JAMES MARK: So I think for me, I respond to life by singing. Driving around I’m always humming melodies or I have lyrics pop into my head. Ideas just kind of come out. But that flow can stop if I don’t make time to write intentionally. I once heard Jason Ingram say, “You don’t have to tell me that you’re a songwriter; I can look at your schedule and tell whether you are or not.” What he meant was, there isn’t anybody that it just comes naturally to who doesn’t also have to be productive sometimes. It’s really romantic and kind of cool to think, “Oh, I just live my life and songs effervesce.” At times that does happen, but real songwriters make time for it. When I make time for it, I’m letting God speak through me. It’s my conversation with Him. As far as what it looks like once it’s time to actually get in there and write, I can do that in different ways, but I tend to drink chai…

OWEN:  And go to Panera.

Both laugh.

JAMES MARK:  Yeah, my brother Stephen and I have been known to write a song or two in a coffee house or bakery.

OWEN:  I would say there’s a balance between inspiration and hard work. You’ll only ever have half-baked ideas unless you put in the time. No one ever writes a perfect song purely out of inspiration. Well, maybe someone does, and they can pray for us!

Both laugh.

Have there been any funny moments in this process? 

JAMES MARK: When the band gets together to practice is when shenanigans usually ensue. We’re about to get into the time when we’re putting in more hours during recording. A lot of times we get to that point in the evening when everyone can get pretty delirious, so we’re looking forward to  making those memories.

OWEN:  At times when we get stuck writing a song, we write joke versions of the song instead. You just make up verses that are as absurd as it gets. Sometimes it’s pulling in really obscure miracles that Jesus did like spitting in the dirt to make mud and rubbing it in a guy’s eyes or random Old Testament stories that obviously aren’t going to end up in the song. Specifically with the crew that is writing on this album, this happens a lot.

So how do you think these songs are speaking to the Antioch Movement right now?

JAMES MARK: All of our songwriters and worship leaders are family; we all carry the Antioch family in our hearts. So we’re constantly asking God what He wants to say to us as a people, all over the U.S. and all over the world. One word we got for this album is that we want people to encounter God.

OWEN:  I think the main theme running throughout the album is  the power of the Gospel and the simplicity of what Jesus did for us on the cross and how we have freedom because of His sacrifice. There are many songs that are focused on the message of the Gospel and what that means for us, and our response to that is to give God glory in praise and worship. We’re going back to the simple truth of the Gospel and then out of that our hearts respond in worship. I think that’s the message we want this album to portray.

JAMES MARK: Certain ones of these songs tell the story of the Gospel, but the album as a collective tells that story as well. When we stepped back and looked at it we thought, “Man, that’s amazing!” We feel so encouraged and excited for how God has brought this all together. We originally thought we would do the recording in the fall, but we felt like God wanted us to do it in the spring. We were like, “Ok God, You’re really going to have to come through for us if this is going to be good,” because the timeline had been bumped up quite a bit. Now I see all the songs that we have, and the dream of working with Jeremy Edwardson, and like He always does, God made it all happen!

Join us Friday, May 9th as AntiochLIVE records their next worship album. It will be an incredible night of worshiping Jesus together. The event is at First Baptist Church Waco and the cost is $5 per person at the door. Tickets go on sale at 6 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m. and the recording begins at 7:30 p.m. We anticipate a full house, so seating will be on a first come, first served basis. Please note, while we welcome families to the event, we ask parents to use discernment in bringing their children.  Since it is a live recording we must keep excess noise to a minimum and will limit entrance and exit from the auditorium once recording beginsHead here for more info and we can’t wait to see you there.

I Will Raise

Read the story behind “I Will Raise,” one of the powerful new AntiochLIVE songs, from songwriter Johanna Six.

I was sitting at a food court in Qatar. Qatar is a ridiculously wealthy country in the Middle East where a liter of gasoline is cheaper than a liter of water. An estimated 75 to 80 percent of the population are expats from countries like the Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. My dad is a contractor there, so my family went to visit him for the holidays.

My family was ordering food while I held our place at a table. I caught the gaze of a man clearing tables. If this were America, people would be clearing their own tables. I didn’t see any joy in his eyes – no light, no life – just deep sadness and desperation.

This was one of those life-altering moments, where time seems to stop and you become an observer to the world around you. I looked around, and I saw the same despondent expression in most of the people around me. I fought the urge to cry. I asked God, “What is it about this situation that is affecting me so deeply?” In that moment, I realized it was because I was a free woman sitting amongst slaves.

There’s nothing like seeing bondage to make you aware of your own freedom.

I am free because I’m an American and have privileges that many of these people will never experience, but I’m also free from darkness and death. I have an inheritance and am a co-heir with Christ, and my Father is the Creator of the universe. After remembering these things, I was filled thankfulness and wanted to burst out in joyful song.

Instead, I immediately pulled out my phone and began typing, “I will raise my hands to heaven / These wrists once bound now chains are broken / You set us free to be your children / Now we will be with You forever.” I wrote the words “Now we will be,” but each time I sang it, it came out as, “Now we will reign with You forever.”

It felt a little uncomfortable to write that down. I knew the statement was biblical. If I declared that, put it in writing and sang it, it would imply that I accepted my status as an adopted child of the King. That truth about God is sometimes hard for me to accept. It seems too good to be true. But God isn’t too good to be true – He’s just good.

I’ve made it a habit to declare truths that I have a hard time believing, and they usually come out in song. That’s always been a goal of mine: to declare the truth and character of God in song so that it gets deep inside me. I think all of us as songwriters on the album understand the power of music and seek to embed truth and the word of God in our songs, especially for what it seems God is doing right now in our movement.

This year, the constant theme “Our God Comes” runs through our entire album. We have several songs by different songwriters that say that in different ways. No matter how we say or sing it, the truth doesn’t get old.

By Johanna Six

Our God Comes

Who doesn’t love free stuff? And who doesn’t love AntiochLIVE?!

Hey friends!

We’ve got some exciting news for you. This year at World Mandate, we’ll be releasing AntiochLIVE’s new live worship album, Our God Comes! We’ll be singing several songs from the album at the conference — and we hope you love them!

We’re so excited about the new album, we wanted to share one of our favorite songs for a FREE song download RIGHT NOW! For the next 24 hours, you can go to http://antio.ch/come to download the song. It must be downloaded to a computer!

The full album will be available on iTunes and at the World Mandate bookstore starting Friday, September 20th.

our god comes, antioch live, world mandate, jimmy seibert, james mark gulley

Feel free to share this post with your friends, post the link on Facebook or tweet about the free download. This album is about worshiping and connecting with our God who comes near to us. The more people we can share that with, the better!

Happy listening!
The World Mandate Team

PS – If you haven’t registered for World Mandate, what are you waiting for? Register today!

Our God Comes

It was only seven days into my senior year at Baylor, and everything was going wrong. Coming out of a difficult summer, I expected everything in my life was about to turn around – that every dream would come true and every prayer would be answered.

It wasn’t just wishful thinking either. I heard clearly from God that things in my life were about to bloom.

But they didn’t. My classes, my ministry, my Lifegroup, my work, my relationships, my music – nothing was blossoming how I expected it would. I sat down on the floor of my room, feeling like God had cheated me. In my disappointment, I opened my Bible to Psalm 50.

It’s an amazing chapter. The beginning describes how powerful, fearsome and huge our God is. Suddenly, God Himself enters the scene and He gathers together everyone who has remained faithful to Him in the midst of suffering.

And then, God tells them this:

“I will not accept a bull from your house or goats from your folds. For every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills…[Instead], offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” (Psalm 50:9-10, 14-15)

In that moment, I realized thankfulness is sometimes a sacrifice. I realized true worship is not just a natural response to good circumstances, but also a prophetic and sacrificial declaration in the midst of bad circumstances.

God didn’t want me to react to my disappointment with unbelief, as if God’s very nature had somehow changed and I was His first victim. He wanted me to worship Him despite the disappointment, trusting in His goodness whether I saw it or not.

I resolved then to declare God’s goodness no matter my circumstance. That night, alone on the floor of my room, I wrote a song straight out of Psalm 50. It’s a song declaring belief in God’s character. It’s a song proclaiming the truth that God is over all, and He will come through for His people. It’s a song asserting God will have the final word in His people’s lives.

Later that night, I sat on my porch swing and played the beginnings of what would eventually become “Our God Comes” for my friend Brandon Seibert. When I told him the song didn’t have a bridge yet, he got an excited look in his eye. “I think I have something. Just keep playing those chords.”

What Brandon sang in that moment was a scripture both of us relied on heavily that year: Psalm 27:13. It declares, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Brandon’s bridge expressed exactly what I had been feeling, and in a moment the song was more or less complete.

We were both amazed at how quickly the song came together. But we believed God had given it to us as an anthem we could sing in our pain, while believing God is faithful and will come through for us in the end.

It’s crazy to me how a song that began so personally – with me alone on the floor of my room – is now being sung by hundreds of people who each have their own experiences of testing and trial. I didn’t set out to write a song for our movement. But God chose to take the work He did in me on the floor of my room and multiply it out to become an anthem our church can rally around.

 By Thomas Wilson

Follow Thomas on Twitter at @ThomasJWilson

Thomas Wilson headshot


You can hear Thomas play “Our God Comes” this Friday, April 5th at Antioch LIVE. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the event begins promptly at 7 p.m. For more details, go here.