In Conversation with Chris Brown and Wade Joye of Elevation Worship

welcome to @c CLI I'm Paul Herman here

today with Chris Brown and Wade joy of

elevation worship welcome guys hey it is

an honor to have you guys know to be

here Chris I remember 10 years ago when

we were just starting to provide content

on CCI TV and you and I traded emails

and you would share these amazing

worship videos of early elevation days

what are your memories of that I I don't

remember them being that amazed generous

no it is crazy I mean we're local church

people so we've Wade and I have been on

you know staff at elevation for 11 years

now and so we have just normal local

church you know duties and everything

and and I do remember sending us us

creating write writing songs trading

songs and creating video content form

and sending them your way so it's it's

cool to actually finally me okay but

it's been a decade and we haven't I

haven't met you know it's I think

looking back over the last 10 years you

know there's there's there's that quote

from from a theologian that says what

you are just God's gift to you what you

become is your gift to God and I feel

like we would we would think that what

we have tried to accomplish over the

less you know decade of ministries God

we we want to take everything that

you've given us everything you've placed

in our hands as a ministry obviously as

individuals and we want to turn it into

you know we want to multiply it we want

to turn it into something that's a

worthy offering you know I think that

you deserve and so whether that

songwriting whether that's you know

creating resources for the church

whether it's video content whether it's

you know putting on creating an amazing

worship experience for our church on on

a we

we're always seeking to just multiply

what he's giving us yeah wait any other

memories from the last decade oh gosh

it's been on it's just been a it's an

exciting journey because like Chris said

when we got into it we just wanted to

help build the church at the time it was

just in Charlotte and we were writing

songs for our church and not to get

other churches to sing hymn but to get

elevation church this again and so I

think sometimes we still have to like

it's surprising that other people are

doing our songs so we're just thinking

about the weekend to that church and

making it happen and still writing songs

for our church and I think we have such

a passion like Christmas and for worship

leaders to love the local church and to

serve their local church and to be about

that vision because I think we've seen

the blessing of being planted in every

season over the last decade you know

well the amazing part of that now is

that nine of your songs nine elevation

songs are on our top 100 on our CC I

lost any thoughts I it's it's still kind

of overwhelming to you know to hear that

because I mean really exactly what

waiter was just saying we we started out

wanting to just write for our church for

our church context and I can honestly

tell you every time I sit down to write

today all we're thinking about is how is

this song ultimately gonna serve

elevation church because that's our

context yeah it's what we know and we

never want to try to move outside the

walls of what we know because we feel

like the end of the day if if we're if

we're writing a song that we feel can

serve our people right then that song is

gonna be a success for us yeah for our


however even when we were working on who

come to the altar in our mind that was a

song that hey we wanted something that

would be great in an invitation moment

or we're having like a baptism

experience when people actually come to

the altar would it be great to have a

song that was kind of like the Billy

Graham Crusades moment and it was very

specific towards something in our church

and I remember I see been thinking I

don't even know

this would work anywhere else but it

might not even work in our church often

except for these very specific worship

experiences and then you just saw God

use it but it was always with with that

focus of mine and right now it's your

top song you know it's crazy so it's

amazing how God works and the power of

those songs thank yous yeah that what's

interesting about that song and I think

a lot of song writers out there you know

may be able to relate but that uh that

particular song sat around for 18 months

trying to find what it would eventually

become and pastor Stephen Harley pastor

he's been a songwriter for years but you

know is you know heavily involved in our

songwriting process and he had this idea

that it was it was kind of dense and it

was in 4/4 so for all of our worship

leaders out there o come to the altar

finally made it to 6/8 time signature

this song was in 4/4 and the chorus said

my life be an altar and so the the

melody was my life be an altar and then

it continued on and it was it was kind

of a dense thought for what we thought

was like there's a chorus there I can't

quite figure out exactly what is so for

18 months we like every once in a while

would revisit it and try to figure out

what it was and honestly we were away on

a retreat and we were about to give up

on it was an all right we've tried I

don't know you know and we were about to

give up and we said oh wait why don't we

just put it in 6/8 and I think pastor

actually was was always said what if

what if him instead of this whole

convoluted thought what if it actually

said oh come to the alternate as an

invitation song and then you're like oh

well if it's in 6a and it has this and

we've already got this verse melody

sitting around with this idea you know

are you hurting and

mm-hmm and then the song honestly came

together within an hour know what it

took it's okay 18 months to 18 months

but I do love this song you know to wait

point about us wondering if it would

ever work outside of like a specific

altar call moment I do love that I feel

like the song gives people permission to

just be themselves yeah in God's

presence and realize it

God has embraced us exactly as we are we

don't have to dress up and put makeup on

in order to come in to his presence and

he welcomes us exactly as we are and so

I think that's that message and that

song is always necessary for all of us

yeah that grace isn't just for the first

time you respond to the gospel it's for

every day and every moment yeah yeah I

love to ask you about another song and

it's do it again

tell us how that one came together yeah

so um it actually started I believe

pastor Stephen was preaching a message

called don't stop on civics and the

message was you know about not not

giving up not quitting too soon don't

stop on six was kind of themed around

Joshua leading the army around

yes walls of Jericho right so like how

frustrating it must have felt if you

were actually there in your orders were

to just blow trumpets yeah

and walk around with like no specific

and on the seventh day this will happen

you've had no idea right so so the

message was built around that and Matt

Redman actually said man in in the

messages in this this sermon itself he

had this line you promised still stands

God your promises so Matt Redman

actually said I think like there's

there's gonna be a song around like that

that idea your promise still stands so

it began kind of there when he was

preaching it and Matt Matt was involved

and we were just tossing ideas back and

forth that was another one though that


then I'm on my year of it coming

together and we'd write back and forth

and and so eventually though we rewrite

we have all these like ideas of song

ideas and nothing had really happened

and we were a ways for them for the

point of writing on this on this trip

and when we kind of put it together that

oh hey like why don't we Center the

verses around you know that actually

don't stop on six walking around these

walls I thought by now they'd fall I

mean haven't we all been at a place in

our own lives where we've circled like

this one dysfunction you know that we

feel so frustrated with or we've circled

this one issue time and time again and

we feel like I thought at this point in

my life I would have been over this and

thought you know and so I do think like

people can it the song hopefully brings

him in and immediately because it a lot

of people can relate to it right away

you know and and I think honestly if I

can veer off for just a moment yeah I

think honesty in vulnerability in our in

our lyric writing our as in the the

capital seat Church and every song

writer writing for okay for churches is

so important because being what's going

to always connect with with one another

is honesty and is that vulnerability and

so if people are showing up to church

and they're they're asked to engage in

in corporate worship I think like having

breaking down a barrier between you know

the platform and what's being sung on

the platform to the people and being

able to say me too like this this I I

have issues too and but you know but for

the grace of God you know like if it

wasn't if it's not for God's you know

grace and His mercy in my life and I

think it helps them connect songs

connect to the people and but anyway on

that going back to do it again

on the trip we we just finished it and I

think funny funny story I think for the

longest time we were like you know the

the bridge comes in and it's like gum

gum gum gum and we tried to force I've

seen you move you move Denton we tried

to do that bum bum bum and finally it

broke loose when it was like no that's

the musical part yeah and then the

answer is the the melody the vocal part

and then you're like I think that's why

we catchy but the funny thing in our

church to be honest like I I tend to

have revisionist history a lot of times

thinking like oh the first time we

introduced it it you know it really took

off in our people and that's not

necessarily the case if I thought we we

probably sang it for three months in our

church before our church was really like

beginning to engage with it and I tend

to forget that when we introduce a new

song and if it doesn't go off the first

time like I think it yeah I have to be

reminded well what song like altered

it's not like do it again you didn't

necessarily just fly the first time did

you almost give up on it I think for

that one we probably knew yeah there's

we're gonna hang on to this needed to

give it the runway yeah sure yeah seems

like these days are real coming together

of black gospel and worship music and

your project you know the collective

projects certainly part of that how did

that happen

you know I think that's always been part

of our vision for our church is that you

know anyway starts with Pastor Stevens

background and his vision he always

wanted Elevation Church to represent the

body of Christ and so racially you know

what different you know denominational

backgrounds wanted it to be a place

where everybody could come together and

worship Jesus now he always grew up

loving black gospel music - so he's got

that artistic side to him and I would

say four years we've wanted to

incorporate more of that into our

worship experience but we wanted it to

be authentic to who we were and not just

try to do something that that wasn't an


rushon of our house in our worship and I

would say over the years as we've grown

as a team and gotten you know new talent

new voices new influences in as we've

met people and built relationship with

people that were on that project it felt

like it was the right time and I think

you know you and Pastor Steven were

texting one summer about it said hey

let's actually take some of these songs

yeah and a lot of the artists I have you

know we're already family so Israel has

been you know like a cousin in our

church a long time Travis Greene was

spent years and in Charlotte where we're

from where our churches based out of so

we've known Travis for years and had met

Tasha and so had a relationship there

and had had ty come in and had spent

time with him touch of it so it wasn't

like you know we got this idea I wonder

if like people would be interested it

was kind of like we already had like an

extended family and say that actually

the actual coming together about it was

important for us that was a natural

extension of yeah and it sounded like

that so it was good it was great and

then you had Tauron Wells join you for a

song echo tell us about that connection

torn has actually been a part of the

extended family for several years he

came to the church probably about four

or five years ago for the first time

yeah just cuz his band was in town yeah

and so he had been following the podcast

and watching the sermons and so we just

started keeping up with him and he was

at a event we put on called inside

elevation about a year ago and we were

like I mean if you're gonna be here you

need to sing something right so he'd

actually never led worship course before

and we threw him up on stage and I think

we had him lead echo or that yeah and it

just felt like that song you know

because even that song weren't quite

sure if we had cracked the code on what

it was supposed to be until he's saying

it like this is who smoked was written

about you know saying he gave life to

sure I think you know and it torn such a

he's such an amazing guy because he his

love for the local church to you and I

mean he served as a local worship leader

in Houston for years and still does and

and so what was crazy is that you know

that that conference we were putting on

which was to quit the the church I think

the first one he came to he was living

here before a year before this he was

just attending and he was just wanting

to sit under the teaching yeah and to be

equipped as a you know as a leader in a

local church and so so yeah truly he's

kind of just been in the fabric of what

we've been doing is we brought him in

this past year to spend some time with

our whole worship team from all the

different campuses and you know he's a I

mean he was like school and our team on

different sermons from the church and

everything cuz he said so once again for

us relationship is so important we're

involving people in these projects

wanted to feel like they're actually a

part of the larger elevation family

shout out Turin love you tell us about

the vision if you could of your new

project Howell looking at here below

yeah so that that song which is of

course the title track it was the first

one to be written so it's that song is

actually about two years old but when we

came across the the message and the

theme of that song it really really

resonated with us and I think you can

it's woven throughout the rest of the

album but this idea that well you know

that the doxology says praise God from

whom all blessings

I am all creatures here below there's a

mom about a heavenly house

so the doxology ancient of course him

it's it's showing like that praise got

from creatures here below em you know

all heavenly hosts so it's drawing this

distinction that everyone on earth and

in heaven should be praising God we're

thinking about the doxology and thought

that was such an interesting thing

actually when you begin to dig into it

that God is interested in these

imperfect broken people who don't have a

perfect offering or a perfect praise to

give him why would he be interested when

I mean he's got perfect worship right

happening day and night for eternity

around his throne he's got angels

singing he does not need the people here

on earth

to worship Him but yet he still enters

into our midst and he still enjoys the

sound of of an imperfect phrasing of is

the sound of an honest you know cry and

an honest you know song of worship and

when we when we came across the idea

that you know that that is that's taking

place and God actually is is is blessed

when when when we bring him you know

wherever we are wherever we are in our

in our state of mind and then he would

actually in his kindness meet with us

then it began to really sink up I think

for the remainder of the album for us in

this and its messaging I think it's you

know it's it's a beautiful theme it has

been for for our church back home for

the less than a year and a half or so so

you know we're excited about it

any final thoughts at all for our

worship leaders and worship teams out

there I would uh I would say never

forget that we are first and foremost

called to be servants and if you think

about what a servant is a servant job is

not to be impressive a servants job is

simply to be effective and effective in

what they're carrying out I think it can

be difficult sometimes to lose lose

sight of that in our maybe worship

culture today in a culture that has a

lot of lights and has a lot of

production and has a lot of sound that

we can tend to lean more into this idea

of what I want to be impressive or you

know we've got Instagram and we've got

Twitter and we've got all this kind of

artificial life happening in front of us

to this virtual life where we're trying

to constantly you know have this

impressive side of us what people need

is is Jesus what people need is an

encounter with God and that does not

take us being impressive it just simply

takes us if this is our role to help

connect people with God and the best way

to do that let's just be effective in

doing that and we do that by just Lord

just use me please help me be effective

and and so keeping a servant's mindset

like in your local church connect with

people and that like get to know your

people don't let the the platform be a

barrier to your people or think it you

know certainly doesn't make us any

better than anyone else or our position

is higher it simply isn't is another way

that we're serving the

kabbadi yeah even to kind of piggyback

off of that I was telling our worship

team this past week that a lot of times

we think all the the weekly stuff of

ministry that the hard conversations the

scheduling somebody on Planning Center

and then they decline and you know all

the the systems that you have to

organize and all that all we think

sometimes that something means to an end

to get to the singing part that we love

and when I look through the Bible I see

all of that as just as sanctified just

as holy just as much an offering to

worship to God as worship as the singing

part is so that's not a means to an end

to get to the stage or get to the

platform like all of that is helping

create a place where people can connect

with the Lord and that you are Shepherd

and sometimes the work of a shepherd to

your people is the dirty work it is the

messy work it is the part that might not

be the most glamorous but it's the most

helpful that's the most impactful in

people's lives so like lean into that

even more so than you lean into the

20-minute worship set you have onstage

that's important and God uses that but

that's not the end all be up your week

it's the conversations you're having

with the people that you lead that

sometimes might be the most worshipful

part of your week Chris and Wade thank

you so much

thanks great having you share

thank you for watching take care