New Witnesses

New Witnesses by SAMUEL CHIANG  for Christianity Today

GNN Note – During an interview I conducted as a prelude to the launch of Gospel News Network I ask about the importance of contemporary Christian music. A 40 year pastor had an interesting take on what is happening. Click here to listen. In my humble opinion the importance, and what God is doing in this time with praise and worship music, can not be over stated. Music, as I’ve heard it said, can soothe the savage beast. Isn’t that the entire goal of sharing and growing the Gospel? This is entire reason we have a Daily Worship Video.

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God is doing a new thing in the millennial generation through his witnesses.

In a contemplative and reflective frame of mind, I was trying to discern what God is doing across this land. For example, a decade ago, during the financial crisis that led to the Great Recession, I happened upon a series of sermons on holiness by David Platt. I knew God was working with a new generation.

Now, in the midst of a very noisy culture, I asked God the same question again: What are you doing across this land? Delightfully, I am discovering that God is already doing new things from the arts, to calling, to declarations. He is doing something new!

When we participate in worship, we are greeted with lyrics with different depth. Consider the following smattering of samples from a group of 30 years olds…

Lord you search me, how you know me You perceive my every thought from afar In all my wandering, still you love me
King of glory you pursue my anxious heart
Even when I’m not, you’re faithful
Even when I doubt your truth holds
Even when I’m lost you won’t let me go
When my heart is dry your grace flows
No matter where I run, I’m not far from home
Yea, I may be weak but you’re able
Even when I’m not, you’re faithful
Even when I’m not, you’re faithful (Eric Neider—Faithful)

In the morning when I rise to meet You
In the morning when I lift my eyes
You’re the only One I wanna cling to
You’re the first thought on my mind
Let our voices rise
All creation cries
Singing out an endless alleluia from this moment on
Join with Heaven’s song Singing out an endless alleluia!
In the moments where You go unnoticed in the ordinary day to day
Countless miracles of life around us Point like arrows to Your name (Cory Asbury—Endless Alleluia)

And every knee will bow in a great surrender
And all the nations come, crying out together
That Jesus is the Lord, and He reigns forever
Salvation to our God, to our God forever
And every knee will bow in a great surrender
And all the nations come, crying out together
That Jesus is the Lord, and He reigns forever
Salvation to our God, to our God forever
Forever and ever
Oh we pour out our praise to You, Jesus
Who reigns forever and ever
The Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice, Jesus, hey! (Lindy and the Digital Circuit Riders—Stand In Awe)

The lyrics in the worship songs have experienced God, speaking about his enduring faithfulness, unmatched, and one can only stand in awe. The personal revival of individuals are breathlessly captured in words and songs. The society categorized them as the millennials.

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