Darlene Zschech on the Purity of Worship
- Darlene Zschech's passion is to love God, family, and the less fortunate, and says, "Comfort is our greatest enemy."
Australian Darlene Zschech has been most widely known for the worship chorus, Shout to the Lord, and being a worship team leader at Hillsong Church in Sydney Australia. But now, as a composer, worship leader, pastor, author, and speaker, at Hope Unlimited Church in New South Wales, her passion is to love God, family, and the less fortunate. She says, “First and foremost, I am a woman who simply and wholeheartedly loves Christ, and serves Him through loving my family, serving the church, and speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
In this Worship Sound Bite, Darlene speaks to the purity of worship, “The persecuted church, when you hear them talk about worship, or talk to them about worship, there is nothing to do with finance, or billboard status, just nothing like that.” Her point that worship should not be about things of this world is of monumental importance. Darlene’s words should echo throughout the worship industry.
Her statements that “Comfort is our greatest enemy,” and, “Suffering sieves out anything that’s not pure,” is testified to by the persecuted church throughout history. Trials are what God uses to grow us. James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” This truth should be reflected in our worship, most notably in the songs we write, as we obey Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sister, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship.”
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Culturally, you know, around the world, the answer to this question is very different. Persecute the church, when you hear them in worship or talk to them about worship. There is nothing to do with finance or billboard stats or. Just nothing like that.
And so it, you know, suffering sieves out anything that’s not pure. And so you end up with the purest of it’s life or death worship. And then we get to other parts of the church, which still people with beautiful, beautiful hearts.
But we, you know, Australia is part of it. We’re part of the comfortable world. Comfort is our greatest enemy. You know, Bible says a hunger and thirst, you know, so we get comfortable, we get sloppy, we get demanding, we get entitled.
All those things that we think we never will happen to us. But it does it creeps in to the purity of our worship. And, you know, and I think that’s why we need each other to keep each other accountable, to have.
That’s why the church that church, not the church, the institution, the church, the body of Christ so important because we need to be able to sit at tables and talk to each other about these things and about the purity of our prayers.
It’s literally our prayers. These songs are our prayers. We just got to keep holding the line and holding each other accountable to the purity of our expression of worship, to God. Remembering that the song part as powerful as it is, and sometimes it’s the only way, you know, sometimes a melody is the only way you can express
what’s tucked in here. But Romans 12 asks us to bring the whole of who we are as our offering of worship. My plea to the West and I include myself in that is to be accountable to each other in the purity of what it is we’re about and who it is we’re about.
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Australian Darlene Zschech is acclaimed all over the world as a composer, worship leader, pastor, author and speaker, and became most well known for her involvement in the worship team at Hillsong Church, Sydney, Australia over many years. Although she has achieved numerous gold albums and her songs are sung in many nations of the world, Darlene’s success simply stands as a testimony to her life’s passion for serving God and people with all her heart. Alongside her husband Mark, they are the Senior Pastors of Hope Unlimited Church (HopeUC) on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia, which has now grown into India and the USA. As a composer, Darlene is perhaps most famous for the chorus “Shout to the Lord”, a song that is sung by millions of churchgoers every week and has been covered by many other artists. In addition to “Shout to the Lord”, Darlene has written many songs through solo projects: “Kiss of Heaven”, “Change Your World”, “You Are Love”, “In Jesus Name” and “Revealing Jesus”, a live worship album recorded with the Grammy Award winning Israel Houghton. Through the Compassionart project in 2008, Darlene was honoured to have the privilege of writing with some of the most generous-hearted worship writers and leaders of our day.