Interview with Nico Perez: Worship Leader & Songwriter
Garrett Chynoweth: Co-founder, Worship Leader & Songwriter.
WL: Tell us a little bit about how the WorshipMob came together.
Back in 2011, our buddy Sean Mulholland felt called to provide a small gathering of worship musicians from various local churches to worship, connect, and record whatever was on people’s hearts. It became a sort of oasis for the hearts of worship leaders because creativity and heart expression were continually encouraged. After a few hours of connecting and intimate worship together each Thursday, the resulting recordings began to light up with the unencumbered sounds of heart and spirit together where the night’s agenda was surrendered. The electric ‘feel’ and heart connection with Abba began to be atmospheric and palpable. More like-hearted, multi-churched worshippers began to come and use their grace gifts during worship times and WorshipMob was born.
WL: What encouragement or insight would you give to worship leaders from other cities that want to find a way to form a community with others like them?
Start with the people in your church. Find friends who are like-hearted and simply get together and pray for another. Do life together.
WL: What is the creative process WorshipMob uses to choose, write, and ultimately record songs for worship?
Nico: We love co-writing worship. Usually we have conversations about what direction we want to go in with the recording about a week before it takes place. A lot of the creativity actually comes the night of recording.
WL: With quite a bit of success with spreading via YouTube, what insights can you offer to other worship teams looking to use that and other social media outlets to reach a bigger audience?
Nico: We are not really interested in reaching a “bigger audience.” Rather, we are looking for a way to reach the people around the world who don’t have access to churches or worship in their community.
WL: On the new album Carry the Fire, what songs are you specifically excited about or what songs are people already responding to when you lead them?
Garrett: “Our Father Has Won” (Nico) is the song I’m most excited about for the church and the message it holds. We have been singing We Are Yours in our church with awesome response.
“Arrested by Grace” is particularly close to my (Garrett) heart because, in many ways, it chronicles my personal testimony of being buried under effort-based, unreliable love I experienced as an orphaned child to the gentle, patient and kind unconditional-type love God won me my heart with. I was adopted by Perfection. In many ways, this is my heart’s anthem.
A song that seems to be resonating deeply within church communities is “Satisfy” (see video below). I think there is something in it that many of our busy hearts crave. Satisfy is a little different in that it invites the listener, not to sing, but to listen and relax in His love … to rest. That a relationship is best when there is two-way communication. Many great worship songs eco our hearts’ song of love for God. “Satisfy” is different I think because many of us don’t often hear the Father singing over and for His beloved … us.
From what we are hearing, many are encountering God and just needing to rest in His presence and let His heart sing over our dry or wounded places. We all want to know that we are Agape-loved without condition and in spite of our issues. The response to this invitation to ‘relax and decompress’ has been astounding to us. So humbled.
WL: Any good resources to suggest to young creative minds who desire to serve the Church but may not know where to start?
Nico: Find what your passion is creatively and use the community around you as a resource.
WL: What has been the most important lesson you have learned in the process of the ministry of WorshipMob?
Garrett: Oh, goodness. We are learning new lessons every day it seems. If I had to choose one, I would have to say I have been absolutely floored at just how amazing the Holy Spirit is at leading a services agenda when trusted to. I’ve learned that, for us, trying to control or guess what the Spirit wants to do only serves to potentially hinder the ongoing work He is already doing in each person’s life. I have learned that when surrender the entire nights agenda to Him and wait, He began to speak transforming, edifying words of encouragement through the “mob,” routinely. Whether He spoke through a scripture, a testimony, a prayer, a song, personal ministry or the inner Voice inside us, God began to express His mind-boggling affection for us, first, and then through us to each other. I think the resulting atmosphere is felt in the songs recorded in this environment. I am continually shocked at the length Abba will go to meet each of us right where we are, proving the unrelenting nature of His loving-kindness.