Hillsong United has brought us many favorite songs like “Oceans” and “Touch the Sky,” but they’re more than just one band. They have a ministry branching out to many parts of the world, a huge variety of musicians, churches, and all kinds of music centered around worshipping God.
Ben Fielding is one of the branches of the Hillsong movement. He’s a worship pastor at Hillsong Church who has written many of the songs you probably love singing in church, including “Mighty to Save” and “Stronger.”
He took some time to tell us the heart behind Hillsong Worship’s brand new album, “Open Heaven / River Wild.” He says the album is a collaboration with “great people” from around the world including Joel Houston, Reuben Morgan, Brooke Ligerton, and many of the Young & Free and Sydney-based Hillsong team.
The song you should look out for:
O PRAISE THE NAME (ANÁSTASIS)
“This is a song for the Church. It is a tool in the hands of worship leaders. As a worship leader you need songs that will help engage the room you are leading. This song stands out as a leader in that respect. It has a beautiful lyrical journey – the verses are outstanding. Three of our great writers laboured over the verses, and the song sat kind of dormant for months, until Marty Sampson pulled it back out and wrote one of the most singable choruses. The poetry and vividness of the verses bleed through the entire song. This has been a clear favourite for our church – and will hopefully help a lot of people.”
What God taught the writers:
“Making an album always involves a great element of trust. We never want to go through the motions of writing music or making albums for the sake of it. But that means despite hard work and long nights in the studio, we are largely dependent on the grace of God to write the songs that we need to be singing right now. Many of the songs of this project came late, weeks before we recorded this album, but it was worth the wait. The song “Open Heaven (River Wild)” is one of those songs, that has now framed the entire album. I like that even in the process of writing songs about trusting in God, we would have to do that very thing. God always proves Himself faithful and completes the good work that He has started in us.”
Walk away with this:
“A greater awareness that God is for us. God’s posture is towards us, His arms are open, waiting for us to draw near. The title “Open Heaven” speaks of that reality. The death and resurrection of Jesus was the ultimate act of love of the Father, to break open the heavens, clear the way for us to come with confidence to God, to turn from self-sufficiency and wrong – to forgiveness, wholeness and dependency on God. We have access to the presence and heart of God – my prayer is that this album would inspire us to live in it.”