Day & Night Worship with CBM Houston's Youth Worship Team

As you all know, we have had many amazing guests, but we have never had a whole worship team before! Getting to hear the thoughts and hearts of a group full of young Messianic believers was truly an amazing thing to experience. The youth worship team of Congregation Beth Messiah in Houston, TX, whom we have had the privilege of hanging out with before, is a talented and passionate group of people led by Lauren Vowell (youth leader). 

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L to R: Nate Hollar- sound guy extraordinaire, Martarius Bolden( front)- drummer, Danielle Worman - vocalist, Stephen Worman-guitarist, Lauren Vowell- lead worshiper, Jasmine Mikaylov- vocalist, Abby Hollar- electric guitarist/vocalist

There is not enough space or time to write about how great this group was! This interview was filled with so much wisdom and fresh perspective. With pretty much every interview, we ask the question, "how do you define Messianic music?"  This answer is almost always answered the same, which is amazing, but Lauren Vowell said something that resonated with both of us very strongly. She looked up the definition of the word "Messianic" and ultimately that definition is "a fervor for God" or more specifically the Messiah (Yeshua). It is very important to understand the identity and nature of our calling, however we can't lose what our true worship should be about. Our worship isn't about our outward forms of tradition, but the inward recognition of our salvation in Yeshua. Every member of the group, in some form or other, said that it's not about us but about God. As Abby Hollar said, "It's not about me, it's about God's work through me. It's not about the best singer." Such true words. In the middle of their interview, they sang "Ana Adonai" by Joy Greig and we could absolutely feel the anointing on them. They each have such pure and willing hearts for the Lord. 

This worship team was full of great wisdom, but also full of humor! They had us rolling when we were discussing Messianic music. Danielle Worman jokingly said, "somewhere in between the Horah and "Amazing Grace" lies Messianic Judaism. What's funny is that she is totally right! The challenge is, for every generation, how to balance tradition and relevance. I think these guys are doing an excellent job of it and they are keeping lighthearted about it too, which always helps. Many of them have musical influences like Hillsong and even their own congregation's worship team, which shows that Messianic music is evolving in its sound, but still flourishing in it's rich and beautiful message. If the future of Messianic worship sounds anything like this group, then we are all in for an amazing and anointed time.

If you would like to keep up with this group, then please visit cbmhouston.org/cbmyouth to see what the youth are up to! Make sure to keep these young people (and their leaders) in prayer! They are the upcoming generation and we need for God to equip and raise them up! 

Blessings,

T+B

Day & Night Worship with Greg Silverman

This blog post is well overdue, but I'm excited to write about it now. This interview aired on December 16th and we had every intention of writing this out then. However, I see now that God had a plan for this late post. We just came back from the ARCH Leadership Summit in Orlando and much of what Greg had to say echoes that. It was a brilliant reminder that the gears and levers of the next generation are turning and God is beginning an amazing work that will change the world! Now, onto the post!

We have had the privilege of interviewing many different worship leaders and recording artists in the Messianic Movement and it is always amazing to hear the hearts of those serving in this capacity. Greg Silverman is a worship leader and recording artist with a true heart for the intimate worship of the Father. He and his wife Rosa and their sons live in New Jersey and serve at Beth Yeshua in Philadelphia.

Greg is half Italian and half Jewish and was raised knowing Yeshua, but was hungry to understand the roots of his faith. He came to know Yeshua as Messiah in his Italian grandmother's church at 8 years old and remained in the Church. Those of you who know of his music should have lightbulbs going off because Greg definitely has an amazing Gospel flare to some of his music! After a divine encounter at Beth Yeshua Philadelphia, he knew he had finally found what God was leading him to. He became involved at the congregation and eventually became a worship leader there, writing many original praise and worship songs. It really wasn't until he became a part of the Messianic Movement that his song writing took off. He is currently working on his 3rd album that will be made up of about 10 songs and some videos as well. It will be very contemporary and relevant to this generation and speaks of God's provision and faithfulness, so be praying for God's blessing on this project! 

To write about all the amazing opportunities and accomplishments Greg has would be impressive enough, but what is amazing about him is his heart for God and for worship. Greg taught last year at the ARCH Leadership Summit and dove into the practical and spiritual aspects of worship. Striving for excellence, both in your craft and in your heart, is very important to Greg's view of worship and I'd have to agree. God is stirring up the hearts of this generation's leaders and there is a need to unite and connect with one another. Yeshua's prayer for us was that we be one, unified,  as He and the Father are one (John 17:21). That means no more personal agendas, no more ego, no more looking out for number 1. Greg's heart (and I daresay ours as well) is to see this community of worship leaders, and believers as a whole, become unified with one voice and to share with one another our hearts, our music and our testimonies. We may all be difference places, but we are all striving to do God's work and we need each other. I can't thank Greg enough for speaking such truth and being such an encouragement.

If you have not gotten to know Greg and Rosa, definitely do it! Such genuine hearts and fervor for the Lord! Also, if you would like to keep up with Greg's ministry, you can find him at gregsilverman.com and there he has links to his Facebook and Twitter as well. 

Day and Night Worship, with Aybars Uckun - 11/25/14

Every time we interview a new person I get more and more excited about what God is doing among his people! Our guest this week did nothing short of excite us to be part of God's plan. Aybars Uckun is the current worship leader at Restoration in Seattle, Washington. In addition to this, he is transitioning into the role of assisstant rabbi under Matt Rosenberg which is very exciting!

What's funny about our interview with Aybars, is that we actually didn't talk all that much about music! We delved into many topics such as reaching the next generation, authenticity in your craft (as a Believer), discipleship and much more. The cool thing about it though, is that you have to have all of that to have worship. God's ways are from generation to generation, and music can do that. Authenticity is vital to the worship of God. He doesn't want our copycat, cookie cutter imitations...He wants the original sound that HE put in our hearts. Our worship can be deeper and better when we are discipled and are discipling...it all comes full circle, because that's just how God does it. It's Kingdom stuff.

Aybars also shared how Restoration has moved in the direction of the next generation. Their goal is to become more "attractional" meaning that the focus is to grab the attention of people, especially those that are younger. They are a good mix of traditional and contemporary Messianic Judaism. It's not just about being an attention-getter, it's about being authentic and true to needs of this generation. This is very important because many Messianic Synagogues are in the stage of preparation for passing the torch, but not many know what that looks like for this time yet. Restoration is serving as a model for this generation's Messianic community. Worship, from Aybars's perspective, is also in this same model. There is a need for both the old and the new joined together. People are wired to know when a thing is authentic or not, so if the world can be true to themselves, how much more should we be true to ourselves in Messsiah? As Aybars said, this post really needs to be accompanied by it's own hashtag: #KeepItReal

There were so many great things Aybars said, and you definitely need to make sure that you listen to the show, because his testimony about coming to faith is so encouraging. God took him from a Muslim background and brought him to this day where he is a Messianic assistant rabbi. Come on...our God is just crazy in the absolute best way!

If you want to keep up with Aybars you can find him on Twitter: @Mr_Aybars_Han and also on Facebook. You can check out the awesome things God is doing at Restoration at ShalomSeattle.com as well!

Blessings,

T + B

Day & Night Worship, with Justin M. Hutcher - 09/16/14

This week's Day and Night Worship was certainly a fun and interesting one! It was full of passionate discussion on worship now and what it is (and should be) becoming. Justin M. Hutcher, an amazingly talented and God-fearing guy, shared his mind, heart and music with us and it was on FIRE!

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Justin is the current worship leader at Ayts Chayim Messianic Synagogue in Boca Raton, FL. We have had the pleasure of leading alongside him at a youth seminar, and he is an extremely creative and collaborative leader with a fresh sound. He began playing piano and getting creative musically when he was 14 years old and within a week had written his first worship song. He is now 20 years old and has already been leading worship for about 5 years. His song writing is very raw and personal and is a true reflection of the heart cry that is coming from the music of this generation.

We had an in-depth conversation about what is happening in worship now and his songs "Broken" and "At the Sight of Your Face" are a true reflection of that. The Praise and Worship of the Messianic Movement was built on the songs of people like Joel Chernoff, Paul Wilbur, Marty Goetz, and so many more. Those songs are powerful and gave a voice and a sound to the generation of Messianic Jews who had been searching for how to worship God in a Jewish way. Stylistically, the sound was either very Eastern European (also lovingly known as oompa or boomchik songs) or with a 70s vibe, as Messianic Judaism was revived as a response to the Jesus Movement. We have enjoyed this music for years and we will continue to, but as discussed on the show, this generation has a different sound and a different expression. There is less of a lyrical focus on the corporate and more of a focus on the personal intimacy with the Father. No, it doesn't always sound like a boomchik-song and sometimes it isn't in a minor key, but it is from Messianic hearts that long for relationship with Him.

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That leads me to another topic we discuss is, what is Messianic music? Justin's response is truly wonderful and quite profound. It's a widely discussed (or rather, debated) topic.  Many times we get hung up on the sound of a song and decide that because it isn't in a minor key or doesn't sound like a polka then it must not be Messianic. However, it is deeper than that. Worship is a spiritual overflow of emotion, so, as Justin shared with us, whatever comes out of the heart of a Messianic believer can be called Messianic music. I have to say that I truly agree. Another controversial topic brought up was the issue of raising up the next generation. It's a tough topic because the older generations tend to think that the younger whipper snappers are either not ready yet and the younger generations feel like they are being looked over or neglected. Neither of these things should be the case, but instead of just all of the sudden handing things over, there should be teaching. You can't pass the torch until we've been taught how to run the race, right? If done right, it benefits and includes everyone. Nobody is on the bench in the Kingdom of God; we're all playing the game.

To hear this and much more, head on over to the radio archives! Trust me, you won't want to miss it! Also, if you want to follow Justin M. Hutcher, then make sure to join his Facebook group, Justin M Hutcher Music,  and you can listen to his music and keep up with him! 

Blessings,

Toby + Brooke