Interview: Luke Wareham & Rachel Mason

Sep 18 2020

UK Worship Leaders Luke Wareham and Rachel Mason are back with their latest single 'I Will Not Fear'. Louder Than The Music caught up with the duo again to find out how their lockdown journey has been, their top tips for running church worship sessions online, and of course the story behind their latest song.

Last time we spoke with you guys was a few months into lockdown, and here we are at the end of summer still in a state of semi-lockdown... how have the past few months been for you both?

Lockdown has been a very strange time for both of us! We are doing well however and looking forward to a new term ahead.

Many churches have had to be quite innovative this year with doing online services. As worship leaders how have you adapted to the new way of doing church?

We have loved leading worship online both at our local church and on different online events. It has been great to be able to see different church worship teams around the world worshipping from their living rooms! There has been so much creativity with the online services and so many great new songs have been released over this hard time. We have adapted by learning new skills including video editing and sound mixing. One cool story that came out of the online services is that we have been able to share our music via resourcing churches with the lyric videos to the songs off our new EP. The Baptist Union of GB, Spring Harvest and New Wine have all used the songs as resources for online worship.

Any top tips for running church worship online?

Here are some of our top tips:

- Above all, fix your eyes, and your heart, on Jesus even when leading worship online and not in person.
- Don’t just sing, worship yourself too.
- Show people how to worship!
- Know who you’re leading... know the people who you normally would be leading on a Sunday.
- You’re there to facilitate others in worship even online, encourage and empower them.

You've got a new single out called 'I Will Not Fear', tell us about that and the inspiration behind it?

The song was written largely in response to the current testing times and is based on Psalm 121.

Luke: I wrote the song with my friend Matt Caddick when reflecting on a talk my Dad, a Senior Pastor, did on John 14 when Jesus says, ‘’Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid’. I feel It's a song to share for this tough time. I’ve been reflecting on hearing from friends, family and young people who I work with who are suffering with fear and anxiety particularly at the moment. As I was worshipping during a Burn 24/7 event online over lockdown I felt God say he was watching over the world, that we need to look to him and that though mountains and valleys may form God is over it all.

Rachel: Lockdown has taught me to let go of the plans I have for myself and trust God with everything and this song declares the truth that we do not have to fear when we fix our mind on God’. Our prayer is that the song would speak into people’s lives and help them to shift their focus from what is happening in the world to Jesus and the eternal hope and peace that bring.

Do you have any plans to release further new music in the near future?

Yes we are currently recording and writing new songs that will be released in the coming months going into the new year!

What other Christian music have you been listening to lately?

Luke: On my worship playlist at the moment is -

- Phil Wickham - Battle Belongs
- Lucy Grimble and Matt Redman - Nothing Can Separate
- Elevation Worship - Graves Into Gardens

Rachel: I’ve been listening to a lot of Bethel and Hillsong during lockdown. The messages of hope and peace have been really helpful to me.

We hear a lot of negative things about the problems the pandemic has caused, but what positives have come out of it for you?

One of the positives we have seen come out of the pandemic in relation to online church is the reach that it has had on people who have not been coming to church on a Sunday. Our churches online Alpha course has gone really well and enabled people to do the course online without having to go to the course in person which has opened up opportunities for us to invite our friends to take part.

What advice would you give to anyone starting out as a worship leader or songwriter?

Luke: I would say to someone who is starting out in songwriting - everyone has their own song to sing to Jesus so don’t be afraid to get your music out there for others to hear.

Rachel: I would say - Be brave! Play some of your songs to family and friends and get some feedback from them. Share your songs with other Christian songwriters and you’ll find people who like what you’re doing.

Our advice for those starting out as worship leaders -

- Serve in the local church wherever you can.
- Don’t just sing give your whole life as worship to God.
- Community is everything - build other worship leaders up, the musicians you play with and those you are leading.
- Leave space to listen to God and grow in the prophetic when leading worship.
- Grow in your knowledge of the bible.
- Don’t be afraid to be yourself everyone has their own voice and song to sing to God.

What does the rest of the year hold for you both?

Our prayer this year is that the songs we write would:

• Bring hope to a broken world.
• Speaking the prophetic truth of Jesus into everyday life situations.
• Help people to have a sense of wonder and love from God that will help them get through everyday life and to fix their eyes on Jesus.

We pray that the songs would be ‘soothing to the soul’ and speak to people who are struggling with their mental health.

Looking ahead to 2020 and with the release of our first EP and ‘I will not fear’, we have already started writing new songs with some of our friends. We would love to share the songs with the wider church and will be leading worship online, in our local churches and at different events

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