When you hear Brad + Rebekah sing the words in this chorus, you'll want to join the praise experience and feel the power of group worship. One of the passions of this husband-wife duo is gathering with other believers in thankfulness and awe of what God has done.
"'When We Gather' was the start of the project," Brad explains. "One day I was reading through Matthew, and I read the verse where it says, 'Where two or three come together in my name there am I with them' (Matthew 18:20). For some reason that day, it just really stood out to me. What matters is that we come together and join our hearts--and because of that, God's presence is there. It's a promise, and that's what I love! That song began this journey for us of what happens when we gather and what we should be singing about, and all these songs came from that."
The songs to which Brad refers are found on a new double-disc release from Discovery House called All You've Done. The first disc features 12 energetic studio recordings of praise and worship music, while the second disc offers a more intimate acoustic set of 6 songs.
"Our goal," Brad says, "was to write songs that were congregational in nature and fun to sing--in the sense that you can easily engage with them while still maintaining that deep theological truth."
From the start of their music career, Brad + Rebekah have had a heart for the church. "Writing songs for the church, traveling to churches, and ministering to churches has been our story from day one," Brad says.
"Day one" began while the couple were both students at North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Rebekah walked by the dinner table just as Brad's all-male worship team was pondering female leads for a song they were planning. Rebekah was the perfect fit for the band, and for Brad personally--the duo married in July 2006 and has been creating and singing songs ever since. They've recorded several independent projects and are excited to release All You've Done through Discovery House.
The title track was the last song written for the project, and the simple lyrics and catchy beat of "All You've Done" make it popular, especially in live settings. "It very quickly became our favorite track," Brad said. "It's a fun track to do live. It's a simple song about praise . . . thanking God for what He's done. We can make it more complex sometimes, but really, when it comes down to it, we're just saying thank you. That's it. It's one that always goes over well and it's fun to do."
Brad + Rebekah engage their listeners, inviting them to join in the songs and make them their own. No matter what their age or musical preference, audiences can unite and lift hands and voices as Brad + Rebekah lead. Brad had this in mind when crafting the song "We Are Not the Same," which begins more seriously but then ramps up into overflowing energy. "People are just singing along with us. We can easily pull it out in any congregation and it goes over well," Brad says. "I love how it has this reverent part and then it has this joyous, fun, 'now let's celebrate what God has done for us' part."
People are responding to this traveling duo who put God above the music. "I think the biggest compliment we could ever receive is when someone comes to us afterward and says, 'The music was really good, but you led us in worship,'" Brad says. "I will cherish that more than any comment about the vocals or the band and how they sound. The fact that people will come and say, 'That was a great time of worship. I love experiencing the presence of God like that. It is really refreshing.' That's what I want to hear. It means that I was able to get out of the way enough and let God lead."
Besides performing their own songs, Brad + Rebekah want to encourage other musicians. "We really do have a heart to see worship leaders in general get stronger and be trained up," Brad says. That's one reason they partner with the ministry Watoto, to provide musical training and opportunities for these kids in Uganda. (Find out more at www.watoto.com) Not only has the duo traveled to Uganda several times, they featured the Watoto Children's Choir in a song called "The Heart of the Father." Rebekah explains, "It tells their story of an orphan that has been rescued and redeemed physically, but also spiritually, coming to know their Heavenly Father . . . which is our story as well. We were orphans, spiritually, until we found the love of Christ. And now, because of that, He made a way that we can know the Father."
Knowing the Father is one thing. Trusting the Father bumps up the faith factor completely--especially when your home is on the road for much of the year and you have a young son. Brad says, "I don't have a problem in saying, 'God, if you've called us to do this then I know you're going to take care of us. I'm going to run in faith and do it until you show me something else.'"
Home base for Brad + Rebekah is Phoenix, Arizona, where they have the privilege of frequently serving Christ's Church of the Valley with their musical talents. But their passion right now is traveling and leading worship in different venues. They feel blessed to be in their seventh year of sharing God's love around the United States and the world. As they follow God's direction one day at a time, it isn't always easy. But Brad says, "It's definitely increased our faith. I won't lie and say I don't worry anymore. I've been able to learn that it's going to be okay if I continue to approach God and truly be open to what He has to say and trust that I can do that. It's a daily struggle. And I'm reminded . . . it's not our journey. We just get to be part of the journey that God has in mind, a journey that is so much better."