The story of All Sons & Daughters
began with artist David Leonard wanting to spend less time traveling and more of it in real relationship with his local church. After experiencing the music business rush as front man in the acclaimed band Jackson Waters and then as touring keyboard player with NEEDTOBREATHE, David felt called to write songs for the spiritual community he and his wife belonged to in Franklin, Tennessee. At the same time, Leslie Jordan was part of the creative staff at Journey Church where they worshipped. Her passion for singing and writing was likewise rooted in being there to live out the story of faith with her husband and a close group of believers. Neither was expecting to find a path that would spread these efforts both near and far. But God is so good at making things beautiful.
If we're honest, it's a lot easier to talk about and fully embrace the seasons when God's goodness feels so real, those proverbial spiritual mountaintops where faith is effortless and life's little circumstances are easily explained. But when life is hard and heartache and confusion inevitably reign, what do we do with those moments, and how do we actually worship God in the midst of them? This uncomfortable tension is precisely what fuels the latest release from All Sons & Daughters, Season One
Born out of what's happening with their unique community of believers at The Journey Church in Franklin, Tenn., worship leaders David Leonard and Leslie Jordan have written songs they hope will give people permission to not only ask questions, but to express their pain in the midst of it. "I think that's one of the biggest problems in the modern church right now. We don't always give people permission to feel these things," David says. "When things are going wrong, we tell them 'It's okay, God's taking care of it.' But if you read the Psalms, David is never afraid to express exactly what he's feeling, so that gave us the freedom to be honest and transparent."
Friday's worship stage at Creation Northeast featured one of my favorite worship artists, All Sons & Daughters. Leslie said that "Reason To Sing" and the lyrics "When the pieces seem too shattered to gather off the floor; and all that seems to matter is that I can't feel you anymore…I need a reason to sing" was inspired by studying Psalm 13:5
: "But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation."
(You can read my review of the Creation NE festival including All Sons & Daughters' set here
After their amazing set, I had the great opportunity to interview David Leonard and Leslie Jordan in-person at Creation Northeast
about their worship anthem "Wake Up" from Season One.
Please tell me the message behind the song "Wake Up." Do you have any personal application regarding your walk as a Christian in the song?
Leslie: We had just come through this season of healing in our church and a couple of years where people were coming in feeling very broken and beat up and trying to figure out what church was really supposed to be like. We came through that season and we started to press on and dig in and started to write songs for our church community. "Wake Up" was one of the first songs we wrote for our second EP and it just came out of that place of us praying God, You've brought us healing and we acknowledge that past, but You call us to look to the future and look to You. This song is a call to our church and to the Church around the world to get up, not be still and stay in our wounds or sorrows anymore, but let's stand up in that faith in Christ that we proclaim and sing about.
Which Bible verses connect best with the message of the song?
"This is why it is said: "Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.""
... Mark 10:21:
"Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, 'One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.'"
… and Luke 22:42:
"Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."
How can listeners apply that message in their walks as Christians when they listen to the song?
David: Definitely the thought of absolute surrender is something that many Christians don't always think about a lot of the time, but our church was that church that was very much a broken place, and people had a lot of scars and a lot of pain. They needed to come there for healing and to be in the presence of God. The thought of surrender to God, "not our will but Yours be done, Lord" is based on how completely healing comes from God. Whatever has happened in the past, whatever we are going through now or in the future, we need to lay it at the feet of Jesus and we can only stand in His power. That absolute surrender to God has transformed us from a place of lament to a place where we are finding freedom to worship like we've never seen before and it is truly beautiful.
We have seen the pain that shaped our hearts
And in our shame
We're still breathing, 'cause
We have seen the hope of your healing
Rising from our souls is the feeling
We are drawing close
Your light is shining through
Your light is shining through
Wake up, wake up, wake up
Wake up all you sleepers
Stand up, stand up
Stand up all you dreamers
Hands up, hands up
Hands up all believers
Take up your cross, carry it on
All that You reveal
With light in us
Will come to life
And start breathing, 'cause
Here we stand our hearts are Yours, Lord
Not our will but Yours be done, Lord
All Sons & Daughters' incredibly worshipful set was my absolute favorite time of the entire Creation Northeast festival as I sat and worshipped along with these talented worship leaders at the feet of Jesus and offered Him all of my praise and surrender to His majesty. The festival was everything we hoped and prayed for, and the purpose of Creation was completely served which is to present the Gospel through music, teaching and any other creative means so that those attending will be drawn to salvation and discipleship in Christ. We came together by the thousands to "Give Tribute to Our Creator" and to allow His Spirit to birth many as "new Creations" in Jesus Christ who will love and serve Him (Colossians 1:15-18).
If you are looking for a fresh new worship song to sing at your church, I highly recommend "Wake Up." The message is contemplative and worshipful and includes Jesus' instructions to us in Mark 10:21: "take up the cross, and follow Me." As we look at the fallen world around us, we all need to lift our eyes up to God and put all of our faith and hope in Him. For the saved In Christ, one day "God will wipe away every tear, there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying." As believers, we all need to live for Heaven and not get depressed or angry about our fallen world. Pain and suffering point us to God and how much we need Him.
At Creation, the minute All Sons & Daughters started singing "Wake Up" I couldn't help but stand up in the worship tent and raise my hands in surrender to God. The powerful chorus is the cry of my heart:"Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up all you sleepers, Stand up, stand up, Stand up all you dreamers, Hands up, hands up, Hands up all believers, Take up your cross, carry it on…not our will but Yours be done, Lord." Amen!
(You can watch them perform the song here