There comes a moment in our spiritual journey where we discover the gap between our limited view and God’s infinite vision. We learn that we think small, but God plans big. We settle for good, yet God longs for great. We look at our community, while God sees the world.
For worship leader Ken Reynolds, that moment occurred once he achieved his dream career, as the founder and director of the Christian R&B group, His Image.
“Our group had just signed a record deal,” Ken says. “I was starting to produce. God had granted me what I’d asked for, even though it wasn’t His will. I was doing Kingdom work, but I wasn’t where God wanted me. And when I finally yielded to Him, my eyes were opened.”
As Ken would soon discover, he didn’t have the wrong vision. It was just too small.
Ken’s musical journey began in his teens, where he embraced almost every genre imaginable. Perhaps few artists consider Michael W. Smith, George Duke, Wagner and Tchaikovsky equally influential.
“In high school,” Ken recalls, “I listened to Earth, Wind & Fire, Walter Hawkins, a lot of classical music and a lot of movie scores. And once I started writing songs, it just all came out.”
But Ken’s love of diversity wasn’t confined to music. While attending Madison Square Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Ken received a divine call to connect people through worship.
“During my time at that church,” Ken says, “God was molding me, sharing that this was my calling. It’s like He said, ‘What you see at Madison is where I want you to go.’”
What Ken saw was a diverse church that blurred the lines of racial and social groups. It was a multicultural congregation that reflected his musical mantra: No boundaries, no walls.
“I feel a call to bridge not only racial, but denominational barriers,” Ken says. “I realized that, through my background, God was preparing me all along.”
Recorded live at Resurrection Life Church in Grandville, Michigan, One World/One God is the soundtrack to Ken’s unique calling. It’s a culmination of both his musical and personal passions. It’s a celebration of diversity and also a proclamation of God’s desire for unity among His people.
For his Integrity Music follow-up to Great Things, it was important to Ken that the means, not just the music, reflected his spiritual vision. Ken formed a dynamic choir from the churches who had shaped his calling, symbolically linking both his past and his present passion. A group of many, coming together as one.
Ken notes, “I wanted to reach back to the influences that led me to where I am, and where I’m going.”
And once you hear the strains of a sitar on the opening track, you realize that Ken is going in a fresh, original direction of worship. One World/One God showcases styles from funk, to gospel, to straight-up worship, to Earth, Wind, & Fire horn-fueled soul. And let’s not forget “La Buena Vida (The Good Life),” a Latin-flavored rave-up featuring Dove-nominated artist Lucia Parker.
“When ‘La Buena Vida’ starts, people go crazy,” Ken says. “That’s a fun song. We even did a traditional Spanish dance during it.”
Ken slows the pace on the stirring and uplifting “Your Will,” a song that shares the profound experience of letting go, as we exchange our small dreams for God’s big vision.
“I wrote that song at a point when I was really crying out,” Ken shares. “Sometimes we can be doing the right thing, where things are going well. But you still wonder, ‘Am I missing it?’ And you decide, ‘If I’m not where I’m supposed to be, move me. I’ll yield to that. I’ll yield to your will. My desire is your desire.’”
And while the stage and songs showcased variety, the church was filled with worshippers who were as diverse as the music itself.
“I saw a man in his 30s who had his young son on his shoulder,” Ken remembers. “I saw a group from Africa dressed in their traditional wardrobe. I found out later they were from Ghana, West Africa. When I saw all those different people, I thought, ‘This is what it’s all about.’ All different backgrounds, cultures and races coming together for one purpose, to worship God.”
It’s fitting that Ken’s record—from the music, to the performers, to the worshippers—would represent his greatest passion: Unity through diversity.
“I want to see people unified,” Ken enthuses. “And as the doors open, I want to spread that message throughout the world.”
Ken is now seeing his musical platform expand beyond anything he’d envisioned, as his music is performed by groups as diverse as Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, Gospel artist Tye Tribbett’s home church and even international churches.
“A group from South Korea visited our church,” he says. “And they knew my songs in Korean! You realize that God’s plans are way beyond ours. Not just for us, but for everything. We’re just one little part of what He’s doing.”
But while Ken’s ministry expands into touring, producing, mentoring, and hosting a weekly radio show, he continues to stay grounded as the worship pastor at Resurrection Life Church. Together with his wife, Andrea, and their children Kenton and Alyssa, Ken continues to pour his life out for his Lord, while keeping a loose grip on the future.
“I want to do whatever I can to build up God’s Kingdom,” Ken shares. “I just accepted the call, and this project is a culmination of God preparing me all these years. I’m just along for the ride.”
The Essence| Posted September 09, 2009
I believe that now a days, the body of Christ have gradually drifted from the true essence and pillars...Worship.
This artist and his album seeks to communicate God desire for His people to return to that true and perfound pillar..Worship of the ONe True King!