One of today's most influential worship leaders, songwriters and artists, Paul Baloche is set to present his first Christmas project, appropriately titled Christmas Worship, Oct. 29 from Integrity Music. The goal of this three-time Dove Award-winning artist and local worship pastor was to create a Christmas album that would minister to and resource the church. Featuring new songs of celebration along with unique arrangements of much-loved traditional Christmas carols seamlessly blended with modern worship choruses, the result is an album packed with accessible Christmas songs that help create a worship environment familiar to congregants and first time visitors alike.
Drawing from his own personal experience as a local pastor working to help his congregation worship during what may be the busiest time of the year, Baloche says, "We all love the content of Christmas carols, but often they don't facilitate a vertical expression of worship towards the Lord. So the idea of this album was to take classic Christmas carols that we all enjoy singing and combine them with modern worship choruses to encourage worship all throughout the Christmas season."
Produced by Baloche, Michael Rossback and Ben Gowell, Christmas Worship features special guest vocals by Aaron Shust on "Follow That Star," All Sons & Daughters on "King of Heaven," Kathryn Scott on "This Is Love," Onaje Jefferson on "Offering" and Jennifer Holm on "Prepare Him Room." The album also features additional vocals by Rita Baloche, who further wrote "Prepare Him Room" and "Follow That Star" for the album.
In addition to his wife, Paul was joined in the songwriting process for Christmas Worship by such acclaimed writers as Jason Ingram, Lincoln Brewster, Graham Kendrick, Glenn Packiam and Kathryn Scott. These "contemporary" songwriters crafted new choruses to seamlessly blend with the great classic Christmas hymnody from writers such as Charles Wesley, Isaac Watts, George Frederick Handel and John Francis Wade.
Taking the new music on the road, Baloche's touring/workshop/teaching schedule takes him around the world. In the coming months, he will hold Nights of Worship in Calgary, AB, Canada (10/18-19), St. Louis, MO (11/1-2), Seattle, WA (tba), Jacksonville, FL (12/14-15) and New York City (tba).
Best known for such modern classics as "Open the Eyes of My Heart," "Above All," "Hosanna," and "Your Name," Baloche's songs have been recorded by numerous artists, including Michael W. Smith, Casting Crowns, Matt Redman and Philips, Craig & Dean. His songs are also sung by millions of worshippers around the world, with 21 of them included in the CCLI Top 500 list, indicating the songs most often used in North American churches.
In addition to writing, recording, touring and his role as worship pastor at Community Fellowship in Lindale, TX, Baloche has created a variety of teaching DVDs, along with many free resources designed specifically for worship leaders and musicians. He has also written the books, The Same Love: A Devotion (David C Cook) and God Songs –How to Write and Select Songs for Worship. He is a further a contributing writer for both Worship Leader and Worship Musician magazines and is a featured blogger on ChurchLeaders.com.