Increase in us, we pray. Unveil why we're made.
Come set our hearts ablaze with hope,
Like wildfire in our very souls;
Holy Spirit, come invade us now.
We are your church; we need your pow'r in us.
That's the first stanza from the Build Your Kingdom Here song by Rend Collective Experiment, a worship music band from Bangor, Northern Ireland. One of our music worship leaders, Mark introduced the song in our worship this Sunday. The rest of the lyrics are a similar prayer and I encourage you to give the song a try. You can watch the group's official video on YouTube (embedded below). I've been wondering what multicultural worship really looks like and the Holy Spirit has been so attentive to my questions and brought me two great examples - Rend Collective (Western/European) shared today and Aradhna (East West fusion) which I will share soon - in just this week. Rend is handmade, homemade, organic, worship, and community music, passionate about Jesus and adoration of our living Triune God. An appealing worship combination isn't it? Rend also echoes the powerful cry of many souls in the West today, young and old. Join me in prayer today as you listen to the song. We're handmade with love by God.
Here's their story, in their own words, from their website:
Rend Collective Experiment is an eclectic collective of multi-instrumentalists from the North of Ireland. An inherent desire for something spiritually substantive in our increasingly artificial world is exactly what brought the movement of friends together. United by a common purpose, these twenty-somethings began exploring the intersection between God, life and community.
“The Rend Collective Experiment came together as a few friends started to pray and seek God. We wanted an authentic outworking of our faith and felt that we would just step out into the unknown and see what happened,” Gareth shares. “Before we knew it, people just started gathering around us and we had more than 100 people involved, musicians and artists, bank workers and teachers, and together we tried to figure out our faith.”
After many years in Ireland, the band felt the call to step out again into the unknown as the core 5 of the collective felt they were being called to reach more people. They have now grown into an international success with major tours with Chris Tomlin, MercyMe, Tenth Avenue North and Lecrae under their belts. Their heart is to bring not only a fresh approach to congregational worship, but also a heart and message through the spoken word. Their partnerships and tours with church leaders like Francis Chan, Louie Giglio and Shane Claiborne certainly shows this.
Concerning the band itself Gareth comments,”We are a collective of people like a family and not just a band. We want our music to be what we call Organic worship, an honest and natural connection with God, something which is authentic and not artificial. We want to create an environment for people to have genuine encounters with Him and to find themselves singing to Him in ways that they find real”
Another quote I really like is this one: “We’re all handmade people created by our God who is not safe or small,” Gareth shares. “Our heart was ultimately to make music that was sonically creative and pushed the boundaries, but we also wanted to write something that really served the Church. It’s not us trying to do something crazy and different for crazy and different’s sake, it’s our response to a truly magnificent God with a wild imagination.”