I love the song “Only King Forever”. When I got a copy of the latest Elevation Worship album and I heard this song I knew it would become an opener for us at Cross Point. A few weeks later we introduced the song and our church has embraced it big time. What I love about the guys at Elevation is that they are not just making worship records, they are worship leaders…and worshippers who are creating songs for their church and those songs just happen to help and resonate with a lot of other churches…like ours.
I got a chance to ask some questions of Mack & Chris and I wanted to share them with you!
1. Tell us about the theme of this record. Why did you go with this theme and what does it mean to you and your church?
The theme of our new record is essentially declaring who our God is as the King, and then who we are as children of the King. We always think it’s good to first and foremost come to God with adoration and praise – focusing on His greatness, His glory. That’s so key to preparing our hearts for Him. But we also want to acknowledge His greatness in our lives. He’s this all powerful, mighty God, and yet He chooses to call us His own. He’s adopted us into the family.
2. You guys have made several records how does this one compare to you guys?
We think this record really found us in our stride as songwriters. We fought harder on these songs than we had in the past. We think it’s our best collection of lyrics – both in the sense that we fought harder to complete these songs, wrestling with line after line – and in the fact that these songs still resonate specifically to seasons in our church over the past year. Songs written through the series we were in, specific sermons or teachings, and through personal battles.
We also had more fun with producing and playing this record. We just tried a bunch of ideas – wanting to use elements we hadn’t used in the past – and came up with something that really captures our church’s sound.
3. What is your process for creating an album?
We are in a constant state of introducing songs to our church… we’re writing continually throughout the year, and get new songs in our rotation quick. From there, we try to gauge what songs are connecting best with our church, and which ones we want to have on our record.
Usually from there we start really mapping out how the album will flow – through weeks of pre-production, figuring out the best translation for a song, the best flow for a worship experience, and all the ins and outs that make a song and album special. Then we just gather our church together and worship all out. It’s always so powerful to be with our people in that moment, worshiping and singing all together.
4. How often are you guys writing songs?
We are constantly writing. We actually started writing new songs for our church a few days following the live recording of “Only King Forever.” We wanted to catch the momentum of the moment we were in, and not relax and pat ourselves on the back for too long. I’d say we try to at least work together on new music once a week.
5. What is your process for vetting songs in your church?
We take everything in final form to Pastor Steven before introducing it to the church, primarily to make sure the lyrical content is scripturally sound and in line with what we’re wanting to say as a church. We honestly write a lot with Pastor Steven right now though, so he’s pretty involved in the process along the way.
6. Do you have a favorite song on this album?
It’s hard to choose a favorite child. Haha. Maybe easier to say we have favorite things about our children 🙂 We’d would say Grace So Glorious has been one of the most powerful songs we’ve written. The first time we played it for our staff 2 days after writing it in a staff meeting with just a piano and vocal to accompany, it soared. That song took over a year to write, but the labor was worth it for us.
7. What is the plan for the future of Elevation worship?
We still feel like babies. I guess technically we’re more like 2nd graders. Haha. We feel like we’ve got so much growing to do as songwriters. But we want to keep pushing ourselves creatively with our sound and lyrics, while maintaining accessibility for that first time listener. So we’re constantly working on that – both the writing and production of the songs. We’re also wanting to release our songs more regularly throughout the year, as opposed to the one-album-a-year track we’ve been on. We don’t our church to have to wait so long to have a recording of a song in their hands that we’ve been singing on the weekends. Our first step towards that is actually releasing an EP with 2 new songs next month. More details on that soon 🙂
8. What inspires you guys in your creative process?
The biggest inspiration we have in our songwriting is the story of what God is doing in our church. The life-changing stories that we hear about every week, the people we meet, the miracles that we see God show up and create time after time. God is alive in our church and we just want to celebrate and thank Him constantly for that. That comes out a lot in our writing. Celebrating what God has done, and yet continually looking forward, believing He’s going to do even greater things than this…
9. How do you know a song is connecting with your church?
Now that we’ve been writing for our church for several years, I think we’re finally starting to have a pretty good gauge on whether a song will connect or not before we lead it for the first time. And as we mentioned earlier, we’re learning to be more uncompromising about whether a song is in great shape before we lead it on the weekend. That doesn’t take away the butterflies every time we introduce a new one though. Like the butterflies I currently have because we’re introducing a new one this coming weekend at Elevation.