Brian Doerksen

Here’s a great interview with Vineyard Songwriter & Worship Leader Brian Doerksen

I hear worship writers saying, “I’ve got to write some songs for my new record.” I scratch my head. Write songs for a record? Why don’t you write songs that express your life? Why don’t you write songs to serve your local church? And then when the fruit is mature, when you’ve got a bunch of songs that have obviously been connecting with people, then put out a record. Why don’t you do it that way? Writing is a servant act for those that you’re in relationship with…


The Slow Death Of Congregational Singing

Here’s a few quotes from an article called “The Slow Death of Congregational Singing“. It’s one of the best and thought provoking things I’ve read for a long time.

“if you blocked out the ‘worship team’, all that was left around the building was a barely audible murmur. I opened my eyes and looked around. Most folk were either standing silently, not even making a pretence of singing, or were little engaged in the activity. I turned to a friend next to me and commented, “No-one’s singing”. He looked at me as if I’d just observed that no-one was flying. Of course they’re not singing; we haven’t really sung here for years…

…I travel around a great deal. In fact, I’m in a different church on most Sundays, and it’s true of virtually everywhere I go. I can’t remember ever coming home to my wife after church on a Sunday and saying, “Now, honey, that church really knows how to sing”…

…the singers/choir are the congregation’s other preachers. People hear the word of God from the mouths of the pastors and the Bible expositors, but they also hear a sermon during the time of singing…Every song is a sermon, and it is critical that the God and the gospel that is proclaimed from the pulpit is the same God and the same gospel preached from the music team.

For some reason the link is a bit temperamental (the internets have got to travel all the way from Australia!) but persevere – it’s well worth it.

Free Music

Don’t be so intense!

Brenton Brown interviewed at

how do you mentally prepare for leading worship?

Every song we sing is a prayer to the Lord. So from the very first song we’re praying. Sometimes it just feels strange to me to pray about praying about praying about praying etc… I’d rather just drink my Diet Coke and start! If worship is a time of prayer then I can begin praying no matter what state of mind I start in. Hopefully as our eyes and hearts turn to the Lord He begins to transform us.”

On the need to have other musical outlets…

“I think as a musician it’s unfair to expect that congregational worship music is going to meet every musical need you have. I think many of our churches are filled with musicians hoping to live out all of their musical dreams in the Sunday morning worship service. This can make life hard for them, and it can also make life hard for their congregations!!”

I’m sure we’ll be doing it at Grace Church some time soon.

(Update Oct 09 – We’ve been doing it for a while and it’s an excellent song)

5 things you didn’t know about Brenton Brown

(…or at least I didn’t know until I read this interview)

Grandson of an Irish missionary
Rhodes scholar
He and his wife suffer from M.E.
Recorded “Come, Now Is The Time” as a 2nd year Uni student
Used to lead worship with a drum machine called ‘Dave’

The Interview is from Joy Magazine and as it seems to have fallen down the back of the Internet, I’ve pasted most of it below

So where are you from in South Africa. Where were you born, what school did you go to? What church? Any stories about God’s intervention in your life growing up?

Well. I’m a Cape Town boy, although I was born in Port Elizabeth. We moved to CT when I was 5. Our family had always been church goers. My grandfather, James Mullan, left Ireland for Africa as a missionary in the 1920’s working his way down from the Congo. And by the time I was born he was looking after the Assemblies of God churches in South Africa. To be honest I wasn’t a big fan of Christians. And by the time I was playing in bands in Cape Town, worship music was probably the most uncool thing to listen to next to Country music! But God really touched me in my student days. I was struck by His mercy and His justice, and once I’d seen Him for who He was there was no looking back.

When did you get saved and how did that happen?

I guess i closed the deal at age 18. Debz, my sister, was going along to some bible studies at UCT. Mainly I think because there was a guy she was interested in who was also going. She was only 16 though and couldn’t drive, so reluctantly I agreed to take her. Since I was driving we’d arrive late and leave early. I’d be the guy at the back finishing the speaker’s sentences for him. A real smart-aleck. But one night the guy teaching started explaining the verse, ‘the fool says in his heart there is no God’. He explained that God speaks to us his through the light of His creation, through the voice of our conscience, through the truth of his scriptures and through the life of Jesus. I guess at that point God was speaking to me. It was like my growing up around Godly people and God’s word had laid all this amazing circuitry in my soul, and at that moment all the lights went on. I was amped! In fact I remember preaching to Debz in the car all the way home, and then both of us waking up our parents when we got there and preaching to them.

How did you get involved with Survivor? (the whole story, from the Vineyard days)

Well, if you want the long answer here goes… SACS, the school I went to in Cape Town offered a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford. I was lucky enough to win it and after UCT went off to study politics and philosophy in Oxford. After arriving I looked for a church that felt comfortable and after a few false starts settled on the Oxford Vineyard. I was completely unaware of the greater Vineyard movement and it’s significance for contemporary worship. All I knew was that the church owned it’s own sound desk and guitar stands. And I figured if they were willing to invest in worship practically like that they couldn’t have been all bad! The Vineyard movement in the UK was only ten years old at the time. And John Mumford, the leader of the movement, had asked a guy called Brian Doerksen (writer of Purify my heart and Come now is the time) to come and look after worship in the UK and maybe produce some worship albums.

Shortly after arriving for my second year at Oxford Brian asked for writers to submit worship songs for an album. I sent in a couple and a week later Brian was on the phone asking if I’d consider leading on the recording. I was pretty reticent. I’ve never been totally comfortable with the idea of being a well-known, exotic Christian. But after thinking about it it felt that perhaps the Lord was leading me this way and I should go. The album, Come Now is the Time or Winds 12, far exceeded any of our expectations. In fact the whole event was pretty surreal.

The Oxford Vineyard had about 80 regular attendees at the time and I led worship each week with Bob, our bass player and a drum machine I dubbed Dave – not a lot of feel but always on time. Coming back from the night of the recording where there were thousands of people and an 8 piece band of professional musicians to our Sunday morning worship was a strange experience. At times I wondered if it had actually happened. Anyway, the bass player for the project was a guy called Les Moir, who also happened to be heading up a young worship label called Survivor.

Any stories about your time in the UK so far?

Well you should probably know that in the last 3 years two pretty significant things have happened to me. Three years ago I fell in love with a girl called Jude and married her! Jude is South African and I first met her when she came to a small group I was leading in Lakeside, Cape Town. She was just a school girl then and I was in uni so all bets were off. But we got on pretty well.

Ten years later, Jude had done extremely well working with a Venture Capital firm in London and although I was still living in Oxford I found myself running out of good reasons not to call her! At the same time, three years ago, both of us fell ill with a condition called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The illness has radically changed our lives. Jude is unable to work in finance and I was unable to pastor.

After spending a year and half with the illness in London we decided to take a radical step and move to California where the sunshine and slower pace of life is really helping us live a little more normally than we were in England.

What do you feel is your purpose in life? Is it to “lead worship”?

To be honest I’m pretty wary of talk about ‘calling’ and ‘purpose’. The only calling I see in scripture is being called to God through Jesus. When I first discovered God in my part of the evangelical world it was almost as if you were a second rate Christian if you didn’t know what your ‘calling’ was – what your big mission in life was. Perhaps it comes from the four spiritual laws… God loves you and has a plan for your life?! This is going to sound brutal, but now that I’m a little older talk of calling smacks a little bit of idolatry to me. I love Augustine’s comment: love God and do what you want. That seems to fit far closer to orthodoxy and the God of scripture.

For me the best metaphor about purpose and life-work is found in Jesus’ parable about the the servants who are given money to invest while their master is away. The master doesn’t tell them what to do with what he’s given them. He simply asks them to do something! Just do something with what you have been given. Something that will accrue to God and please Him when He returns.

What makes worship “real”? How can you discern when you hear a worship song?

I guess my understanding of worship is that it is primarily a response. Worship is a response to an accurate revelation of who God is. When we see Him we discover that He is so good that we can’t help bowing down in worship. Any song that gives us a view, however small or limited, of our God and allows us to respond to that truth in a congregational way is a song I’ll want to use in worship.

Fun Student Zone

This is so wrong #1

As much as I love multicultural musical cross-pollination, sometimes it’s just WRONG


Awards, court cases & church planting

Passion founder Louis Giglio has long emphasised the primacy of the local church over parachurch ministry. Now he’s putting his money where is mouth is by moving to Atlanta to plant a Church. How will he cope with the shift from stadium worship to local church music team? Pretty easily I guess – he’s taking Matt Redman AND Chris Tomlin with him! In his spare time Louis will continue to run his record label sixstepsrecords.

Brenton Brown is making history. ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) recently honoured him for the song “Everlasting God” at an award ceremony in London.”Everlasting God” was recognized for being one of the top 20 songs played on American radio in 2007 making this the first time a Christian song has ever received this honour.

As you may have read Joe Satriani is suing Coldplay for plagiarism. Did they borrow (accidentally or not) the melody and chord progression from ‘If I Could Fly’ for Viva La Vida? Watch this from 0:50 and then you decide. (There was a much better comparison video posted but EMI have taken it down).

Free Music Top 10

Best CDs of 08 (with beef and cheese)

As it’s so near to December 31st, I can confidently say I’ve found my favourite album of 2008. It’s (drum roll please)…Resurrection Letters Vol. II by Andrew Peterson. His lyrics are both constantly fresh and unexpected and yet once you hear them so ‘right’ that they seem inevitable. As soon as I got the album I listened to it 5 times in a row. You can download a podcast where he previews every song and talks about the inspiration behind them. Then order the CD from the Rabbit Room.When he’s not writing powerful and poetic songs about the effect of the resurrection, he manages to find the time to write powerful and poetic songs about cheese. Or maybe it’s not cheese…

His friend and producer Andy Gullahorn, at same concert sings a song that is definitely NOT about Roast Beef. Though it takes Andy longer to introduce the song than sing it, it’s 10 minutes of your time you definitely won’t regret spending.

Top CD no 2 is The Universe Is Flat by Chris Spring. This remarkable album is available for free download.


So why are you still reading this?

If you want more music Christianity Today has an article on their Top 12 Cds of the year, and you can listen to clips from every one. None have blown my away so far, but I thought the KAZOO SOLO on ‘City Bus Love Song’ by Newworldson was rather daring!

Behind The Song Songwriting

Who Needs Peace & Quiet?

Brian Doerksen on the humorous story behind writing Your Love Is Amazing with Brenton Brown and why it’s ruined his chances of ever getting some quiet writing time.



Hi. Welcome to my blog – ‘Young glory’!

(If you’re wondering what the name means, here’s your answer).

It’s a place for me to post the best stuff from the Wide Wide World of the Interweb on the topics of Worship leading & songwriting (with a little theology and general music stuff thrown in for good measure).

If it’s cool and free I’ll try to let you know about it.

At some point I’m hoping to post some of my own demos and stuff here aswell.

Here’s some links to get you started.

I’d really recommend you subscribe to this blog using RSS. It’s free and will deliver new posts to your computer. Even better use a feedreader like Google reader. If you’re not sure how to go about that read this page.

Here’s some of the best posts so far

If you want to just get started and nosey around for yourself, just go to the front page.

Please feel free to comment – even if it’s just to say Hi!

Matt Blick


About the name…

“Grace is young glory”

Inspired by a quote from puritan writer Alexander Peden, my blog’s name Young Glory is a reminder that the saving grace we recieve through Christ will ultimately result in the glory of an eternity with God.

As another puritan Thomas Watson writes,

“The kingdom of grace is nothing but the beginning of the kingdom of glory.

The kingdom of grace is glory in the seed,
and the kingdom of glory is grace in the flower.
The kingdom of grace is glory in the daybreak,
and the kingdom of glory is grace in the full meridian…

The kingdom of grace leads to the kingdom of glory.”

The name reflects my great joy and confidence in the sovereignty of God in salvation

“Those whom he justified he also glorified” (Romans 8:30)