Heidi Baker and Lou Engle

Heidi Baker and Lou Engle

by | Mar 11, 2015 | Events, PraiseProse, Worship

“The future is praying, missional, worshiping communities who will give fresh, creative expression to the heart of God for the world and the heart of the church for God. They will be small and intimate, but their impact will be deep and wide.” —Jeremy Riddle, The Reset

Four years ago my wife and I were commissioned by the Lord to raise up a network of house churches. I say “commissioned” because everything about it was supernatural, as He prophetically guided us through all of the numerous details. He even spoke to us in advance about the name. Unfortunately, I’m ashamed to say, I fought Him on that particular detail. 

I wrestled with Him because the name He selected was Newsong. Yep, NEWSONG. The very first time I heard it, I knew it had to be a mistake. I immediately discounted it, thankful that we only prophesy “in part.” The next time He spoke it, I had the audacity to Google it just to show the Lord how many churches and ministries were using that name. Besides that, I had already chosen a much better title. 

This wrestle went on for months, leaving our nameless startup in an identity crisis as I created logos for my chosen name and continued ignoring the Lord. 

At the same time, something unexpected began to happen; but I’ll have to back up a couple decades to explain it. 

In a previous season, I had the privilege of recording two worship albums which were released in 2005 and 2007, respectively. As a result, I experienced a meager amount of success. When I say “meager,” think of the type of meal a starving artist eats. It wasn’t the kind of success that even covers the costs related to producing the albums; in fact, it barely yielded any revenue at all. It was, nonetheless, a boon to my soul. Some of the songs began to catch on with churches here and there. Soon, I started getting checks from CCLI—the organization that monitors song usage in churches. While the dollar amount may have been small, the data revealed that folks were singing my worship songs in a lot of other churches across the nation and even around the world—a huge source of encouragement for me. Amazingly, to this day I still get a happy check twice a year with which I’m able to treat my wife to dinner and a movie.

But the disappointing part of the story is the fact that, after those recordings, I walked through a season of being a mostly dry well, artistically speaking. In fact, when we launched our first house church, it had been over a decade since I had written any type of worship song, at least the kind that sticks.

Enter Newsong!

From the beginning, we knew that genuine worship—what we call “ministering to Jesus”—had to be the hallmark of this ministry. But what was birthed from that priority was more than we could have imagined. Freedom. Joy. Spontaneity. Silence. Thundering praise in which 10 voices sound like a hundred angels. Prophetic song. And, of course … new songs.

In this set-free worship environment with no stage, no band, no set-list and no backup plan, new songs thrive! They’re the kind of songs that are like playing musical hot potato. Jesus drops a phrase and melody into someone’s heart, and they sing it back to Him until everyone in the room is on board. Unexpectedly, someone else then adds a lyric, usually in the same theme or in answer to the previous lyric, and all voices join in yet again. Oftentimes, half the room doesn’t know if they’re singing a refrain from a beloved anthem or something completely original, and they don’t care. We’re going where the Holy Spirit is leading as we lavish Jesus with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

In this new song atmosphere, two things have happened to me. First, my artistic well has been refilled. And second, my stubbornness about the name Newsong has completely melted away. I’ve finally gotten the meaning behind His message of Newsong—it’s how Heaven saw us all along. Our name reflects our call, and because of it, I’ve seen little children boldly sing out new songs. I’ve seen those with no prior worship leading experience, and even those who are tone deaf, lead us deep into His throne room. I’ve seen retired men pen their first-ever worship songs. More importantly, I’ve experienced His manifest presence in such powerful and life-marking ways that I will never be the same. I’ve been in ministry long enough to understand that some incredibly beautiful and genuine worship experiences happen in larger churches, even in mega churches. But as for me and my house, we can never go back. 

Those who have not experienced house church and the worship style which we have cultivated often ask, “What’s it like?” If that’s your question, I’m so glad you asked!

I’m thrilled to be able to invite you into our house church environment through a new worship album which is just days from being released. While I clearly didn’t invent this new expression of worship, I’ve coined a term to identify it: microworship. The new album is called Microworship Volume 1, and it features 7 original worship songs, virtually all of which were either birthed or completed in this new song atmosphere. Each track takes you on a journey similar to what I’ve described, and I’m fairly certain that the entire eighty minutes will be unlike anything you’ve heard before.

The album is also unique because it was recorded on 16 smartphones and engineered in a manner that reflects the simple, spontaneous, and imperfect reality that is house church worship. It’s a lo-fi production, but it’s hi-fi praise! 

Microworship Volume 1 will be released May 1, 2024, and will be available on iTunes, Spotify, and all other stores and streaming services. Lyric videos will also be available on YouTube. You can access chord charts, lyrics, credits, and liner notes, as well as links to all the streaming services here, just remember that the links won’t be active until May 1.

Meanwhile, I’d love to give you a taste of the music, so take a listen to one of the songs from the album on the player below. I’m eager to hear your response!