A Dialogue by Israel Houghton

January 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Interviews

So how would you answer the sentence “Worship is…..” ?

Most people think worship is music, but it’s more than that. It’s a conversation among friends, a dialogue.

Psalm 107 says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,” and worship is the grateful response of the redeemed.

And it’s not just singing or saying the right words; it means there’s something in your life, your posture, and your actions that seeks to honor God. I think worship is a life lived before God.

It’s much more than music and singing. There are a lot of people who can’t sing at all, but they live a lifestyle of worship!

Before recording your new CD, A Deeper Level, you and your team fasted for 40 days. Tell us about that.

I think for people who serve in ministry, it’s easy to find your groove and just do it; it’s quite another thing entirely to maintain the excitement you had when you first stepped into ministry, when a mic was first put into your hand. That excitement goes away pretty quick—the privilege becomes obligation, and that’s always dangerous.

We realized we couldn’t ask the body of Christ to go to a “deeper level” if we hadn’t first gone there ourselves, and to go there meant the fast and it meant removing ourselves from distractions and noise and rediscovering delight in the Lord and amazement with God.

And the process also resulted in a new book.

Yes, we decided to document the journey. Everyone who participated was assigned one day to prepare a devotion for everyone else on the team. We prayed together via conference call each morning, and the devotional thoughts and the book were a natural outgrowth of the connections we built as a team.

It was a life-changing 40 days for us, and we wanted to actively share that experience with other people.

Can you share one thing you’re learning?

The closer you get to God’s heart, the more you you realize that delighting yourself in Him means having a heart for the widows and orphans. Because his heart isn’t beating for me to have a new car, it’s beating for them.

That is overwhelmingly obvious to me. I know that’s the desire of God, and the more I say yes to it, the more he opens opportunities for me to go into some really rough areas and become his hands and feet.

You’ve been called a “forerunner of cross-cultural worship.” How do you feel about that?

That has been at the crux of what we have been doing as New Breed for the last several years. We appreciate what others have done in other areas of the industry, and we want to be a bridge so that people of all colors and generations can be part of a worship experience that crosses those boundaries.

It’s really just an outflow of who I am; I grew up as the only black kid in a white family in a Hispanic community, so I come by it honestly!