Hillsong is arguably the biggest Christian band ever. Their influence has spanned the globe, and their songs can be heard in churches all across the country each weekend.
Faithwire recently caught up with Hillsong Worship’s Ben Fielding, who has been with the band for 14 years now.
Earlier this month, Hillsong Worship released their newest album, “There is More.” It’s already topping the Christian charts, as expected.
The album boasts 17 songs, notably including, “So Will I (100 Billion X) and Seasons, both which were singles before the album was released.
Ben Fielding is a worship pastor for Hillsong and has written many notable songs including, ‘Mighty to Save’, ‘This I Believe’, ‘Stronger’, ‘God is Able’, and ‘Anchor.’
In 2009, his song, ‘Mighty To Save’ won the Dove Award for Worship Song of the Year from the Gospel Music Association (USA).
‘Mighty To Save’ also received an ASCAP, Christian Music award in 2009. In 2007, the song won worship leader’s magazine’s Song Of The Year.
Over the years Ben has also collaborated with multiple Grammy award-winning artists including Chrisitan artists Chris Tomlin, Jason Ingram and Matt Redman. Many of Bens songs have been covered by award-winning artists like Michael W Smith, Newsboys, Jeremy Camp, Laura Story, Israel Houghton and many more.
We talked with Ben this past week about the ‘There is More’ album and the in-depth meaning behind many of the songs.
FW: How many years have you been with the worship band?
BF: 14 years. It’s been an incredible journey.
FW: How have you guys grown as a band, after so many years out on the road?
BF: When you spend so much time together and experience so many incredible moments together, you become more like family. We’ve been fortunate enough to get a glimpse of God at work across so much of the world. I think we are more passionate and focused than ever in the opportunity we have. Worship is not a destination but an ongoing process of seeing more of who God is, believing He is who He says He is, and responding in worship.
FW: Congratulations on the newest album! What makes “There Is More” personally special to you?
BF: Growing up, long before I was ever involved, I would wait impatiently for new songs from Hillsong Worship. This is the 26th time my predecessors, heroes, friends and church have prayerfully put together a collection of songs that have shaped our worship and lifted our eyes. Worship always lifts our eyes. It is impossible to contemplate and venerate the goodness of God without hope stirring that there is more in this life and beyond. God is not finished writing His story in our lives, in creation, and in eternity. He is working all things together for good. God is for us, He is not against us. His love, mercy and loving kindness will follow us all the days of our lives.
On a personal note, this album is particularly special for me as a writer. This year saw my songwriting sensei Reuben Morgan living in Australia and we had the opportunity to write often. The result is some of the best and most meaningful work that the two of us have collaborated on. It’s also the first project with Brooke Ligertwood leading the charge. I am so proud of her and the way she has taken this forward, but perhaps more importantly, deeper.
FW: There are 17 new tracks on the album, take us through which you think should be the first for us to listen to?
BF: “Who You Say I Am” and “Be Still.”
TITLE: “WHO YOU SAY I AM”
There are a lot of things and people in this life who will try to tell you WHO YOU ARE…your identity deserves better. What matters most is not what your past; your postcode (zip); your gender; your racial or cultural background; or your marital or employment status says about who you are (read Galatians 3:23-29)…what matters is WHO GOD SAYS YOU ARE! You are loved. You are chosen. You are made in the image of God. God is for you and not against you. You are no longer a slave to sin (the power of sin was destroyed through the death and resurrection of Jesus). But, you are a CHILD OF GOD, a son or a daughter. While a slave might have no permanent place in a family, a son or daughter will belong forever (John 8:35-36).
I wrote this song with Reuben Morgan because I need this reminder (probably too) often…competition for our identity is insidious. So, when you need a reminder of WHO GOD SAYS YOU ARE, these scriptures are powerful:
You are chosen – 1 Thessalonians 1:4
You are called of God – 2 Timothy 1:9
You are being changed into His image – 2 Corinthians 3:18
You are a new creation – 2 Corinthians 5:7
You are the temple of the Holy Spirit – 1 Corinthians 6:19
You are forgiven of all your sins – Ephesians 1:7
You are redeemed from the curse of the law – Galatians 3:14
You are blessed – Galatians 3:9
You are the head and not the tail – Deuteronomy 28:13
You are above and not beneath – Deuteronomy 28:13
You are victorious – Revelation 12:11
You are set free – John 8:31
You are strong in the Lord – Ephesians 6:10
You are healed by His wounds – 1 Peter 2:24
You are free from condemnation – Romans 8:1
You are reconciled to God – 2 Corinthians 5:18
You are joint heirs with Christ – Romans 8:17
You are more than a conqueror – Romans 8:37
You are accepted in Him – Ephesians 1:6
You are complete in Him – Ephesians 2:5
You are dead to sin – Romans 6:2
You are alive with Christ – Ephesians 2:5
You have the mind of Christ – Philippians 2:5
You can do all things in Christ Jesus – Philippians 4:13
You are the light of the world – Matthew 5:14
You are the salt of the earth – Matthew 5:13
You always triumph in Christ – 2 Corinthians 2:14
You are beloved of God – Colossians 3:12
You are one with Christ – John 17:21
You are fearfully and wonderfully made – Psalm 139:14
John 8:34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
TITLE: “BE STILL”
This song is based on Psalm 23 that seems especially timely in an age where so many people wrestle with anxiety. Fear is a thief. It will seek to rob you of enjoyment and to steal from your future. Fear comes in many forms. For some it is debilitating, for everyone it is something we must face with God. Sometimes our souls need to be reminded that He is God. He offers peace from fear, rest from striving and grace upon grace. His peace transcends our understanding and His love and goodness will follow us all the days of our lives.
FW: What is your overall hope for people to take from this album?
BF: Ephesians 3:20 teaches us that no matter how great our thoughts, hopes or imagination, God is exceedingly and abundantly above and beyond. Our Pastor, Brian Houston has preached this message for years. It is literally a life changing way to think and approach God. Our album coincides with Pastor Brian’s book on the theme (which says it way better than I ever could). I also think of “There Is More” as a great way to approach our worship. We worship an eternal God. There is always something more to discover and to worship. The deeper we dig, the more we discover He is worthy of our worship…and there is always more.
FW: What is it like performing in concert? Where can you visibly see so many affected positively by your music? What kinds of stories do you typically hear from fans on that front?
BF: The end goal is that God would be worshipped. As a songwriter, hearing people sing and find meaning in something that has been personally meaningful, is really rewarding.
We meet so many incredible people. Those who are celebrating the goodness of God, and those who are clinging on to the goodness of God through really difficult circumstances. I met a mother a few nights ago who tragically had recently lost her son. I was encouraged by her courage and resolve. She brought her two daughters along and they collectively chose to seek and worship God. In talking with her daughters, I was so aware that our worship can have a profound impact on those around us.
FW: You guys just launched your tour in the United States – why do you think people should come to a concert?
BF: I always hope these nights engage the church in worship in a way that has a lasting impact on the city and churches represented. I think our team does an incredible job, but I know it is important to all of us that playing the songs live is much more than a performance. I believe when we worship, God inhabits our praise. That changes everything. We also do a gathering beforehand that hopefully provides some more in-depth discussion of local church worship.
FW: The team won their first ever Grammy recently! How did that experience impact the team?
BF: Honoured and encouraged. But, we’re so aware of the long list of people who made it possible. Our families, our church. It was the first Grammy recognizing the contribution of Hillsong. And so, we are grateful for great leaders, writers, and songs that have gone before…so many of which probably deserved the recognition. But more than that, I love that the song that was celebrated is unapologetically about the Name above all other names, the Name of Jesus, without which, none of it matters.
FW: What is coming next for Hillsong Worship?
BF: These next few months is all about helping people connect with the new songs. One of the things we are working on is translating the songs. To hear the stories of people hearing and singing worship in their own language makes this a high priority for us.
Want to see Ben Fielding and Hillsong Worship live? Check out their tour dates here!