The Heart of Bethel Music Kids’ Come Alive CD/DVD, a Q&A with Brian & Jenn Johnson; Come Alive releases Dec. 11

THE HEART OF COME ALIVE

Q&A WITH BRIAN & JENN JOHNSON

Brian & Jenn Johnson

Bethel Music recently announced the first and highly anticipated Bethel Music Kids worship album and DVD, Come Alive. This project is aimed at cultivating in the next generation the greatness they possess as children of God, the inseparable connection they have to Jesus, and the truth that they are powerful vessels of worship and contributors in the kingdom.

 

Hear the heart of this project in this Q&A with Bethel Music worship leaders/songwriters Brian and Jenn Johnson:

 

What’s your vision for this album and what do you hope it brings to the families who hear it?

 

Jenn: Something that’s really celebrated, especially with this album is fun, and I think that we can never lose sight of the fact that there’s a fun element to worship. Yes there’s a reverence and there’s an awe, but – we have this saying that God is as happy as He is holy, and I think that that’s what we want to champion our kids in – that God is so fun and He is so wonderful. Just seeing that in the kids, seeing the fun and the raw and the real, that they’re not going to be into any fluff – I think it’s just incredible to watch that unfold.

Have you guys seen any impact on the lives of your kids, or you as parents as a result of worship?

 

Brian: What’s amazing about the grace of God is that you pray for your kids, and you do your best as a parent and then, you get to see them respond.

 

Like the other night, my son woke me up and is just freaking out because he had this nightmare and he says, “Dad can you put some worship music on?” So he’s learned that when the worship music is on, it’s peaceful, and I’ve taught him and talked to him about how when we worship, when we praise God, He inhabits our praise – He comes. He knows that now and he’s asking for it. That’s when you start realizing they’re having their own experience with God and I think that’s what’s fulfilling as a parent.

Bethel Music Kids vocalist

 

What is something that excites you about the next generation of worshipers?

 

Brian: I feel like each generation grabs something more– they take from the previous generation of worship leaders and stack on it. I’m also seeing a power in worship that has been really unique to this generation– encounters, healing and deliverance. When kids get a hold of that power in worship, there’s just going to be more of the kingdom coming to earth.

 

The church historically has been growing in creativity and worship. I think this generation craves something that’s real and that ministers to them on a personal level, regardless of what’s been popular before. They are grabbing onto something that won’t compete, but will allow the church to use that inspiration from God to put out creativity that the world is looking for. The wineskin is being structured now, so that the next generation can hold even more.

 

Jenn: I’ve been thinking about the next generation of worshipers, because we have young kids— ages 8, 10 and 13. We are really passionate about not just catering to adults in worship, but to championing our kids and kids in our community in worship. Modeling for them what a posture of worship looks like and encouraging them to step into those moments. It’s really beautiful to see this forward motion to what worship is turning into.

 

 

What are some things you’ve experienced as you are teaching your kids to worship and hear His voice?

 

Jenn: There are few things on the planet that make me happier than watching our kids hear or feel something from God. Being able to lead them to hear God’s voice is everything.

 

Brian: You can’t control or force your kids to know God, even though every parent at some point probably tries that. The perfect parent would know the right balance between keeping them guarded from drama in life, but also exposing them to some of it so they can see God’s hand in your life and the world around them. You want them to see complete void without God and then see the light, when God comes through. Let them watch you worship through the pain and see what it looks like to co-labor with Him.

 

What’s something that’s happened with you and your kids as they are learning to be in His presence?

 

Brian: In my own life, I grew up seeing worship leaders and I learned from them by watching, not just by listening to them. What’s exciting about Bethel Music Kids is that kids will get to watch other kids worship God. Worship is a real expression of your heart to God. In a lot of churches and culture, worship can feel like it’s just for the adults. There can be a disconnect for the kids and we’re trying to bring them in to worship and encourage them to be caught up in worship, in His presence. What happens is that when our children are in the atmosphere of worship, even if it’s not a heart connection yet, they will encounter Him— they will grow into a heart of worship.

bethel kids

Learn more about Come Alive, the first Bethel Music Kids album/DVD, releasing 12.11.15 at http://www.bethelmusickids.com.

 

About Brian and Jenn Johnson:

Brian and Jenn are worship leaders and songwriters with Bethel Music. They are committed to raising up worshippers who will take hold of their true identity and pursue intimacy with God above all else. Brian and Jenn continue to minister in the US and internationally and reside in Redding, CA with their three wonderful children.

 

Bethel Music Kids-Come Alive-Cover Art

Bethel Music Kids “Come Alive”

Bethel Music Kids “Come Alive”

by Sarah Geil

Bethel Music Kids-Come Alive-Cover Art

As Bethel Music introduces their new brand for kids with the debut album, Come Alive, they invite the next generation to experience worship and live in wonder of God. With reimagined songs meant to get kids dancing and praising in every hour of the day, the high-energy worship is ready to kindle fire in a whole new audience.

 

While the idea of a Bethel brand directed for kids has been simmering for several years, it truly emerged on the foundation of worship already present in the community. Kiley Goodpasture, Creative Director, explained that the children are being raised in an environment where they understand God’s presence and they understand how to celebrate with each other in a pure and profound way. When Bethel began to consider making this dream a reality, they did not have to manufacture something; they simply captured what was already happening in the worlds of these kids. With stories, props, lighting, colors, and all the lively surprises woven through the songs, Bethel celebrates the idea that when something is authentic, it is naturally moving.

 

The performers themselves – singers and dancers – made the project a success. Bethel Music is a branch of Bethel Church, and all of the kids that participated were friends from the local church. Bethel hosted two different audition days for the dancers and ended up with thirty-three kids whose friendships grew through the worship and recording of this project.

 

Their comradery remains one of Album’s and Artist Director Eric Allen’s favorite moments of production:  “Observing a culture of honor, of brave communication, of respect and love, and seeing the kids champion each other was an amazing display of friendship – that was the highlight.”

 

The glimpses of friendship are best captured in the first video shot. An opportunity to film in the Redwoods weeks ahead of schedule surprised the team. With a flurry of logistics, suddenly, they were filming in one of the world’s greatest stages. For the first time, the dream came to life. As the kids waved flags, the team realized they had reached the point where the vision for kid’s worship had morphed into something beyond them. Seeing the children connect and break into other songs between takes, Goodpasture realized they were overflowing with passion.

 

The friendship and the message were contagious. On another day of filming, Bethel had hired a drone operator, and after his allotted time had come to an end, they noticed he still hovered around the shoot, watching. When Bethel asked him why, explaining that they were not able to pay him overtime, he responded with a request to continue watching because he was so impacted by the kids. He stayed for two consecutive days. That weekend, he visited Bethel church, encountered God, and gave his life to the Lord.

 

This story captures the essence of the project. The hope behind the song and dance is that the family’s idea of worship will be expanded. Bethel hopes to connect to the heart of a normal kid while bringing stories with vitality and vibrancy to the home. Therefore, the video progresses through a day in the life of a kid.

 

Songs were selected with messages that would feel authentic in a child’s voice and serve as an anthem for any hour in a child’s day. After applying research and instinct, classic Bethel songs were given a dancy, electropop feel with lyrics simple enough for a child to understand but profound enough to minister to the heart.

 

Fred Vassallo, who moved from New York with his wife several years ago, teaches dance and hip-hop classes at Bethel Christian School. With his choreographed hip-hop already in place in the lives of Bethel kids, the translation to music videos created a pathway to even greater opportunities. Bethel plans to launch dance tutorials on their website. Along with dance videos, Bethel also plans to release videos of the original worship leaders connecting with the children who sing their songs on Come Alive. Celebrating the connection, they are making a deposit into the next generation and sharing it with the world.

 

This is not a simple album release; it is the launch of brand that is steeped in hopes and dreams. Plans are already in place for future work, including the possibility that the next album could include original songs. For Bethel Music, this project was the first of its kind – an experiment that involved faith, risk, and, of course, fun.

 

These characteristics of risk and fun were experienced in the filming of the ‘Ever Be’ video featured on Come Alive. The kids were sent off on homemade rafts and canoes, and once they were out on the water, the production team lost much of their ability to direct them. Only one or two of the kids knew how to actually paddle. The moment was captured successfully, and the laughter of those still on the shore personified this memory-in-the-making. The kids eventually returned to the dock,and the video ends with a family campfire scene. A project of this magnitude requires hope, trust, and a little bit of paddling unaware into the distance. But when a group of kids and their leaders step out in faith, laughter, zeal, and beauty overflow.

 

This project is more than just a way for families to connect over something pure, more than a series of professionally choreographed dances, and it is even more than friendships growing stronger. In the creative depiction of children praising their Father; it is a glimpse of eternity.

 

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