i am continually grateful to those worship leaders who have and continue to pave the way for others and who inspire us to live faithfully into such a calling. i have decided to dedicate some of my blogs as a tribute to those whom i admire dearly and to those who have been mentors, through written interviews that i have done with each worship leader.
so, it is only appropriate that i begin my “up close” tribute with the one and only pst. darlene zschech from hillsong church in australia. on many levels, she has been my mentor. she has not only pioneered and paved the way for female worship leaders around the globe but the team she has led at hillsong church has gone on to equip churches worldwide with worship songs for over a decade….a mother, grandmother, wife, friend, pastor, songwriter, worship leader, mentor, advocate, justice fighter, are just a few of the reasons why i love her. what an inspiration she has been and continues to be.
“up close” with darlene zschech
GSB- What is the name of the ministry/ies that you work with?
DZ- I am an ambassador for Compassion, helping to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. Mark and I also started Hope Rwanda several years ago so we could do more to help the people of Rwanda who are rebuilding their lives after the genocide of 1994. I also had the great honour of writing and recording with some great worship leaders for the CompassionArt project.
GSB- When and how did you know that you were called to ministry?
DZ- At the tender age of fifteen, I committed my life to the Saviour of the world, Jesus Christ. Since that moment, His plan for my life has continued to unfold as I have learnt daily that Jesus is both my Lord, and also my best friend.
GSB- What is “worship” to you?
DZ- Simply this.. WORTH SHIP…
To give all glory and honour to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords…for He alone is worthy of all honour and praise.
It is inclusive, not exclusive, it is not for the gifted, but for every man, woman and child, every nation, tribe and tongue. It will come from the very poor to the very rich , and will cover every style imaginable.. but as long as it is brought in Spirit and in Truth… This is worship..
GSB- How long have you been a worship leader?
DZ- My passion for worship really started to develop from the moment that I got saved, at fifteen. Once I got saved and really met Jesus, my whole understanding of why music was even there, started to change, and I’ve been on that journey, discovering freedom and integrity in worship, for many years now. I didn’t want to be a worship leader. I love being in the background arranging, recording and producing. But one Sunday Pastor Brian Houston was leading worship and he just walked off and left me in the middle of the service. At the time I had no confidence when it came to leading worship. … One thing I do know, is that through worship, and through learning how to love my God with a whole heart, through that process, the walls of my heart have softened, and I just want to worship my God in spirit and in truth…
GSB- Who were/are your worship leader role models?
DZ- I LOVE Chris Tomlin.. and I believe he writes the best songs for the greater church.. so theologically rich, and so easy to sing. I LOVE Martin Smith.. the prophetic voice he brings to any song, I love Matt Maher.. aahh, I could listen to him teach on worship every day. And his songs are so so pure.. there is something in him that makes me want to be more like Jesus. And I love all of our own guys and gals… with my whole heart.
GSB- What genre of music influenced you most growing up? Today?
DZ- When I was a young Christian, it was Michael W, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Keith Green….then I became addicted to any female singer.. ( I LOVE Alicia Keys)… and now I love SO many different styles of music.. Coldplay, John Legend, Orchestral music, of course u2…. Natasha Bedingfield… Kari Jobe, The Passion guys…. I am just getting started…