Darlene Zschech: It's Still 'All About Love'
Thanks to global favorites like “Shout to the Lord,” “All Things Are Possible” and "Let the Peace of God Reign” and two decades of ministry, it’s practically impossible to think of Hillsong Church – and the praise songs bearing its name – without Darlene Zschech being part of the conversation.
But as much as Darlene, her husband Mark and their children have loved their Hillsong family for all these years, they’ve been sensing that God had a new journey in mind for them, which has included leading a new church in the beautiful central coast of Australia known as New South Wales.
“No doubt, Hillsong is part of us, and we are part of it, and it’s been so awesome. But when the Lord starts to speak, no matter how good it is where you are, you will be frustrated if you are positioned in the wrong place,” Darlene shares. “So after many conversations, a lot of prayer and some stubbornness on my part, we ended up leading this church... we’re still close to all our family, and to be honest, we have to keep pinching ourselves on how everything has happened.”
While a transition of this magnitude would be more than enough for most people to handle, however, Darlene also managed to write and record a new album in the midst of it.
“I know it sounds crazy, but it’s what I do, and one of the things I’m so passionate about,” Darlene shares. “So this [project] wasn’t so much hard work as it was something that gave me focus during this time.”
Art Imitating Life
While love has certainly been the stuff of great pop songs since the beginning of time, Darlene hoped to address the well-worn subject in a fresh way. Rather than focusing on the superficial “feeling” that can come and go with the changing winds of human emotion, Darlene chose to reflect on the love that never fades, the unchanging, pervasive love of God on her latest album, You Are Love.
“Since my last solo record, so much has gone on in our lives personally – some really great things, and some very difficult,” Darlene says. “The overwhelming factor in it all, though, has been the steadfast, faithful, all-encompassing love of Christ, hence the new album’s title and theme. Funny thing is, I did try to be way more clever and come up with something more creative, but I just kept coming back to the factor that trumps it all – that He IS love.”
From a musical perspective, Darlene was able to get some fresh perspective from collaborating with everyone from fellow artists Marty Sampson, Barry Southgate and Israel Houghton to her daughter, Zoe Jewel, who lent her voice on one track.
“I think co-writing with others will always bring out fresh perspective in you and challenge your 'sameness' as a writer,” Darlene shares. “Our dear friend Marty, who I trust so so much with what I am trying to communicate, is always on hand to protect me and challenge with me fresh sounds, and our team at the Grove Studios is just the very best. I guess because of relationship, I will always say, ‘What do you guys think?’ and I listen to what they have to say, and more often than not, will implement it. Israel has been an incredible friend to us as well, and has been so generous with his time and talent as we've written and recorded together. And Barry duets with me on ‘Face to Face' and he has been part of church family with us over many, many years, and has toured with me for about the same.”
Worshipping In Life’s Most Challenging Moments
On one of Darlene’s new songs, “Hope for Humanity,” she writes a song with the troubled hearts of the hurting in mind. In a world where tragedy and a sheer lack of hope exists on a regular basis, Darlene hoped to communicate a message that underscores our deep, deep need for a Savior.
“I think that if you will dare to trust God in your most vulnerable times, you’ll find yourself in a very deep and wonderful place in worship – when you are walking by faith through the valley with nothing but Him to hold unto,” she says. “As Mother Teresa once said, ‘You’ll never know Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you’ve got.’ In ‘Hope for Humanity,’ I end by saying, ‘the hope of the worship is Jesus,’ and this is the fact. No amount of money, health, security or anything can ever come close to the completeness of Hope we have in Christ. He, and He alone, is the hope we have as the anchor for our soul.”
For more information on Darlene’s new church, Hope Unlimited Church, please visit www.hopeuc.com.
Copyright 2011, watchgmctv.com. For permission to repost or reprint, click here.
About the Writer
After graduating with a B.S. in Journalism from North Central University in 1998, Christa Banister moved from Minneapolis to Nashville, Tenn. and eventually started working at CCM Magazine/Salem Publishing in various editorial capacities as an editor, columnist and website guru for five and a half years. After that, she launched her own Dallas-based freelance writing company and writes for numerous clients including Salem Publishing, Crosswalk.com (she reviews movies for them each week), Christian Single, Christianity Today, Threads Media, Songs4Worship.com, PassAlong.com and also helped kickstart the first Christian music blog for MTV. In addition, she also writes bios for professional recording artists and authors and penned her first two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers for NavPress.
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