Worship Central is a fast growing movement, launched by Tim Hughes and Al Gordon of Holy Trinity Brompton, London – the same church that pioneered the Alpha Course.
Worship Central's mission is to encounter God, equip the worshipper, and empower the local church. Through events, conferences and the all-new Worship Central course, the team have been training worship leaders across the UK and beyond for the past six years.
Worship Central Live
Luke Hellebronth, Tim Hughes, Nikki Fletcher
The launch of last year’s Spirit Break Out album was the team’s biggest success to date. The recording captured 14 songs played live at London’s HMV Forum in front of 2000 passionate worshippers.
To everyone’s astonishment, the album reached #9 in the iTunes UK chart on the first week of its release.
It was with a growing sense of momentum behind them that the Worship Central team toured nine cities this spring.
Starting in Southampton and ending in Paris, the team hit each city to encourage worship leaders, lead hundreds in worship and bring teaching from the Bible.
The evening in Southampton began with Tim Hughes explaining that despite the stage, lights and sound system the night was about worshipping God, not going to a concert.
The band launched into eight songs, the majority of which were taken from the Spirit Break Out album.
The quality of musicianship was outstanding. But more importantly, the band seemed genuinely sensitive to the needs of the congregation. Is it possible to play pulsating drums and loud guitars while retaining an atmosphere of worship? Worship Central proved it is.
From moments of exuberant praise (the chorus of “my chains fell off, my heart was free” in Holding Nothing Back) to quiet, reflective times of worship (Nikki Fletcher’s beautifully sung Wait For You), there was a sense of togetherness as people sang and danced along.
A short talk from Tim Hughes followed. Speaking on the importance of "pressing pause" on our busy lives, he said; “The more ways we have to connect, the more ways we need to learn to unplug.”
“We have more ways than ever to communicate, but less things than ever to say”
“When we allow God to break in, the first thing he does is reveal a sense of his love...So many of us exhaust ourselves trying to receive that value and affection from some place else, but it doesn’t work.”
“To be people who bring freedom, love, life and hope, we need to have tasted and received that love. So often we try and look at others and say, ‘if only I had that gifting, if only I could speak like that and live like that then I’ll make a difference’”.
“God has called us to serve, to follow and to operate out of a profound sense of being loved and being chosen.”
As Tim finished his talk, it would have been easy to invite the band back up, and drum up an atmosphere. But he didn’t. Inspired by his friend Mike Pivilachi’s catchphrase of “we don’t hype the Holy Spirit up, he comes down”, Tim invited the capacity crowd to sit in silence and let God speak.
A time of ministry followed as everyone was encouraged to pray for one another and let God’s Spirit move.
As people’s prayers drew to a close, the band started to play Spirit Break Out. It is a powerful song that many had come to love since its initial release in September last year.
Nikki Fletcher’s rhythmic gospel song River Flow was next. Although it was new to most, everyone soon picked up the simple tune and melody.
The night ended with “Ecclesiastes”, the final song off Tim Hughes’ studio album Love Shine Through.
As the evening drew to a close, you could tell people had been impacted through the songs.
It’s becoming increasingly easy to compare Worship Central to the Alpha Course. Both were launched from HTB, both have impacted thousands of lives and both have gone global. Worship Central recently released an album sung entirely in Mandarin. Their new course for church worship teams has only just been launched, but its already being taught in over 40 different nations.
18 million people did the Alpha Course last year. Worship Central may have a long way to go until it starts to reach those figures, but no one can doubt the momentum behind this extraordinary movement. This tour has fired up people from all kinds of church denominations and backgrounds to see the spirit of God break out in their communities. Who knows what’s next?
All photos (c) Igor Demba. Used with permission.
February 20th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Sam Hailes