The Walk: Devotionals for Worshippers
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The Walk: Devotionals for Worshippers

Worship Leader

Worship Leader’s devotional podcast platforms guests that are passionate believers with a great story and an even better message for our large audience of worshippers. Our guests are creatives who walk with God daily and bring a great word to the Body of Christ. They include worship leaders, pastors, educators, speakers, and artists. Listeners will travel along each week and hear an intimate first-person story and learn how, through that story, our guests have built a lifestyle of worship.

Full Episode List:

The Walk is a production of Authentic Media's Worship Leader Magazine. Emmy Award-winning producer and editor Matt McCartie teamed up with host and Authentic Media partner Joshua Swanson to bring this podcast to life.

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A Conversation with Sarah Reeves
February 28, 2024 - 19 min
In our latest episode of The Walk podcast, we had the honor of delving into the heart and mind of Sarah Reeves, a multifaceted artist whose journey in music is as inspiring as it is instructive. Herein, we provide a comprehensive look at this illuminating exchange. Welcoming Artistry and Worship Joshua Swanson, our erudite Editor-in-Chief, sets the stage by introducing Sarah Reeves, an artist who entered the music scene at the mere age of 18. With a career burgeoning with versatility and fervor, Sarah epitomizes the blend of artistry, faith, and vocation. The episode begins with gratitude to Planning Center and the Worship Leader Institute for their invaluable support to the community. The Essence of Worship Sarah defines worship as an everyday lifestyle, permeated with sacrifice and surrender, extending beyond church walls into the minutiae of daily living. She advocates for a worshipful life marked by gratitude and a constant consciousness of God’s presence, whether in passing interactions or in the creative process of songwriting. Balancing Sacredness and Career In the nexus of worship's sacredness and the demands of a music career, Sarah candidly addresses the complexities she faced. From youthful band competitions to record deals and ministering through music, she navigates the challenges and temptations of the music industry. A poignant moment of self-reflection led her to pause writing worship music, recalibrate her intentions, and return with a renewed focus on serving the church and its congregants. Challenging Christian Music Labels Sarah expresses a desire for Christian artists to transcend the confines of labels like Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) and worship music. She aspires for a world where Christian artists freely create and perform across genres and settings, infusing their work with authenticity and spiritual depth that resonate with believers and seekers alike. Creative Process: Pop vs. Worship The creative process, for Sarah, remains fundamentally the same regardless of genre. Each day's emotions and reflections may give rise to a worship song or a pop melody. Collaboration and conversation fuel her songwriting, whether for the mainstream or the church. Encouragement Against Burnout With burnout prevalent among Christians, Sarah offers solace, advising rest and the importance of supportive community. She emphasizes the value of seeking counsel, focusing on healthy relationships, and guarding against isolation and negativity. Advice to Her Younger Self Reflecting on her journey, Sarah would advise her younger self to embrace patience, accept failure as a part of growth, and appreciate the beauty in life's trials. She underscores the importance of authenticity and the power of lived experience in songwriting. A Vision for the Next Generation Sarah's enthusiasm for the emerging generation is palpable. She admires their candor and yearns for their fresh perspectives to invigorate the church. She encourages them to maintain their innocence, avoid the pitfalls of comparison, and harness their unique God-given gifts. - - - - - - - - - Please subscribe to our social channels for more information and great content surrounding building a lifestyle of worship. This podcast is brought to you by Authentic Media and Worship Leader. Our host is Joshua Swanson and the show’s co-producer and editor is Matt McCartie. More episodes can be found at the link below. - - - - - - - - - Links: Who is Sarah Reeves? Pop artist and songwriter Sarah Reeves signed her first record deal at age 18. Since then, in addition to pursuing her own artistry, she has dedicated a vast portion of her career to writing songs for other artists for TV and film. Her music has appeared in Disney Plus and National Geographic’s six-part original series “Welcome To Earth,” starring Will Smith; Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon int
Misha Goetz Devotional: A Time for Everything
February 19, 2024 - 25 min
A Time for Everything: Discovering Faith's Seasons with Misha Goetz In the latest episode of The Walk Podcast by Worship Leader Magazine, listeners will be graced with an intimate and moving narrative by musician Misha Goetz. Host Joshua Swanson introduces us to the Nashville native, whose story weaves through the tapestry of deep personal loss, unwavering faith, and the transformative power of music and worship. The Impact of Personal Loss Listeners will learn about the profound impact of the global pandemic on personal lives as Misha shares her heart-wrenching experience of miscarriage during that challenging period. Her story is a testament to the struggle and beauty of faith as she navigates through the seasons of grief and healing. Misha's Messianic Jewish Heritage As Misha recounts, her journey is deeply rooted in her Messianic Jewish heritage, having been raised in a household that celebrated Jesus as the Messiah, a faith that blossomed from the Jesus Movement in the 1970s in Southern California. This episode provides a rich context for understanding the complexities and depths of Messianic Judaism, particularly through the lens of music and worship. The Call to Music The episode will also offer insights into how Misha's unexpected path led her to a career in music, inspired by her familial lineage and spiritual calling. The listeners will hear about her creative process, which is as much about divine inspiration as it is about artistic discipline. Misha emphasizes the importance of identifying and prioritizing one's season in life, a concept that she has explored in her latest project, "A Time for Everything." Navigating Life's Trials with Faith Moreover, this podcast episode serves as a guide on how to navigate life's trials with grace and faith. Misha encourages listeners to seek God’s direction in every season and to be diligent in the callings they receive. Her personal anecdotes provide a blueprint for anyone looking to balance life's many roles while staying anchored in their faith. The Power of Prayer and New Life Misha's narrative culminates in the power of prayer and the miracle of new life, as she shares the joy of welcoming her child Samuel after a period of uncertainty and sorrow. Her story is a powerful reminder of the cycles of life and death, joy and sorrow, and the ever-present hope found in faith. Seasons of Life In closing, this episode of The Walk Podcast promises to be a soul-stirring encounter with one woman's journey through the valleys and mountaintops of life, deeply intertwined with the threads of worship, heritage, and the pursuit of God’s heart in every season. Ecclesiastes 3:3-8 3 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. - - - - - - - - - Please subscribe to our social channels for more information and great content surrounding building a lifestyle of worship. This podcast is brought to you by Authentic Media and Worship Leader. Our host is Joshua Swanson and the show’s co-producer and editor is Matt McCartie. More episodes can be found at the link below. - - - - - - - - - Links: Who is Misha Goetz? For over a decade Misha has dedicated her life to the art of music and the ministry of worship. 
"How Great Thou Art (Until That Day)" Matt Redman and Matt Maher
February 7, 2024 - 34 min
The Reimagining of "How Great Thou Art": A Conversation with Matt Maher and Matt Redman In a compelling episode of "The Walk," hosted by Joshua Swanson, Editor-in-Chief of Worship Leader Magazine, contemporary worship music luminaries Matt Maher and Matt Redman delve into the profound legacy and innovative revival of the venerable hymn "How Great Thou Art" through their collaborative work, "How Great Thou Art (Until That Day)." This year marks the 75th anniversary of the hymn that has profoundly impacted worship across the globe, evidenced by over 1,600 recordings and billions of streams. The History of “How Great Thou Art” The episode provides a fascinating journey through the hymn's history, its unwavering relevance, and the personal connections and creative processes of Maher and Redman. They share insights into their long-standing friendship, intertwined with their musical journeys, and the serendipitous moments that have marked their collaborative efforts over the years. Maher introduces an intriguing perspective on art and music, suggesting that while art decorates our physical spaces, music uniquely adorns time itself, offering a timeless medium through which worship can transcend temporal boundaries. This concept beautifully encapsulates the enduring appeal of "How Great Thou Art," a hymn that not only recounts the majesty of God's creation but also resonates with the human spirit across generations. A New Rendition The new rendition, "How Great Thou Art (Until That Day)," emerges as a heartfelt response to the current global landscape, particularly the strife in Ukraine. It intricately weaves new lyrical and musical elements into the classic hymn, reflecting a deep yearning for divine intervention and hope amidst turmoil. Redman and Maher's collaborative effort aims to honor the hymn's rich legacy while addressing contemporary realities, embodying the hymn's capacity to bridge historical and modern-day worship. The project is underscored by a profound sense of community and purpose, extending beyond artistic expression to encompass humanitarian aid for Ukraine and Eastern Europe. The collective endeavor of Maher, Redman, and their partners exemplifies the power of worship music to not only uplift spirits but also mobilize support for those in need. Transformative Power of Worship Music In essence, this episode of "The Walk" encapsulates the transformative power of worship music, celebrating the fusion of tradition and innovation in "How Great Thou Art (Until That Day)." It serves as a testament to the hymn's enduring legacy and the unifying force of music in worship, transcending time and circumstances to touch hearts and inspire hope. - - - - - - - - - Please subscribe to our social channels for more information and great content surrounding building a lifestyle of worship. This podcast is brought to you by Authentic Media and Worship Leader. Our host is Joshua Swanson and the show’s co-producer and editor is Matt McCartie. More episodes can be found at the link below. - - - - - - - - - Links: Who is Matt Redman? Matt Redman stands as a beacon in the landscape of worship music, his talents having earned him a GRAMMY® Award. Over the past two decades, his contributions have significantly shaped the hymnal of the global Church. Redman's spiritual odyssey has led him across continents—from the vibrant landscapes of South Africa to the serene settings of Japan, the rich cultures of India, the expansive horizons of Australia, and the historic ambiance of the Czech Republic. His voice has filled some of the world's most renowned venues, including the iconic Madison Square Garden, the vast expanse of Wembley Stadium, and the prestigious Royal Albert Hall. Moreover, his creative endeavors have seen him recording in legendary studios such as Abbey Road in London and Capitol Records in Los Angeles. Among his most cherished compositions are "The Heart of Worship," "Blessed Be Your Name," and "Our God," with "10,000 Reasons" achieving the distinction of winning t
A Conversation with Lindy Cofer and Andy Byrd from The Send
January 31, 2024 - 15 min
From Worship to Action: The Send's Rallying Cry for a Missionary Generation In today’s exploration of the vibrant world of worship and mission, we delve into an enriching  "Conversations on the Walk," where Joshua Swanson, Editor-in-Chief of Worship Leader Magazine, engages with Andy Byrd, Founder of The Send, and Lindy Cofer from Circuit Riders. This dialogue orbits around the nexus of worship, evangelism, and the galvanizing of a generation for missionary work. What Is The Send? The Send emerges as a beacon, rallying individuals from various walks of life to their missionary callings, with a particular emphasis on reaching every corner of society. Their event in Nashville, not just a gathering but a launch pad for action, underscores the imperative for spiritual awakening and transformation across generations. The Send crafts a strategy pivoting on large-scale gatherings that empower and train believers to innovate and expand their reach. This strategy is as adaptable as it is dynamic, transcending geographical and cultural boundaries, from America to Norway, South Africa, and the Philippines. A Commitment To Unity Andy Byrd elucidates the Send's dedication to unity among diverse denominations and Christian organizations. A meticulous campaign of collaboration, mobilization, and empowerment that culminates in impactful training and follow-ups is the crux of their mission. This unity is not just theoretical; it manifests in tangible outcomes and sustained efforts in mission fields. Challenges Faced by The Send One of the profound challenges The Send has faced in America, particularly post-COVID, is rallying the body of Christ. However, the success stories, like the emergence of Christian clubs in high schools and the unity movements among pastors, are a testament to the triumphs over these challenges. For Andy, leading The Send has been a faith-stretching journey, drawing him closer to Jesus amidst balancing the pressure and the incredible fruit.  The Send and Worship Lindy Cofer, a beacon of worship and mission, emphasizes the centrality of worship in The Send's mission. She draws from Isaiah 6, highlighting the transformative power of worship in knowing and exalting Jesus, thus commissioning believers. She envisions worship as a potent tool for evangelism, breaking down barriers to the knowledge of God, and igniting a passion for mission through music. Lindy's spiritual journey has been deeply shaped by leading worship at The Send, experiencing the unifying force of collective, heartfelt worship. She anticipates a shift towards discipleship within the worship movement, steering away from celebrity culture towards a purer, more authentic expression of worship that magnifies Jesus and fosters transformation at every level of society. The Send Nashville As the conversation concludes, we are reminded of The Send’s upcoming event in Nashville, a clarion call for the church to step into their daily mission fields. The commitment of individuals like Andy and Lindy, and their innovative approaches to worship and evangelism, continue to inspire and activate believers worldwide. In anticipation of the waves of change and revival that such movements will bring forth, we await with eagerness the new sounds and songs that will mark the continued move of God in our time. - - - - - - - - - Please subscribe to our social channels for more information and great content surrounding building a lifestyle of worship. This podcast is brought to you by Authentic Media and Worship Leader. Our host is Joshua Swanson and the show’s co-producer and editor is Matt McCartie. More episodes can be found at the link below. - - - - - - - - - Links: Who is Lindy Cofer? Lindy Cofer is a mom, wife, and worship leader, and has a passion for foster care, adoption and advocacy for vulnerable children. Lindy and her husband, Chase have given their lives to activat
A Conversation with Artist, Advocate, and Soldier Yair Levi
January 28, 2024 - 28 min
The Melody of Duty: Yair Levi's Journey from the IDF to Worship In the bustling heart of Nashville, a voice whispers a tale of longing—a longing for home, family, and heritage. Yair Levi, an Israeli Orthodox singer, carries within him the legacy of the ancient Levite tribe, a lineage of sacred service. But Yair's service extends beyond the spiritual; he is also a former captain in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), a role that has shaped his life as deeply as his music. On a recent episode of "Conversations on the Walk," host Joshua Swanson delves into the story of Yair, a man whose life's work is a symphony composed of contrasting yet harmonious parts: artist, advocate, and soldier. The episode, rich with the echoes of history and the rhythms of faith, takes us on a journey through the many seasons of Yair's life. Yair speaks with the intimacy of a man well-acquainted with sacrifice. Every Israeli joins the IDF at eighteen, but for Yair, it was not just a duty; it was a calling. His years in an elite unit akin to the American Navy SEALs were marked by secret operations and life-risking endeavors. Yet, it was in these moments of peril that Yair found clarity—a connection to his ancestors' dreams, the biblical patriarchs, and the divine promise given to his people. Transitioning from military to music, Yair's story takes an unexpected turn. The heartbeat of his songs resonated unexpectedly with Christian audiences, stirring a curiosity within him about these new listeners. Through social media and shared melodies, Yair discovered common ground, connecting deeply with Christians moved by the Hebrew roots of their faith. His music, imbued with translations and teachings, became a bridge between cultures, a celebration of shared heritage. But Yair's story is not without its somber notes. The war's outbreak forced him to don his uniform once more, stepping into the role of advocate. With poignant tales of loss and bravery, he sought to tell the truth of Israel's struggles, rallying support amidst the cacophony of global voices. Swanson's conversation with Yair Levi is an invitation to witness a life where duty and devotion harmonize, where music becomes an anthem for unity and peace. As Yair dons his uniform in Tel Aviv, sharing stories of his service and his hopes for collaboration across faiths, we are reminded of the power of a single voice to inspire change and understanding. "The Melody of Duty: Yair Levi's Journey from the IDF to Worship" is not merely another episode of a podcast; it is a narrative symphony that celebrates the multifaceted nature of faith, the shared journey towards peace, and the universal language of music. - - - - - - - - - Please subscribe to our social channels for more information and great content surrounding building a lifestyle of worship. This podcast is brought to you by Authentic Media and Worship Leader. Our host is Joshua Swanson and the show’s co-producer and editor is Matt McCartie. More episodes can be found at the link below. - - - - - - - - - Links: Who is Yair Levi? Yair Levi, a Tel Aviv-based Jewish Israeli artist, seamlessly blends the roles of singer, songwriter, and music producer. Born into the lineage of the Levites, descendants of the Tribe of Levi, Yair's heritage profoundly influences his musical creations. His eight-year service as a Major in the Israeli Navy Seals has infused his work with a depth and resilience that is rare and captivating. In his music, Yair masterfully intertwines the soulful essence of Jewish tradition with his deep-seated faith and Biblical values. His songs are more than mere melodies; they are a revival of ancient music, reimagined and brought into the contemporary world. This unique blend has not only endeared him to audiences within Israel but has also resonated across cultural and religious boundaries. Yair's musical journey has been marked by significant collaborations with some of Israel's most esteemed musicians, expanding his influence beyond the Israeli borders in recent years. His ability to connect with diverse cultures and faiths through music is a testament to the universal language of art and belief. One of Yair's most impactful works is 'Refa Na' ('please heal her'), inspired by a v
A Conversation with Calvin Nowell on Diversity and Authentic Worship
January 22, 2024 - 24 min
Calvin Nowell's Musical Journey: Embracing Diversity and Authentic Worship In the latest episode of "Conversations on the Walk," host Joshua Swanson welcomed the multifaceted talent Calvin Nowell. A figure synonymous with diversity and authenticity in Christian music, Nowell shared insights from his personal journey, reflecting on a career that includes collaborations with icons like Stevie Wonder and Michael W. Smith. Intention In Worship Nowell's narrative is a testament to unexpected beginnings and the transformative power of intention in worship. He began singing in college, not from a cultivated talent but through a desire for community and connection. His voice was first recognized not in a church or a studio, but during a talent segment of a personality contest. This revelation of his singing ability not only surprised his family but also set him on a path of spiritual and musical exploration. Authenticity in Worship The crux of Nowell's approach to worship is rooted in authenticity. He advocates for a heartfelt expression over technical prowess, influenced early on by a colleague at a telemarketing firm whose soul-stirring voice taught him to "concentrate" – to fully inhabit the message of the song. This philosophy has evidently resonated with others, distinguishing Nowell in recording sessions and worship settings alike. Michael W. Smith The Mentor Interestingly, Nowell's growth as a worship leader was self-navigated, as he didn't have a direct mentor. Instead, he observed and learned from the likes of Michael W. Smith, who demonstrated the art of leading worship by stepping aside to let the spirit lead. Nowell imbibed the subtlety of letting the heart lead more than the voice, which has become a signature of his ministry. Looking back, Nowell wishes he had known the importance of relaxation and self-acceptance at the beginning of his career. He acknowledges the pressure to attain perfection and compete, but emphasizes the significance of recognizing one's inherent value and unique contributions to worship. Global Worship Movements In terms of the global movement of the Holy Spirit, Nowell noted a focus on learning and collecting experiences to understand God's work in the world. He emphasized the need for mental health awareness, prayer for nations, and quality time with family – all dots that the Holy Spirit helps us collect to understand our life's narrative. He's passionate about the evolution of church worship, particularly the trend towards diversity in music and congregations. Nowell sees this as a response to a divine call for variety and a reflection of the multifaceted nature of God. He encourages churches to pursue intentional diversity, to seek out what and who is missing in their communities, and to learn from other cultures. Diversity in Worship Regarding tradition, Nowell shared his journey from predominantly black churches to predominantly white ones, advocating for a worship space that embraces both expressiveness and reflectiveness. Post George Floyd, he observes progress towards diversity but acknowledges there's much work to be done. Nowell sees today's churches creating their own music as a thrilling development. He believes in the power of individual stories shaping unique worship songs and the importance of capturing a true expression of God for impact. The Worship Music "Industry" Navigating the intersection of worship and the music industry, Nowell has found balance in compartmentalization, separating business and ministry to maintain the sacredness of worship. His ultimate focus is creating environments where everyone wins, particularly God. Calvin Nowell's story, shared on "Conversations on the Walk," is a compelling narrative of discovery, diversity, and dedication, offering a mirror to the evolving landscape of Christian worship where the heart's authenticity reigns supreme. - - - - - - - - - Please subscribe to our social channels for more information and great content surrounding building a lifestyle of worship. This podcast is brought to you by Authentic Media and Worship Leader. Our host is Joshua Swanson and the show’s co-producer and editor is Matt McCartie. More episodes can be found at the link below. - - - - - - - - - Links: <a href="
A Conversation with "You've Already Won" Songwriters Shane and Shane
January 15, 2024 - 35 min
In the latest episode of The Walk Podcast, titled "A Conversation with 'You've Already Won' Songwriters Shane and Shane," listeners are welcomed into the thoughtful and heartfelt world of Shane Barnard and Shane Everett. They delve into their experiences with family, faith, and the shaping of young believers in a culture teeming with dissatisfaction and longing for something more fulfilling than what the world offers. Evolution of Shane and Shane's Ministry Joshua Swanson, the host, sets the stage for a profound discussion on the evolution of Shane and Shane's music ministry, the vision behind their Worship Initiative, and their undiminished influence on worship music. The Shanes speak on the challenges and beauty of guiding the next generation towards compassionate faith, emphasizing the need for empathy and care for those who struggle, regardless of the nature of their struggles. Technology and Younger Christians Both men express concern over the accelerated pace at which the younger generation experiences life due to technological advances, leading to a quicker realization that worldly pleasures do not satisfy the soul. They discuss the importance of the church community in a world that views the church as irrelevant, arguing that true contentment and joy are found in Christ alone, who fills the emptiness no earthly thing can. Shane and Shane on Mentors Shane and Shane share personal stories of their spiritual mentors who fostered their faith, and the transformative power of authentic Christian community. They stress the significance of songwriting and worship in conveying the truths of God, shaping the believer's identity in Christ, and maintaining the sanctity of worship amidst the business aspects of their ministry. The podcast episode also touches on team dynamics within their organization and the challenges of fostering unity during transitional phases. The Shanes candidly share the struggles and learning curves associated with leadership and the stewardship of their roles. "You've Already Won" Listeners are treated to the backstory of the song "You've Already Won," born out of the hardships and victories of life, encapsulating the message of hope and ultimate triumph in Jesus. The conversation concludes with a focus on their heart for equipping worship leaders through The Worship Initiative, aiming to empower and resource those who lead the church in worship. The episode is a profound exploration of the intersection of worship, discipleship, and community in the Christian faith, offering listeners a glimpse into the ministry and heart of Shane and Shane. - - - - - - - - - Please subscribe to our social channels for more information and great content surrounding building a lifestyle of worship. This podcast is brought to you by Authentic Media and Worship Leader. Our host is Joshua Swanson and the show’s co-producer and editor is Matt McCartie. More episodes can be found at the link below. - - - - - - - - - Links: Who is Shane and Shane? Joining us on The Walk are none other than Shane Barnard and Shane Everett, collectively known as Shane &amp; Shane. This dynamic duo, united by their faith and a shared first name, embarked on their musical journey together after meeting in college. Over 15 years have passed since then, and their commitment to crafting worship music that glorifies the Lord remains unwavering. Shane &amp; Shane have distinguished themselves not only through their harmonious blend and heartfelt performances but also through their dedication to writing music that is deeply rooted in Scripture.  In addition to their artistic endeavors, Shane &amp; Shane have devoted themselves to nurturing and supporting fellow worship leaders and their teams. Through The Worship Initiative, they have established a vibrant community that serves as a resource for equipping and encouraging those involved in worship ministry. This initiative reflects their heart for mentorship and their desire to foster a culture of worship that is both spiritually authentic and musically excellent. Discover more Christian podcasts at and inquire about adv
A Conversation with Philippa Hanna on The Walk
December 18, 2023 - 18 min
Philippa Hanna Shares Her Journey, Songwriting, and Ministry Mindset In a recent episode of "Conversations on the Walk," Worship Leader Magazine had the privilege of engaging with Philippa Hanna, a talented worship leader and songwriter hailing from the UK. Editor-in-Chief Joshua Swanson led the conversation, delving into Philippa's unique experiences, insights, and her approach to songwriting in a post-Christian world. Encountering Revival Philippa shared her personal encounter with revival, emphasizing that her salvation experience at the age of 21 was her own revival, a resurrection from spiritual death. Regardless of prevailing trends, Philippa's songwriting remains focused on reaching those who don't know Jesus or need a deeper connection with Him. The Role of Worship Exploring the role of worship in her church expression, Philippa highlighted its purpose to bring people into the presence of God. She stressed the importance of songs that not only encourage and give life but also serve as a form of teaching, ensuring they align with sound theology to reach diverse audiences. Social Media's Double-Edged Sword When asked about social media's role in her life, Philippa acknowledged its impact on mental health and wellbeing. While recognizing the potential pitfalls, she emphasized the platform's value in teaching, vulnerability, and sharing life stories responsibly. Relevance of Church to the Youth Addressing the perception that church may not be relevant to the youth, Philippa encouraged young people to actively contribute to making the church relevant for themselves and their peers. She challenged them to be the change they want to see, even if it means writing the unsung songs or speaking the unspoken truths. Cultural Perspectives on Church Drawing comparisons between the American and UK churches, Philippa appreciated the cultural diversity in the UK, where the gospel can be a fresh perspective. She cautioned against losing the significance of the message amid cultural familiarity and emphasized the timeless truth of Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life. A Journey Through Worship Philippa shared her diverse experiences as a ministry-minded artist, adapting her ministry to different seasons. From touring with mainstream artists to coaching worship leaders, her journey culminated in a season of worship, expressing her faith in a vertical, honest, and open manner. Closing Words of Encouragement In closing, Philippa encouraged listeners to embrace authenticity and not second-guess what God has placed on their hearts. She emphasized the importance of creating community, relationships, and love within the church, urging believers to focus on what brings life to those around them. Philippa Hanna's insights offer a rich tapestry of faith, worship, and ministry. Her journey serves as an inspiration for worship leaders, songwriters, and believers alike, reminding us to stay true to God's calling in every season of life. Who is Philippa Hanna? Philippa Hanna is an established UK singer-songwriter whose independent career span over 17 years and culminated in her signing a recording contract with Integrity Music in 2020, marking the release of her first worship project ‘Stained Glass Stories’. Her music frequently draws upon her experiences of a turbulent youth and the Christian faith she found in 2004, crafting songs that ooze with honesty, authenticity and vocals that are as powerful as they are heartfelt. Philippa Hanna is recognised as a leading light in the Christian &amp; Gospel scene in Europe and has a lot of experience in the mainstream music industry. Beyond being a gifted writer, worship leader, and storyteller, Philippa Hanna has been invited to open tours for household names including Lionel Richie, Little Mix, Leona Lewis, Wet Wet Wet and Anastacia, highlighting the broadness of her appeal. Two of her albums took the Official Christian &amp; Gospel Charts #1 spot, with 'Come Back Fighting' peaking at #10 on the Official Country Chart. After the pandemic and becoming a mother, the singer songwriter has been gearing up to a new season of music. She released an acoustic project revisiting some of her most significant worship songs in late 2022, pointing to the continuation of her journey in this new chapter of her life as an individual and an artist. Discover more Christian podcasts at and inquire about advertising opportunities at
Mike Janzen Devotional: Trust is Built On Honest Prayers to God
December 10, 2023 - 20 min
Finding Solace in Psalms – Mike Janzen's Journey and Planning Center's Serendipitous Genesis In the latest episode of The Walk, hosted by Joshua Swanson, two captivating stories unfurl—a testament to the transformative power of faith and music. Mike Janzen, a multifaceted Canadian musician, recounts a profound devotional journey rooted in the Psalms, while Aaron Stewart, co-founder of Planning Center, reveals the serendipitous origin of the premier church service software. Their narratives intertwine tales of resilience, inspiration, and unwavering faith. A Head Injury and The Psalms Mike Janzen's odyssey toward his Psalms-based album was marked by adversity, beginning with a severe head injury. His candid narrative reveals a period of isolation and physical struggle, during which the Psalms became his lifeline. Psalms, notably 42, guided him through the darkest days, reminding him of God's abiding love and presence, even in the depths of despair. His words echo a resounding truth—that God draws near to the brokenhearted, a sentiment profoundly felt during Janzen's darkest hours. As he wove through lament and trust, the Psalms became a sanctuary, offering solace and reminding him of God's unwavering affection. Janzen's story serves as a poignant reminder to cherish moments of hardship while acknowledging the significance of supporting others in times of struggle. Mike’ mention of the role of music in healing evokes a call for worship leaders and songwriters to craft music resonating with those navigating adversity. Write songs focused on healing prayers! The Genesis of Planning Center with Aaron Stewart Transitioning to Aaron Stewart's narrative, the genesis of Planning Center emerged from a need for organization and accessibility in church services. Stewart and his collaborator, Jeff Berg, combined their tech prowess and worship leadership, inadvertently birthing a game-changing software suite. Their story is one of accidental innovation, transitioning from handmade solutions to a digital platform that revolutionized church service management. Stewart's journey is a testament to embracing challenges and leveraging technology to serve a larger purpose, culminating in the birth of Planning Center—a vital tool for numerous congregations worldwide. Faith and Community Support In essence, both narratives underscore the importance of resilience, faith, and community support in navigating life's tribulations. Janzen's reliance on the Psalms and Stewart's tech-savvy ingenuity serve as beacons of hope and inspiration for worshipers and church leaders alike. As the episode draws to a close, listeners are left with a powerful reminder—God's unwavering presence in adversity and the transformative potential of faith, music, and innovation. It's a narrative of finding solace in the Psalms and embracing unforeseen opportunities in the most unexpected of places. The Walk continues to weave compelling tales of faith, resilience, and creativity, leaving its audience enriched and inspired by the profound journeys of its guests. - - - - - - - - - Please subscribe to our social channels for more information and great content surrounding building a lifestyle of worship. This podcast is brought to you by Authentic Media and Worship Leader. Our host is Joshua Swanson and the show’s co-producer and editor is Matt McCartie. More episodes can be found at the link below. - - - - - - - - - Links: Who is Mike Janzen? Melding jazz, pop and classical styles, Mike Janzen brings an imaginative and fresh voice to the current music scene. From soul-stirring songwriting to mesmerizing piano solos, Mike’s music is approachable and hits the deep places of the heart.  The JUNO- and GMA-nominated musician has performed in concert halls, churches and festivals across North America, combining undeniable talent with a desire to create music that draws attention to the Maker.   Music has informed and shaped Mike’s entire life. A gifted jazz pianist, composer, and arranger, his diverse career took a unique direction with the double-album release The Psalms Project (2021/Independent), a collection of Psalms-inspired sacred songs that emerged du
A Conversation with Benjamin William Hastings
December 4, 2023 - 22 min
In the latest episode of "Conversations on the Walk," Worship Leader Magazine's Joshua Swanson sits down with the talented Christian songwriter and artist, Benjamin William Hastings. Hailing from Ireland, Hastings shares insights into his life, Christmas traditions, and the profound journey of faith that has shaped his music. Rediscovering the Presence of God Hastings begins by discussing the challenge of keeping God at the center of our lives. He emphasizes the importance of recontextualizing God's presence, sharing a personal practice inspired by the Lord's Prayer that helps him maintain a focus on the divine in daily life. Christmas Traditions and Influences The conversation takes a festive turn as Swanson delves into Hastings's holiday traditions, including quirky Christmas Eve present rituals and the absence of a nativity set in his home. Hastings also reflects on the influence of growing up in Ireland, with its rich poetic tradition and his exposure to hymns that continue to shape his songwriting. The Art of Songwriting Hastings opens up about his songwriting process, narrating a humorous tale of attempting to craft a worship song based on calculated criteria. He shares a pivotal moment in his journey when a prophetic encounter redirected his focus to writing songs that are first and foremost expressions to God, rather than adhering to predetermined success formulas. Navigating Faith's Valleys The conversation takes a more serious turn as Hastings shares his recent struggles and questioning of foundational beliefs. He reveals a journey of wrestling with doubt and the tension between leading worship while grappling with personal faith challenges. Hastings' upcoming album reflects this internal struggle, offering an honest portrayal of his journey through doubt, imposter syndrome, and the pursuit of light in the midst of darkness. Encouragement from the Millennial Generation The interview concludes with a look at the encouraging aspects of the millennial generation. Hastings praises the generation's pursuit of honesty, truth, and transparency, citing a cultural shift towards authenticity. He acknowledges the potential shadows of this pursuit but expresses optimism for the positive impact it can have on faith communities. In this candid and insightful interview, Benjamin William Hastings opens up about the complexities of faith, the creative process, and the ongoing pursuit of worship. As we eagerly await his upcoming album, Hastings's journey serves as an inspiring testament to the resilience of faith in the face of doubt and the transformative power of authentic worship. Links: Who Is Benjamin William Hastings? Benjamin William Hastings, a gifted Northern Irish songwriter, singer, and worship leader, found his musical and personal calling on a unique journey that spanned continents and genres. Raised in Belfast, he spent a transformative chapter of his twenties in Sydney, Australia, where he not only discovered a passion for music but also fell in love with Jessa, a kindred spirit who shared his love for words. Their early attempts at songwriting as a couple proved challenging for their marriage, leading them to focus on building a family instead. Blessed with two perfect children, the Hastings family, including their beloved dog, later made a significant move to Los Angeles, CA, where Benjamin, a member of Hillsong UNITED, and Jessa, a renowned author, continued to pursue their individual crafts. Benjamin's musical journey intertwined with the influential Hillsong UNITED, a church crowd that happened to include some of Jessa's childhood friends. Through collaborations, recordings, and tours, he became an integral part of many chart-topping songs, including Hillsong UNITED's "So Will I (100 Billion X)," Cory Asbury’s “The Father's House,” Brandon Lake’s “Gratitude,” and Hillsong Worship’s "O Praise The Name (Anástasis)." Transitioning into a solo artist, Benjamin released his debut self-titled album, a collection of 25 songs that delve into the various facets of his life – family, love, faith, struggles, and the complexities of the hum
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Meet Your Host
Hosted by award-winning voice talent Joshua Swanson, The Walk is a podcast dedicated to sharing the stories of passionate believers with a message for our large audience of worshippers. Our guests are creatives who walk with God daily and bring a great word to the Body of Christ. They include worship leaders, pastors, educators, speakers and artists. Listeners will travel along each week and hear an intimate first-person story and learn how, through that story, our guests have built a lifestyle of worship.
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