Junction Church Music

Album Release: HOPE WILL ARISE 
by Junction Collective

The Junction Church debut worship album will be released on Friday 26th January 2018…and we need your help! Before we let you know how you can help us, here’s a word about the album itself (you can pre-order it HERE).

Hope Will AriseThis project has been a labour of love over the past year. In a world which is so filled with hopelessness, we wanted to create a different vibe – refreshing, upbeat, deep, authentic, hopeful. Every line of every song has been lovingly crafted to capture the brilliance of God’s truth in our lives today. The title track sets the tone for the entire album.

All 12 tracks are original, written as a reflection of what’s happening here at the Junction Church. Some of the songs have been sung at our services. Others haven’t…yet. 

We wanted to be careful not to compromise the authenticity of the album by over-producing it, a danger with lots of music today. We think we’ve got this just about right. Truth is, all the technology in the world can never substitute for a really good tune accompanied by excellent musicianship. This album has all that. From upbeat songs like ‘You’ve given me hope‘ to the sheer power & gravitas of ‘Your Word‘ (which is brilliantly orchestrated), to beautifully poignant tracks such as ‘The Cross‘ and ‘Now to the King‘, there’s pretty much something for everyone in this album. We hope you love listening as much as we loved producing it.

The ethos of the Junction Collective is that ego is taken out of the equation. This is not about individual artists, but a collective of musicians who have a heart to serve God’s house. We passionately believe God is at work and that he is drawing many more creatives into our community. This collective will grow.

Ok…now, here’s how you can help us. We want to produce more albums in the future. So we’re looking for 100 people to pre-order the album rather than just stream it when it’s released. This is literally the best way you can support us. Will you be one of those 100 people? 

The pre-order link is HERE. We’d really value you standing with us and believing that there’s much more music to come. Thanks church!

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10 KEYS TO GREAT MUSICIANSHIP 
by Roy Todd

Before we planted the Junction Church, I had a dream of a community where incredible musicianship would be provoked and amazing songs would be produced. You see, I seriously reckon that church ought to be the most brilliantly creative community in town. So I guess part of the reason for this blog is to do some provoking!

For me, music is a passion. Growing up in Belfast, I studied classical piano at the school of music. This was one of the greatest institutions in the city, inspiring creativity during the weary days of ‘the troubles’. It wasn’t easy to get into it (which gave it a certain prestige) – and the standard of teaching was absolutely first rate. Whilst there, I went on to develop a keen interest in jazz piano, and that fascination has never gone away. I love music today more than ever. When it’s bad and ill-disciplined, I’m appalled by it. When it’s really good, I SO appreciate it!

Music is an art that stirs the heart, creates moments and gives expression to emotion that goes beyond words. In a sense, it’s a universal language. Imagine your favourite movie without the sound track? Wouldn’t be the same, would it? That’s the power of music – it changes the atmosphere.

In the Psalms, King David encouraged great musicianship. For example, in Psalm 33:3, he says ‘Sing a new song and play skillfully‘. This pretty much sums up my dream for music at the Junction Church.

Here are 10 keys (excuse the pun) for great musicianship:

1) Take interest – this stems from having passion, which is the child of inspiration.

2) Practice much – if this isn’t happening, then the musicianship will never be taken seriously.

3) Be disciplined – learn how to patiently flow with music rather than trying to force it to happen.

4) Listen to the vibe – this is especially important when playing as part of a team. Listening creates great music.

5) Be selfless – the greatest musicians understand the power of subtlety and not drawing attention to themselves.

6) Develop your craft – for music to be performed with skillful ease, it needs to be carefully crafted behind the scenes. That takes W.O.R.K.

7) Challenge yourself – learn to play proficiently in every key, especially the more uncomfortable ones.

8) Be teachable – every musician has something new to learn.

9) Master one instrument – stop trying to be a multi-instrumentalist. Be excellent at one instead of average at many.

10) Do it for God’s glory – let this always motivate the why behind the what.

 

If you’re a musician interested in being part of a great worship team, email: info@junctionchurch.net 

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WORSHIP VIBES 
by Junction Collective

Hey!! We’re excited about releasing two albums. Yes, TWO!! 

The first is called VIBE, a 14 track instrumental album which is a soundtrack to what’s happening in the life of our church. We really wanted to create something that’s upbeat, capturing the heart of what God is doing. We’d LOVE it if you would download the album HERE. 

Then in 2018 (January), we’re releasing our first worship album. This is called HOPE WILL ARISE. We’re currently finishing it off and you’ll hear more details about this soon!

Worship means SO much to us at the Junction Church. When we meet together as a community, we sing songs that express our love and passion for God. But why is music so important? Well, for a start, this is an art which is clearly used in the bible. For example, over 55 of the psalms were actually song lyrics that are prefaced with the instruction ‘for the director of music‘. It’s a pity recording devices weren’t around then as it would be awesome to hear what those songs actually sounded like!! Then in the New Testament, Paul sometimes quotes words from what many scholars believe where early Christian songs. Philippians 2:5-11 is probably one of them (it’s totally worth a read).

At the Junction Church, our heart is to create songs that are biblically based and which also reflect life in Century 21. Our boundaries are ancient but our outlook is eternal. The first part is really important to us and we totally believe in the importance of declaring God’s Word rather than just writing a bunch of nice lyrics. It’s the Word that produces faith (Romans 10:17). Without the certainty of biblical truth, all you get is a clash of confused noise. However, it’s also important to us that we reflect what God is doing today. Our heart is to help a generation connect with Jesus through the language of music.

Junction Collective is a team of musicians at the Junction Church who are passionate about using our skills for the glory of God. Our ethos is that none of our individual names are attached to the songs we write. That’s because we want to keep our ego’s in check. Our heart is to serve and we think this is really important.  We really love our church and we’re excited about what God is doing today.

If you’re a musician or singer and you’d like to get in contact, send an email to info@junctionchurch.net

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QUIT THE NONSENSE –

We’re now well into the season of lent. This is a time when many Christians opt to give up things as Easter approaches. For some it might be a particular food they enjoy, like chocolate. For others it might be TV or social media (if it’s the latter, you won’t read this until after Easter – ha!).

This is all well and good. However, I’d like to suggest that giving up chocolate altogether for lent is about as helpful as a poke in the eye. Same with social media. Sure, don’t let any of these things dominate your life – but don’t take them THAT seriously either. The occasional look at FaceBook isn’t going to kill you, especially when you’re eating a Malteser or two in the process!

This lent, there are other things that we’d be far better giving up. Come to think of it, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to just quit them altogether. Here are four of them:

1) Negativity

Some people think that negativity is the same as honesty. They’re not the same at all. One sees the worst. The other searches for the best. Be honest. But quit being negative. It’s no good.

2) Cynicism

This is one of the greatest enemies of faith. It’s suspicious. It questions motives. It’s distrustful. But it produces horrible low trust culture where nothing ever gets done. Remember, if you sow it, you WILL reap it yourself. So quit it.

3) Bad Attitudes

Think about it…people give up chocolate for lent because sugar is meant to be bad for us, right? Yet bad attitudes are just as bad for us, even worse actually. Think about it…a little chocolate won’t harm you. But a little bad attitude WILL. So why not just give up bad attitudes altogether? Refusing to pander to selfishness is always a wise decision.

4) Gossip

Gossip is like a toxin…it kills relationships. There is never any virtue in it…EVER. Besides, if you really need to know something THAT badly, why not just graciously ask the source? You might even get an answer. Problem is…gossip doesn’t really want to know the real answer. It just likes to gossip. So best to ditch it. Speak life instead.

It’s time to quit the nonsense this lent. Eat whatever you want (within reason!!). Just give up the stuff that’s hindering you from being everything God has called you to be.

Happy Easter!

 

CHECK OUT THE JUNCTION CHURCH LEICESTER HERE.

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BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART…
by Roy Todd

Jesus once said ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God‘ (Matthew 5:8). This can also be translated ‘Blessed are those who don’t have hidden agenda’s.’

This statement is taken from Jesus teaching called ‘The Beatitudes’. These are essentially ten values which reflect the culture of God’s Kingdom. The one quoted above is so completely contrary to the flow of selfish thinking that it could easily cause a shock to the system. It means serving without the expectation of receiving anything in return. It’s about doing what’s right, even if it goes unrewarded.

The thing is, everyone loves the idea of serving….until they have to serve. But what about when it comes to serving the rude person? Or the arrogant person? Or the unappreciative person? If we only ‘serve’ when it suits or when it ‘feels right’, then this is not serving at all. It merely becomes a form of self-congratulatory egotism, a convenient good deed for which you can applaud yourself and look down on the world from a self-righteous perch. But it’s nonsense. Servants just serve, no-matter what. They go the extra mile. They do whatever it takes. They’re low maintenance people, expecting nothing in return, irrespective of who they’re serving. Tall order hey? Well maybe this is the ‘shock to the system’ I mentioned earlier?

Serving is not a means of promotion or of gaining some kind of platform. Sadly in church life, the ‘platform agenda’ can often subtly creep into noble deeds. But serving without any other agenda than to please God is actually the purest form of worship, the kind that God absolutely loves. Jesus even defined servanthood as the ultimate example of what it means to be ‘great’ in God’s Kingdom (see Matthew 20:20-28).

‘Blessed are the pure in heart’ is not a statement of perfection. Purity is a state of heart. It’s about humility. It’s about motive. It’s about consistency. It’s about overcoming the impurity of selfishness and personal ambition with the pure desire to live for God’s purpose. This is what God is REALLY looking for…a pure heart, without an alternative agenda. By the way ‘blessed’ means happy. Think about it….’Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God ‘.  Selah.

CHECK OUT THE JUNCTION CHURCH LOUGHBOROUGH, OUR CHURCH IN LEICESTER AND THE JUNCTION CHURCH NOTTINGHAM HERE.

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WHY CHRISTIANS RUIN GREAT SONGS
by Roy Todd

Christians have a habit of ruining really great songs. I think I know why. It’s because they sing them to death. Simples.

Take the song ‘Ten thousand reasons’ for example. When this first came out, it had a freshness and inspiration that was uplifting. But after years of churches singing it week in & week out, it has lost it’s impact because….yup, Christians have ruined it. When you’re just about to belt out ‘Ten thousand reasons’ for the ten thousandth time, you breathe a little sigh, steel yourself & then psychologically prepare for the journey over the next five minutes. The song has been killed!

Or what about the Hillsong classic ‘Oceans’. Wow! What a truly incredible song this is – lyrically profound and musically beautiful. But this amazing song has been ship wrecked by noble obsession. The countless attempts by Christians to relive the experience of the song again and again make it wearisome and uninspiring to a new generation who’d like a few experiences of their own. When I hear ‘Oceans’ now, I sometimes feel like I’m drowning in one. Interestingly, you’ll never hear this song at a Hillsong event. They understand only too well what can happen when a song is sung too much. This one is just too good to be ruined.

Years ago in the 1980’s, there was a song called ‘Shine Jesus Shine’. In it’s day, this was a revolutionary anthem, sung by congregations the nation over. 30 years later, it’s treated (unfairly) as a joke. Why? Not because the song wasn’t good but because Christians have ruined it!! It was for a season.  Some churches are still trying to relive the season…but it’s not 1986 anymore!

That’s the problem. There can be a tendency among some Christians to want to relive old seasons over and over again. Under the guise of ‘they don’t write songs like they used to‘, sometimes there’s an unhealthy resentment towards new songs and a gushing sentimentalism for a bygone era. Well ok, no doubt some great things happened back then. But remember, the good old days were never really THAT good.

Meanwhile, our creator genius God has new songs for today. They reflect what he’s doing in the world in THIS season. Lets enjoy them while the season lasts. Then when the next season comes along, lets look forward to those songs too. This is how we stay fresh and young at heart….by looking forward not back. Sure, cherish the good times you’ve had. But keep a strong conviction that the BEST is yet to come. That’s how we’ll keep our music fresh & creative.

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WHAT IS WORSHIP?
by Roy Todd

Worship is an important part of the life of the Junction Church Leicester & Loughborough.

When it comes to styles of worship music, some Christians like pipe organs and choirs. Others prefer something that’s more current and contemporary. At the Junction Church, we unashamedly do the latter. Our worship vibe is passionate & upbeat. However we will never criticise or demean those who prefer a more reflective way of worshipping. It’s not that one is right and the other is wrong. They’re just two different expressions of the same thing – worship.

Ultimately though, worship is about far more than just music. It’s how we live our lives.

Jesus elaborated on this when he taught about the kind of worship that pleases the Father. In John 4:23-24 he says,

“The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

So what did Jesus mean by ‘spirit’ and ‘truth’ here? Lets think about both of them:

Worshipping in spirit

What spirit is being referred to here? Is it God’s Spirit or our spirit? The answer is both. In John 3:6, Jesus explained, ‘That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit’. So to worship ‘in spirit’ is to capture and imbibe the essence of who God is. This can only happen when our lives are truly submitted to God’s Spirit. The more this happens, the more we grasp the sense of who God really is. Therefore, worship that truly pleases God is birthed in a revelation of God’s character. Everything God does happens because of who he is. He doesn’t act outside of his character. So as we submit ourselves to the Spirit’s work in our lives, our spirit grasps and inhabits something of who God is and what he desires. This ultimately challenges how we live. To know God’s character is to understand his heart. This is a huge privilege and responsibility.

Worshipping in truth

This is not necessarily referring to doctrinal truth (though what we believe is important). Worshipping in ‘truth’ is the follow on from the previous point about worshipping in ‘spirit’. It’s where ‘the rubber meets the road’ so to speak. It’s the challenge of living an authentic, God pleasing life. It implores us to live a life of integrity. But it goes far beyond being true to ourselves. This is about being true to God. We express worship when we are true to God in our daily decisions. We convey worship when we maintain a good heart and attitude in the midst of life’s pressures. We demonstrate worship when we choose to love and forgive instead of holding hate and bearing grudges. We engage in meaningful worship when we decide to live a pure & honest life rather than yielding to the temptations of impurity and deceit.

Ultimately, authentic worship is the response of our heart to God’s heart – the heart and soul of faith – the courage of living according to who God has called us to be – the overflow of a heart of love for God. This is worship.

 

Don’t forget to check out the JUNCTION CHURCH LEICESTER