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2009 Conversations

2008 Conversations

2007 Conversations

2006 Conversations

2005 Conversations

Benji creator Joe Camp: Moral movies, personal cost (12/26/04)

Gloria Gaither: A Gaither family Christmas(12/19/04)

Allyson Feliz: Olympic medalist  shares passion for following Christ (12/12/04)

Dan Dean: Walking by faith (11/28/04)

J. Don George: Every church can touch the poor (11/21/04)

Brock Gill: Jesus is no illusion (11/14/04)

Ted Dekker: Good, evil and the battle for souls (10/31/04)

Bob Kilpatrick: CCM: Growing and changing (10/17/04)

Eugene H. Peterson: Man with a message (10/10/04)

Caz McCaslin: Fixing kids sports (9/26/04)

Jerry B. Jenkins: A novel approach to evangelism (9/19/04)

Natalie Grant: Living the dream (9/12/04)

Sharon Ellard: A life-changing education (8/29/04)

Steven Curtis Chapman: All things new (8/22/04)

Jim Ryun: Running to Jesus (8/15/04)

George Barna: Today’s church: By the numbers (8/8/04)

Randy Singer: Made to count (7/25/04)

Holly McClure: Morality and the media (7/18/04)

Don Miller and Richard Flory:Taking the Church to today's culture (7/11/04)

Cecil Richardson: Pastoring the Air Force’s 'Pastors' (6/27/04)

Barry Meguiar: Driven by faith (6/20/04)

Thomas E. Trask: Concerned for America (6/13/04)

Dr. David Yonggi Cho: The work of the Holy Spirit (5/30/04)

Tom Greene: High school: A great mission field (5/16/04)

Jennifer Rothschild: Walk by faith, not by sight (5/9/04)

Chaplain Alex Taylor: Forgiveness and restoration (4/25/04)

Joshua Harris: Not even a hint (4/18/04)

Nicky Cruz: Changing America (4/11/04)

Jason Schmidt: Lessons learned on life’s field (3/28/04)

Scott Temple: One church, many colors (3/21/04)

Michael W. Smith: Called to worship (3/14/04)

Representative Jo Ann Davis: Christians in politics (2/29/04)

Darlene Zschech: Sing, shout … just shout the praise the Lord (2/22/04)

Surgeon James W Long: For your heart’s sake, get fit (2/15/04)

Jerry R. Kirk: Battling pornography (2/8/04)

Dr Michael Ferris: A choice to heal (1/18/04)

Chaplain Al Worthley: Outside the four walls of the church (1/11/04)

2003 Conversations

2002 Conversations

2001 Conversations

Sing, shout … just praise the Lord

Darlene Zschech is worship pastor at Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. She has been nominated for several Dove Awards and is the writer of the popular worship song “Shout to the Lord,” which was nominated for Song of the Year for the 1998 Dove Awards. Recently, Zschech spoke with Keith Locke, former creative director for Today’s Pentecostal Evangel.

PE: How did you come to lead worship?

ZSCHECH: 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 was just not confident enough to lead worship. I think in my heart I just needed that bit of confidence of Brian turning the worship over to me.

PE: How has being in the spotlight challenged you?

ZSCHECH: I take that very seriously. The spotlight doesn’t give you much room for error, that’s for sure. No one’s perfect. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve got a lot of mistakes yet to make — we all do. I try to love my team, church and family. The rest is just doing whatever I can do to the best of my ability.

PE: In your book Extravagant Worship, you say you want to make God’s name famous. What do you mean by that?

ZSCHECH: Australian culture is very secular. There’s no generational understanding of who God is and why you would want to make Him the center of your life. So from that point of view, we want to exalt the name of Christ in our nation and become Christ-centered.

PE: What does training, whether it’s formal or informal, do to prepare somebody for leading a church body in worship?

ZSCHECH: You have to minister with whatever your circumstance brings. I’ve had a lot of musical training, but the more I know about worship, the more I realize how little worship has to do with musical training. I would’ve loved to study theology for years before I started, but I never did.

PE: How do you relate personally to the people you work with?

ZSCHECH: All of the people who work for Mark and me are in our cell group, which really helps. We’ve done that on purpose. So every week there are a few outlets. The cell is sort of like our family, so we can pray for things and it’s really good. We’ve been there for a long time. So they’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. We don’t just pray together or do church together, we do life together. One of our staff members had a baby this week and so we’re e-mailing pictures back and forth. And you know, we really don’t have time for it, but then again, we really don’t have time not to. We have to make time.

PE: And this group life carries over into your ministry?

ZSCHECH: As far as worship in our church, I oversee all of it from adults to the babies, but we have teams that implement it. As far as our philosophy of what’s being taught — the lyrics and the songs that are being written — I make sure that it’s foundational and the real deal because I think it’s critical that we pass that on to the next generation.

PE: Why is it important for worship leaders to pass their knowledge of worship on to others?

ZSCHECH: I would like to be a worship leader forever, but more and more I try to give it away and raise up more people to become involved. Some of what I’ve learned — it’s not all perfect — I want to share, because if I can save someone from having to go through some of the potholes that I have hit, then praise God. I think there are many Scriptures in the Bible that make it clear that our responsibility as Christian leaders is to not hold anything back.

PE: What’s your take on the popularity and commercial success of worship and how it is used?

ZSCHECH: I think we’re going to have to deal with a lot more of success. Christian music should be on the radio and on the mainstream airways. It’s not just for the church. It has the ability to draw people to the church because God’s presence is attached to it. It’s so inviting for the hungry heart of humanity.

PE: Do you find that there are times when you feel inadequate?

ZSCHECH: Yes, each day. I think that’s what makes it great. All our team feels like that. That gap between what it is you’re feeling in your heart and what is real is so big that it has to be God at work. So it sort of keeps you swimming in the miraculous, because without Him we can do nothing.

PE: What led to your decision to do a solo album project?

ZSCHECH: I’m writing songs all the time and I write about everything. It’s sort of my way of journaling and I take a photograph with my songs. It’s not really a departure, it’s just that I haven’t really had time to do it. I went to our elders and said that I would really like to record. It took some time, but Mike and I just had to make time. I’m really happy with it. It’s really worshipful.

PE: In your latest book, The Kiss of Heaven, you talk of a life of favor … about empowering a life dream.

ZSCHECH: I believe God’s promise. If you seek His righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit then God desires to give you above and beyond everything you need to accomplish your purpose on earth. I think that seeking God’s favor in our lives is not selfish if we understand the reason it is given — not to be hoarded, but with open hands to give. We are not favored for ourselves. We are blessed to bless others. I believe that is why we have His favor.

PE: What would you say to those who desire His favor?

ZSCHECH: Delight God’s heart by serving Him. Do well with whatever is in your hand today. I think you will sense His smile as you desire to love and serve Him above all else.

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