Dave Bilbrough: Let There Be Love

Wednesday 1st December 1999

A tribute album to commemorate DAVE BILBROUGH's 25 years in ministry

Continued from page 1

"Mark was in the middle of recording the tracks for 'Forever More' and it was starting to sound quite Britpop. At that point Mark said he thought I should do the vocal on that song. And lo, Les appeared (!) and said he thought it sounded like my current style, so between them they asked me to sing on that song. Then, when I got into the studio Mark asked if he could play me 'As We Seek,' as he was interested in my opinion about the way he was producing it. I thought it was so powerful; it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck! I got straight into where Mark was going with it, and between us, we wrote this kind of spoken section full of current affairs clips like 'signs' of the end times, Kosovo, East Timor and recent earth-quakes and stuff which is all going on in the background to the song. It was great fun to do but also it really stirs you to pray.

I "Dave is a real life 'faithful servant' and I believe he will receive such a huge 'well done' from the Father. I believe he is also a man with an ever-increasing vision and that keeps you going through the tough times. I remember talking at length to him on the telephone when I went full time in the worship ministry and he was so encouraging and very, very focused."

"I suppose all of us involved in 'worship' music enjoy a rich legacy from people like Dave, Dave Fellingham, Graham Kendrick, etc who encouraged the church to embrace new worship music and forms through their creative input right at the start. I suppose it must have to do with a certain timeless appeal that must bridge age and style differences. I also suppose he has gained a great deal of respect from the church."

"It was a thrill for me to be involved in this project, for two reasons. First, because of the quality of Dave Bilbrough's songs. Dave's name is so familiar to everyone, so much 'part of the furniture' of the worship scene, it's easy to forget just what a pioneer he is. He was one of the leading lights in the worship revolution of the '70s and '80s. He was the first to write 'content' songs about what God was showing us: about being an army, about joy in worship, about understanding and living in the grace of God - songs that gave the lie to the popular criticism that charismatic renewal was all froth and no substance. Dave's songs were helping to establish the foundations upon which the vibrant Church of the '90s stands. And he's continued to help feed it, with great songs like 'All Hail The Lamb', '0 The Joy Of Your Forgiveness', and 'Father God'.

"I believe Dave has managed to clock up 25 years for many reasons. Dave loves music and obviously enjoys being the troubadour. He is also a prolific songwriter and his songs span three decades - this means he has something to say to the generations.
"On top of this, Dave models humility and grace. He has risen to the challenge of each passing year rather than retreat to a safe place. He seeks to be prophetic and not nostalgic. There is a feeling that he is always just beginning another new phase rather than simply perpetuating an old one. He appears not to be into repeating the safe formula that he knows works - but is always learning, experimenting and reaching forward."

John Smith: Final Reflection - The importance of communicating values to the younger generation

In the face of American school massacres, we need to communicate values to youth like never before, says Australian apologist JOHN SMITH.

Whether kids die by someone else's hand or by their own through substance abuse, alcohol related auto accident or suicide, when a trend has clearly developed any nation should be concerned deeply. My friend Martyn Joseph said of self-destructive trends amongst youth, "When the children have no hope/Just their alcohol and dope/What have we done/When the children have no hope/There is no hope at all!"

Of course, the truth expressed by Martyn is not the whole truth but it is a sobering one that must be recognised as part of current reality in modem societies.

The majority of youth do not take the path of destruction, but the minority who are marginalized and despairing were clearly central in Jesus' mind and life. When sufficient critical mass of alienated souls emerges in any culture the damage to the innocent is expensive too. It takes its toll on mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and friends and is lifelong in effect. Entire communities are deeply affected and the general sense of security, confidence and even relationships suffers long term.

Such trends do not occur overnight and they will not be reversed by makeshift political manoeuvres. It has been sad to watch folks oversimplify the problem and trivialise the solution in talk shows and news commentaries. Scapegoats abound. It's the parents. It's the kids. It's the education systems' absurd tradition of 'value free' teaching (whatever that nonsensical term means). It's the media's morbid obsession with bad news. It's the violent movies and violent parlour games. It's the accessibility of guns in American culture and drugs in ours... It's the lack of cohesive belief systems and time-honoured faith. It's the lack of love. It's the disappearance of a community sense of embracing all, including the fringe kid and the alienated. The list of pet theories goes on and on. Probably there is an element of truth in each claim.

Franklin Graham (Billy's son) sincerely holds the line on Larry King Live night after night that it's just the sinful human heart and restricting guns is no answer. I do believe in the Jesus who loves. If only everyone would love and follow Jesus there would be no war, no rape, no murder and no violence. But it really is more complex than that.

When societies become malfunctional or dysfunctional or simply described as 'sick' every institution loses its contact with many in need, even the Church suffers the fragmentation generally felt. To turn it around probably takes as long as it did to bring the society unstuck. That's why 30 years ago I began concentrating on school. A small team developed - basically kept small for one simple reason, most people don't see the long-term, cross-generational significance of bringing values and a message of hope and loving responsibility to each generation.

Can you imagine, if every teenager for the next 10 years were to receive an annual booster of values for life in school, what could that do in terms of impacting the culture of our nation. There is no quick fix, folks. And despite some exciting stories of fast growing, socially active churches the overall scene is one which shows only a minority of our wonderful Aussies with a faith connection to a believing, healing and loving community. We need the prayers of thousands of believers to share the heart of Jesus for a bewildered and lost humanity.

I am diligently praying too that God will move the hearts of many who read this to stand with us by regular, serious giving so that we can blitz the youth - the future of our nation with a cohesive, compelling message to turn the titanic of Australian lethargy around.

How thankful we are that your prayers and support has so many times enabled us t keep on with a compelling work amongst the youth of our land. Give us the tools and we will build a future of love and hope through transformed young people. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
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Reader Comments

Posted by Dave Floyd in Stoke On Trent @ 22:09 on Sep 20 2014

Saw Dave last Saturday at St Johns in Stoke thoroughly uplifting and special.

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