Jesus Culture: Chris Quilala and Kim Walker-Smith talked to Cross Rhythms

Wednesday 3rd November 2010

Tony Cummings met up with two members of the team of Californian revivalists known as JESUS CULTURE

Continued from page 1

Chris: A few of them are original, a few are ones that our friends have written. We have some musicians on the other side of the States who have written some songs that their church are doing that minister to us.

Kim: One of the songs was written by a 15 year old girl. She's just a girl who's an aspiring writer and worshiper, and she wrote this song and it was really big in her church. We took it and did it and we're excited about that. She's also a girl who's really inspired by Jesus Culture and so it's super exciting for her that we're doing one of her songs. It's an amazing song, it's so good.

Tony: Previous Jesus Culture albums have ensured that relatively obscure songs have been suddenly catapulted to international church popularity. Doesn't that mean that you are inundated with CDs from songwriters hoping you will take up one of their songs?

Kim: We do get given a lot of CDs. Actually my husband and I will listen to every single one we get because you never know when you might hear a song that you really love and can connect with. We have had a few CDs given to us that we just loved and ended up connecting with the person that gave it to us. It was great.

Tony: Is that what happened with John Mark McMillan?

Kim: With "How He Loves Us" I actually lived out in Charlotte, North Carolina for a little while, where John Mark is based. I heard him leading that song and at that time he was in the process of recording it. This is many, many years ago. During that song I had an encounter with God and the song just meant so much to me. So when I came home I wanted to sing it. I remember the very first time I did it, no one really got it. Everyone was like, "Okay, this is kind of a different song," but I could feel it inside of me and so I took it to Banning [Liebscher, Jesus Culture's leader] and said that I wanted to do it for our album and he said "Let's do it." So we recorded it but we had no idea that it would go where it's gone. At the time I only pitched that song because it meant so much to me. John Mark and his wife are really close friends of mine and it's awesome because when it got so big, it opened up a huge door for him as well. So now he's taken his music even further and gone further in what he's doing, so that's really exciting.

Tony: Is there a song on 'Come Away' that you feel God may use in the same kind of way as "How He Loves Us"?

Chris: For me the title track "Come Away" is kind of a different song because it's more of God singing to his people, more of a call to worship. We haven't really done one like that. "How He Loves Us" is kind of what God is saying to his people but this one is kind of a call to worship and I'm excited about that one. Every time we play it and sing it, even though it's not singing directly to God, it's more God singing to us, it somehow really connects us to his heart and it's really been powerful. A friend named Brock Human wrote that song. He actually already has it out on some albums and it's incredible. Even on his album, you can feel God's presence really strong, so that's why we wanted to start doing it live and put it on the album.

Tony: You're in the UK and have been here several times now. Is there anything you feel God is doing among British Christians?

Chris: I've been coming here for years. The first time was when I was 14 in 1997, and we were doing sketches and assemblies at schools and stuff, and now we're coming and doing music. Even since two years ago I've noticed an increase in the hunger and passion for God's presence, so it's been really cool to come back see what's grown. Even from last year, to see what the Church has been building on. So it's really exciting to come and be a part of and support that passionate pursuit of God's presence. It's really encouraging to see what he's doing here in the UK.

Kim: Each time we come I see people getting more and more passionate about worship and to me it looks like people are getting more and more free and more comfortable in their expression of worship to the Lord, whatever it looks like. And we've also seen lots of different denominations coming now and that's been really exciting. I feel like God is proving that it's not just about one denomination, it's about the Church as a whole and the Church is not confined to one building but it's all of us, the body of Christ. I feel like we're seeing God's spirit really being poured out in lots of different congregations and that's exciting. 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.
About Tony Cummings
Tony CummingsTony Cummings is the music editor for Cross Rhythms website and attends Grace Church in Stoke-on-Trent.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Ceara in Denver, CO USA @ 09:28 on Jan 1 2011

How does one get involved with Jesus Culture? You guys have a great ministry

Posted by Eric molapo in South africa @ 05:45 on Nov 13 2010

I love all of you guys,especially kim,hope and im praying one day i will join you,im a guitarist,will you come to south africa in december

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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