Tony Cummings reports on the Passion worship leader KRISTIAN STANFILL
It was US journalist Jessie Clarks who best summed up the Passion conferences and Atlanta-based megachurch. He wrote, "One of the most impactful and stirring aspects of the Passion movement has been the sea of voices uniting together to lift up the name of Jesus, currently helmed by Kristian Stanfill, Brett Younker and Melodie Malone. Transcending their annual conferences, songs from Passion have become some of the most recognisable and unforgettable worship anthems of this generation. The band creates new music perennially for the thousands of 18 to 25 year-olds that unite for the Passion gathering, but the intention of each song is to empower worshippers around the world. Through it all, Jesus continues to remain at the centre."
The latest album 'I've Witnessed It' has the song "All About You" which is now impacting the world Church. It is sung and co-composed by Georgia-born Kristian Stanfill. Since 2004 Stanfill has been a mainstay of the Passion team and has also released some successful solo albums. In fact, his last solo effort, 2021's 'Make It Out Alive', has an almost unprecedented eight songs on the Cross Rhythms playlist including the title track, "Change You" and "Grace" and is unquestionably his most personal album ever.
In September last year Stanfill told journalist Herb Longs how the album was effectively a marker in his battle against alcohol. He said, "I am two years sober today. I've been pretty quiet about this part of my life on social media but I wanted to share today for a couple of reasons. First, somebody needs to know that you're not alone. I read somewhere that 'when we struggle in silence we suffer alone'. Owning our brokenness and being honest about our humanity helps us heal and helps others heal too. SOBRIETY IS A WE. I have taken every step of this journey WITH people. My wife, close friends, pastors, counsellors. it takes a village! Community and connection is where we experience the power of Grace and begin to heal. If you're addicted and hurting the first step toward change is reaching out to someone and asking for help. We can't do this alone.
Second, somebody needs to hear that sobriety isn't just possible but it's also worth it. My life is not perfect and the last 730 days have not been easy but I am happier and healthier than I ever was with a drink in my hand. My head is clear and my relationships are real. My heart is ON and I'm dreaming again. I'm checked in to reality and I'm fighting to be present to every moment. This is the good life. Beauty from ashes. Something worth fighting for. I hope this is encouraging for someone. I don't have it all figured out and I have not arrived. This is a process and I'm committed to it. One step at a time, one day at a time until I see Jesus face to face and the struggle ends."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.