Global Gathering to Premiere Global Worship Song
By Mick Gilliam
As I reflected on the nature and potential of the upcoming Global Gathering last year, I saw an opportunity to project a picture of a world united by common mission in Christian faith. In Brent Peterson’s recent book Created to Worship: Becoming Fully Human, there’s an agenda of painting the abundant life as human beings becoming “fully human”—all that we were created to be—high functioning and in conformity with the person of Christ. As a pursuant of the abundant life, this notion really caught my attention.
When the planning committees commissioned David Coplin (worship pastor at South Meridian Church of God in Anderson, Indiana) and me to compose a theme song for the Global Gathering, the concept of being fully human came to be at the crux of the lyrics. David featured the lyrics “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10) as a hypnotic ostinato weaved throughoutthe song. The idea is that we as many nations can live a life in conformity with Christ’s character, even on this side of heaven. The apocalyptic implication of that lyric is present, as well, but my hope is to encourage Christians to live on earth like we will live in heaven.
“We Will Stand As One” echoes the theme statement of the Global Gathering, “Standing Together by Being the Body of Christ in a Changing World.” The content borrows not only images from the Lord’s Prayer but also those wonderful pictures of saints, elders, and angels worshiping God before his throne as described in from Revelations 4, 5, and 7. The first chorus of the song states:
We will stand as one, stand before the Son, reflecting his glory!
Nations all bow down, casting forth their crowns, proclaiming his story!
Every tribe, every tongue, every nation as one join and sing…on earth as it is in heaven.
David is a longtime dear friend and colleague who speaks in to my life as an accountability partner and songwriting collaborator. We have written together, but we also critique each other’s material on a regular basis. We both find that the journey of songwriting is a hard one. The journey of collaborative songwriting is even more difficult. The collaborators have to be willing to leave their egos at the door and give and receive honest critique. I say this as an exhortation to worship songwriters in the church to seek out collaborators and honest evaluation. It seems that currently we see some really great material with substance and content of the Christian gospel, but we also see material that is often theologically weak or shallow. If we use theologically shallow songs simply because of a good hook, we may limit the depth of our worship experiences. One well-known Christian songwriter shared that out of every one hundred songs he composes, there are two or three good ones. That would certainly be the case for me!
We are grateful to have been given the opportunity to write “We Will Stand As One” and are thankful for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Won’t you join us as we worship the Lord together? We will be pleased to feature several international worship leaders and utilize several languages. Don’t miss this beautiful expression of unity!
Attendees of the Global Gathering are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the lyrics and sheet music of the song in advance of the event. Download the sheet music and lyrics for free! For more information about the Global Gathering (June 22–25 in Anderson, Indiana), and to register, visit www.chog.org/globalgathering, or call 800-848-2464, ext. 2130.