What is the Collective Worship Project?

After seven months of work, the recording of the Collective Worship album is complete! Final mixing, mastering, and distribution is all that’s left (thanks a bunch to Caleb Saenz for the epic album art). Looking like an early-March 2020 release. Praise God! It’s so cool to listen straight through the record He told me would exist a long time back.

Four years ago, God made it clear to me that I would be laying down my singer/songwriter label and that the next musical release I work on should be an album of vertical, corporate worship songs for the church. I had no clue what that looked like, I didn’t have the songs (writing worship music can be difficult!), but I knew it was a thing. Then I went through the darkest, driest desert season of my life – a season in which I wrote very little original music. For those that know me, that’s insanity. I am wired to do music and ministry!

Then I moved back to San Antonio over seven months ago and the Lord blew the doors wide open. One night during my first week back, He woke me up at 1am and I never fell back to sleep. Over those several hours songs came, ideas were fleshed out, and it became abundantly clear what God wanted from this project. My mind was racing about all the little details! Here’s where we ended up:
‣ I was to create a full-length album of corporate worship songs for the church called “Collective Worship”. Musicians and artists from all over the country would be a part of the project.

‣ It would consist of 6 studio recordings.

‣ 4 songs were to be recorded live, in-the-studio at Stone Creek Sound in Helotes, TX (This was a prophetic word. This event took place November 15th!). These would be stripped down, with a community of worship leaders/worshipers from across the state assembled to sing along – people from across denominations, races, and life seasons. It was also to be filmed and released on YouTube as individual tracks.

‣ It was going to drop in Q1 of 2020.
And these things were exactly what happened. And at last count, there have been 57 people (!!) involved in the creation of this album!

The song list for the record is as follows:

Studio recordings:

‣ Released (featuring drummer Brian Scoggin and bassist Chris Huffman from Casting Crowns)
‣ Holy Spirit of God (featuring Stu Garrard, from Delirious, One Sonic Society, and tours with Michael W. Smith, on electric guitar)
‣ Pray (featuring Rebekah Bichsel from Brad & Rebekah on vocals)
‣ Blessed Assurance (featuring drummer Ben Vela from Abandon)
‣ Kyrie (Lord Have Mercy) (featuring drummer Brian Scoggin from Casting Crowns)
‣ You Are (featuring Milo Deering on dobro)

Live recordings:

‣ It Is Well
‣ What Love Did
‣ Soon
‣ The Grace That Goes Before Us (co-written with Jennie Lee Riddle and Kaden Slay of People & Songs, as well as several worship leaders from across Texas)

I couldn’t be more excited to see this project come to fruition. To worship, write, and do music with such an amazing cast of artists has been humbling to say the least. God is good and He made life happen so we would all assemble at this point in time to allow this project to exist and I am thankful. I hope and pray for nothing other than for God to be glorified in this, that His story would be told and not mine, and that His will for this project be done and not my own.

Thanks to everyone for coming alongside me in this journey. I appreciate your support and for allowing me a little space in your lives to share this music. Keep your eyes peeled!

-Matt
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