Passion Music kicked off 2020 by leading 65,000 students in worshiping Jesus at the Passion 2020 conference and the band believes worship is the answer to the world's troubles today.
Their latest album, Roar, was recorded live at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, during the Passion 2020 conference. The band, led by Kristian Stanfill, Brett Younker, and Melodie Malone ushered in the new decade with a declaration of faith for attendees from across the world.
The Passion 2020 Conference also featured the band’s sixstepsrecords label mates: Crowder, Sean Curran, Hillsong United, Kari Jobe, and Cody Carnes. All of the artists are also featured on the Roar album. The 12 song project features songs from the conference as well as the hit songs, "There’s Nothing That Our God Can’t Do” and "King of Glory.”
The following is an edited transcript of The Christian Post’s interview with Passion worship leader and songwriter Brett Younker who describes the heart behind their new album and what the band hopes listeners take from the worship experience.
Christian Post: Passion Conference 2020 was attended by 65,000 people who you led in worship. What was that experience like?
Younker: My favorite moment was our final set. We led our favorite songs with all our friends and leaders who were a part of the whole conference. Everything felt so free. You had a real sense that God was stirring up people’s hearts to send them back to their campuses and all over the world.
CP: Passion has such a unique perspective to lead worship and usher 65,000 people into the presence of God. What do you see this generation needing in worship? What are they responding to?
Younker: This generation is searching for identity and validation. What I love about Passion is that we talk about all of that being found in Jesus. We can try and find significance in a relationship, career or even ourselves, but our souls will be disappointed and dissatisfied.
I believe the students at Passion realize that when we say yes to Jesus, we can live for something so much greater than ourselves. In the process, we find out who we are and how our lives can have meaning. It’s so inspiring to stand with a generation of students who want to spend their lives living for the glory of God.
CP: People seem to be feeling a sense of anxiety these days with the political and social climate and fear of sickness. How does Passion play a role in this?
Younker: For sure, I believe worship helps our perspective. When you worship you stop staring at your problem or your pain and you look at Jesus. We still have to deal with reality, but we realize we are in a relationship with the King of Glory, the Lord strong and mighty. So we don’t have to deal [with it] alone. We have Jesus. Worship music becomes the soundtrack of truth in our life.
CP: How did you become a part of Passion Music?
Younker: I first started coming to Passion as a college student. The message and music played a huge role in my relationship with Jesus. Then, 10 years ago, Passion City Church started here in Atlanta. My wife and I have been a part of it all since day one. We have served in many capacities. I’ve always loved being in the worship space.
As a leader, I want to help people see how amazing Jesus really is. Worship is a big part of who we are at Passion. We believe God has called us to help our church and this generation express our love and devotion to God. It’s pretty amazing to see how God can use these songs to touch the lives of so many people around the world.
CP: What song on Roar do you feel will resonate with listeners?
Younker: It’s been great to see "There’s Nothing That Our God Can’t Do” resonate with students and our church. I think this song gives people help. It’s a statement of faith in the power of God. We are all looking for something to believe in. Because our God has the power over life and death, we can have hope in any circumstance.
CP: How does Passion select the songs for an album?
Younker: We have an amazing team of pastors and leaders who are shepherding these moments. As writers, we are seeking God for the songs He wants to be sung. As the year goes by, our team goes through all the new songs to find out what is the right song for the right time.
This year, we weren’t trying to put an album together. We wanted to bring a couple of new songs to Passion, but we also wanted to lead with some of the songs the church is currently singing. When we finished the conference, we felt like there were some incredible moments that were worth sharing with others. I’m so happy people who weren’t at Passion 2020 can experience all that Jesus did in those days.
CP: What does the songwriting process look like for Passion?
Younker: When we write songs, we start by kneeling. We pray and ask God to show us who He is and to touch our lives. We ask Him for songs for our church and this movement.
We write as a team and invite some good friends to be a part of the process. We think a lot about the people who God has entrusted us to lead. We want to make sure people see Jesus and His love for them in the songs. We also look for songs that simply tell Jesus how much we love Him and how we surrender our lives to whatever He wants.
CP: What is the one thing you want someone to take away from this project?
Younker: We hope people hear this album and are amazed at who Jesus is and what He is doing on the Earth. This gathering was historic, and the aftermath will be felt for years to come. We want all people to find their place in the big story that Jesus is writing.
CP: Passion is also behind the launch of the END IT movement against human trafficking. Will you tell us more about that?
Younker: Yes! We believe worship is more than singing. When grace touches down into our lives, God moves us out to be a light in the world. The End It movement came out of Passion a few years ago. We have seen real change come from an awareness campaign.
Millions of dollars of been allocated toward fighting human trafficking. In a time where most issues seem divisive, it’s been amazing to see how unifying the message of freedom has been all over America and the world.
Passion Music is performing on the Winter Jam 2020 tour through mid-March.