Worship artist Brett Younker said thousands of young people have joined him and Passion Music to genuinely worship Jesus despite the rise in "deconstruction" seen amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Passion Music recently released their new EP, Burn Bright, which was unveiled in January at Passion 2022. The event, attended by thousands of young adults, seeks to “inspire a generation” to spread the hope of Jesus across the nations.
"We're always wanting to put before college students that your life can matter if you live for something larger than yourself, that you can live for the glory of God, but specifically in this moment in time, 'Lord, would you help a wave of college students just see that one of the calls that you have on your people is to take the Gospel, the message of Jesus, the message of the resurrection, to every nation, tribe and tongue,” Younker shared with The Christian Post.
Passion believes the message of Christ must continue, even as notable Christian figures claim they are deconstructing Christianity.
A 2021 poll from Gallup found that fewer than 50% of Americans belong to a church or religious organization. BreakPoint reported that some of the people leaving the Church are joining a growing demographic known as the “nones.” Religious “nones” consist of people who reject all religious affiliation, and some of these people are also known as exvangelicals.
The overall movement is called “deconstruction,” meaning deconstructing one’s faith and leaving the Church. Many who are “deconstructing” have spoken out about their experiences getting hurt by people inside the Church. Others have cited their rejection of biblical teaching on sexuality as the reason they are disassociating.
However, there are people who are rising up to spread the Gospel, and Younker said Passion Music’s new EP is an encouragement to those who are still holding fast to the faith.
Lyrics included in their song "Shine like Stars" say: "I'm going to burn bright/ I'm going to let love shine/ I'm going to shine like stars in the heavens."
That song, Younker said, is the band's prayer. Despite what the mainstream media publicizes about the Church, the artist said he has seen thousands of young people dedicate themselves to Christ.
"Jesus is central, the glory of God is central, and people may think one way, but the Church has weathered a lot of the world storms just in our 2,000-year history,” he told CP.
“So I'm personally not concerned for that. I'm not afraid for the Church because God loves the Church, it's God's idea to reach and save the world and I'm leaning into that, and I'm trusting that. I don't understand all the uncertainty in the world and what's going on, but I do believe that God, when Jesus says in Matthew 5, 'You are the light of the world, a city set on a hill,' He's shining through us, even in the hard moments.”
“I just love the simplicity of the message,” he said of the Gospel and his time at Passion Conference in January with other believers burning bright for Jesus. “That's what it felt like getting in the same room and saying, ‘Hey, Jesus, is great and His glory is central.”
The worship leader said he was excited to return to the stage following the shutdowns resulting from COVID-19. He said that though things are different, they are better than ever.
"I'm different, so I'm sure my worship is as well,” Younker explained. “I think that God refines all of us, and we all grow in our relationship with Jesus, and hopefully, by God's grace, we're becoming more like Him.”
“I think things simplified for me where, maybe things that I thought were important don't seem as important to me anymore, but the basics of walking with Jesus and walking in the calling," he added.
Younker reflected on his calling and asked himself: “OK, 'So what is my calling?' Well, I'm married. So I'm a husband, that's part of my calling. I'm a dad, that's part of my calling. I'm a pastor. I am a worship leader and a songwriter, so those are parts of my assignments and things like that. So, how can I do those things when for while we were shut down and wasn't doing any of that? Well, I've got things in my hand, how can I help people see Jesus? That's at the core of being a worship leader, is to help lead people to see God.”
Reminding himself of those truths and remaining mission-minded grounded him, the worship leader said. Things got a lot clearer and simpler as stuff begin to shift and shake, he added.
Younker stated what "passion" means to him as a believer.
"I can walk through the hardships of this world, I can walk through the brokenness of this world because I've seen something so much greater, and I've seen someone who is better and stronger," he said. "So I think that's what [Passion] is, I think it's our hearts not settling, our lives not settling, for something that is less than the greatest thing in the world."
"So Passion Music — It's people who are in love with Jesus, so much so, that we're willing to give it all for Him."