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Elevation Rhythm and the Future of Worship Music

Elevation Rhythm and the Future of Worship Music

Elevation Rhythm is on a mission.

The worship collective from the youth ministry of Elevation Church is focused on creating worship music that reaches the hearts and minds of a new generation. The group has released two full-length albums, last year’s Growing Pains and this summer’s This is the Gospel, each full of tracks that engage a youthful generation.

As the band continues to figure out who they are and what they want to sound like, they are committed to reaching Gen Z believers who are searching for truth.

“I really think Gen Z just wants something authentic,” said Josh Holiday, a member of Elevation Rhythm. “They’re really good at finding out what is or isn’t genuine. So we want to give them something real that they can relate to and that can encourage them, no matter what they’re going through right now.”

We sat down with Holiday to talk about the worship collective’s latest album, This is the Gospel, and what Gen Z needs to hear these days.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

What was the inspiration for This Is the Gospel?

Josh Holiday: Our last album, Growing Pains, was our first album. We touched on a lot of different subjects, but we really wanted to talk about emotions and apply truth to those emotions that we knew our youth were feeling at our church.

With this album, we wanted to switch it up and start with the truth. We wanted to make a truth-focused project. For us as a team and as a ministry, we’re new. We felt like we needed to have a project that really proclaimed the truth that we believe in. We’re not ashamed of the gospel. We believe in Jesus Christ. We believe in salvation. We believe in those things.

We wanted that to be known publicly, so people know who we are first and foremost. Before we do another song, we wanted people to know that this is the God that we believe in. This is Christ. He is the center of everything that we do. This is the good news. This is the gospel.

That was the whole purpose of the album. It’s cool because our youth are in the same space. They just want to know truth. They want foundational truths. They’re building their faith right now, so it’s good for them to build their faith on truth and have a strong foundation of that.

Everyone kind of says, “Oh, we’re the voice of the next generation.” But it’s important that you really give them foundational and practical things as well, not just give them vibes. These are the things they’re building right now. We know our youth are also building, and we want to make sure that what they’re building on is the gospel and Jesus.

What is a message that the next generation really needs to hear?

I think that they need to hear that they’re loved. I think there’s an identity crisis that happens with our now generation. Fame looks different than it did 10 years ago. Before, fame was almost unattainable. It was like, “Oh, that would be famous. You got to be on TV.” But now, the TV has become the phone. Getting on the phone is as simple as uploading something and people are instantly responding to whatever you’re saying.

There’s so much that’s shaping their identity. There’s a need for people to know how Christ sees them. The next generation needs to know how Jesus sees them. It’s going to be hard sometimes. It’s going to be confusing when you’re growing up with all the lies that the world is telling you. But we just need to be just as loud with the truth as the world is loud with the lies.

What is next for Elevation Rhythm?

Oh, yes! We’re not stopping. We’re working on like three different projects right now.

Our church is really big on writing songs. Our pastor and Elevation Worship set the pace. They’re always writing, and Sunday mornings are full of energy. Our church just loves writing songs.

We have some songs that we’re going to record for our yearly big conference, our youth conference called Youth X. That’s literally our favorite time of the year. It’s the craziest thing ever. We have 4,000 kids come together and we just get to church for three days.

We’re also working on another project that’s going to be a little bit more chill. We’re still discovering who Elevation Rhythm is. Every time we do a project, we discover something new. We don’t want to put ourselves in a box before God has put us in a box. So we’re not trying to rush putting ourselves in a box.

We might do a more singer-songwriter project, almost like a Phoebe Bridgers kind of style. We have some songs like that which are a bit different from This Is The Gospel. But we’re still learning who Elevation Rhythm is as we go.

We’re still working on a lot of different projects. We’re excited to see what God has in store for us.

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