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Housefires Is Just Getting Started

Housefires Is Just Getting Started

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When Housefires formed back in 2014, no one could have anticipated what the next decade would entail.

At the time, Grace Midtown Church in Atlanta, Georgia, had released two worship albums. But once Kirby Kaple joined the worship team, she, Pat Barrett and the other worship leaders began to shift the church’s musical style from contemporary worship songs to a more simple, stripped-down sound.

Worship services became less of a structured, pre-planned performance and more of a spontaneous, powerful time of praise and worship. Housefires was officially formed.

That mission hasn’t changed, although the team has. Barrett and other leaders have gone on to other projects, and the team has brought in a variety of new voices. Nate Moore, who joined in 2014, shared that they have intentionally tried to include as many voices as possible to represent what it truly looks like for the entire Church to be united under God in worship.

“We were really broken-hearted about how not diverse the writing was in the Christian worship industry for a long time,” Moore said.

The team began to host “Housefires and Friends” worship nights with the purpose of inviting as many people as they could to work together and learn from each other. Over the years, countless artists and musicians have shown up to lend their voices and talents. Whether the artists are officially a part of Housefires or part of other worship collectives, like Chandler Moore from Maverick City Music, the purpose has always been to come together and create music that can resonate with every member of the Church.

“It’s beautiful, beautiful stuff, but also really broken stuff,” Kaple said. “We just let our stories blend together, letting God speak to all of it, writing together and pulling the curtain off some of the things that maybe we don’t always want to talk about. I think that’s why there’s a lot of gravity to this type of music because people see themselves and see a diverse community that they want to replicate and be a part of. They really resonate with it.”

Blake Wiggins is one of the newest additions to the worship collective. He’s only been with the team for a year, but he shared the entire process has been an honor to help build up “a housefire.”

“I feel gratitude to be a part of something that I believe in because of the way that they protected and that the way they built this thing,” Wiggins said. “It’s a real honor to step into something that has meant something to me on the outside, and to now be in and catch what they’re doing now and add what little thing I can add to it.”

As the worship collective has grown their team and their sound, their message remains the same. Despite their success, the band has strived to remain authentic and vulnerable both in their lives and in their worship.

And with their newest album, How To Start A Housefire, the team wanted to share “the secret” to starting a housefire anywhere and everywhere.

How to Start a Housefire

“There’s been one consistent question we’ve gotten over the years of traveling to lead, sing and minister all over the world: How do I start a gathering like this?” Moore said.

Housefires has always known that what they have isn’t limited to Grace Midtown, or even limited to Atlanta. From the beginning, the collective has hoped and prayed that “housefires” would spark everywhere. And with How to Start a Housefire, that was their prayer throughout the recording process.

“People are hungry to be a part of an authentic, free-spirited, Jesus-loving, fiery, worship community,” Moore said. “This album captures the essence of what a ‘house on fire’ type of worship community looks and feels like.

“We all long to belong somewhere — to be a part of something bigger and deeper than ourselves,” he continued. “Especially coming out of the pandemic, people are desperate to feel at home somewhere — to be seen, known and loved by others who are pursuing similar passions and dreams. This album provides a window into a community that has existed the better part of a decade — a place where anyone from anywhere can come and meet Jesus and feel at home with those on their left and their right.”

On How to Start a House Fire, the worship collective don’t rely on an overproduced sound or complex lyrics. Rather, their songs are slowed down, simple and full of truth and praise. They’re not trying to reinvent the wheel; they’re simply creating a sound that people can use to connect with God  wherever and whenever they need it.

“This is an album you can listen to during the week, and not just in the big holy feeling moments,” Kaple said. “We want these songs to create a space for people to connect with God.”

And that’s the big “secret’’ to starting a housefire: staying connected to God. Each song on the album speaks to a different human struggle — “Sold Out” touches on the temptation to build up our own fame, “To You” addresses the way we often run from God instead of to Him, “Grateful” reminds us to not forget our blessings — and each song also is filled with the reminder that no matter what you may be facing, God is with you through it all.

“The songs were meant to be a resource for the Church in thought and creed rather than elements to tack onto a Sunday setlist,” Moore said.

“When people listen to the album, I really hope they feel something intangible that they can’t explain,” Moore continued. “They feel held and almost resurrected, but they don’t know why. Those are those God moments that carry you and that you don’t have language for, and I really hope that happens when people listen to these songs.”

A United Community

One thing that stands out about Housefires is how tight-knit they are.They’ve always been aware of the importance of community, Moore said, but the last few years reignited a fire, so to speak, in all of them.

“When the pandemic started and everyone lost all the framework around them — the easy way to show up at church, somebody else planning out your spiritual life for you — we all felt that loss,” Moore shared. “But I felt like that was such a gift to the world, because we then got to connect with the real thing at that point.

“When you lose the conferences and the concerts and the flashing shows, you’re only left with the people you, the real community around you and the presence of God,” he continued. “I think that’s the simplicity that Housefires has always represented. It’s what we’re still aiming for. How beautiful is it that we can just gather together and gather with God? That’s all we really need. Everything else is just extra framework that is sometimes helpful and sometimes very unhelpful.”

It’s clear that a united community is what drives the worship team. It’s what has always driven their mission. These musicians don’t come together to make a name for themselves or to even create a product they can market and sell.

Kaple admitted that their latest album wasn’t planned at all. It just happened. In fact, Moore chimed in, that’s how all their music has come together: no plan, just pure praise.

He references the bridge of “Open Space,” one of their songs from 2017 that started out as a spontaneous moment and has become a mantra for the team:

Do whatever You wanna do. And say whatever You wanna say. And move whatever You wanna move. And change whatever You wanna change.”

“It’s obvious to me that God is breathing into these songs, and He’s going to do what He’s going to do,” Moore said. “And that’s what we all need. We feel carried by this moment, and what a privilege it is to be part of that.”

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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