I stood in church this morning as we sang My Redeemer Lives and as I felt the Holy Spirit move within me I bowed my head and said thank you for Reuben Morgan the man who authored the song. The week before I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Morgan and on this particular day the song took on even greater meaning as I now understood the heart behind the song.
You could be an avid music fan and still not recognize the name of this tremendously gifted songwriter who has also penned You Said, Lord I Give You My Heart, I Adore You and Hear Our Praises, among others. Reuben Morgan is a member of the worship staff at Hillsong Church in Sydney Australia where he works closely with colleague Darlene Zschech. On September 13th he will debut his solo album, World Through our Eyes. The album is being released through Rocketown Records.
Our conversation drifted into an area Morgan knows well, worship, “I think the challenge of the church is to keep worship accessible to all people not to exclude people through style and presentation. I think that’s a huge challenge for the church and especially in our day when there is so much variety and people can be so specialized.”
Morgan views his role as a solo artist to be merely an extension of the Hillsong ministry. When you talk to this humble and ever grateful man you become aware that for Morgan this isn’t about building a solo career, it is about continuing his ministry as he remains a member of the Hillsong staff.
As we continued to talk he thoughtfully considered my questions concerning the ever changing face of worship on the international scene, “I think what everybody needs to keep at the core is worship can’t be exclusive. It can’t shut people out and not include people. I think that’s a challenge. It can’t be elitist. It can’t be exclusive.” The Aussie troubadour believes that more than any other time in our history a greater acceptance for diversity in worship styles exists. He says worship now appears to be at the core of the music being created. While concert goers still wish to be entertained they are also looking for individuals to lead them in worship.
Morgan notes, “People are really hungry and inspired for worship. As far as where it is going, God is doing what He has always been doing and that is building the church. I think that worship will spring forth from that (as well as) teaching, healing and salvation. People have been reminded to get your eyes on God. I think at the core God is passionate about his church.”
“True worship comes out of revelation of God. I need God to break through to my world before I can respond back to Him.”
Reuben Morgan strikes you as a genuinely humble individual who is just grateful for the opportunity that he has to be a servant of God. He uses words like ?we’ rather than ?I’ to discuss his accomplishments and dreams, a direct reference to the rest of the Hillsong team. As we talked about the co-write he did for fellow Aussie mate Paul Colman’s smash hit Gloria: All God’s Children you have to practically pry out of him that yes he was one of the contributors whereas Colman is much more forceful about Morgan’s contribution.
About his wife Sarah he says, “I like her commitment to God. It is the most valuable thing that we have and I think that it keeps our relationship on track.” It is his hope that as parents they will be able to pass onto their two year old son Jones the importance of, “A faith that is authentic and that he can take on as his own. There are all the things that go with that, honesty, integrity and confidence.” While talking to Morgan, a man who at a relatively young age has already given so much to the world I was almost hesitant to ask him if there is something else he feels he would like to do. “I don’t feel like I’ve really started yet. There’s so much left to do. We’re really passionate about missions. My wife and I are really passionate about Africa and helping meet the needs of the people. We (Sarah and Reuben) are partnering with a church in Johannesburg to support an orphanage called Sun-Child Baby Home. Things like that are what I want to do and where I want to grow. I think there is no end to that as long as mothers are leaving their babies in the gutter or giving birth and leaving their babies out on their own for anyone to pick up and turn into trash. There is no end to the need. We always want to be part of that.” His other passion is to continue to build and strengthen churches and as he says we have only begun to scratch the surface.
I do have a regret concerning my interview with this humble and sincere Australian — that it had to end.
To learn more about the Sun-Child Baby Home ministry visit www.reubenmorgan.com
Copyright © 2005 Joe Montague, exclusive rights reserved. This material may not be redistributed without prior written permission from Joe Montague.
Joe Montague is an internationally published freelance journalist / photographer.