Christian Living

Spiritual Life

She's 'Shouting to the Lord'

Her voice has been heard around the world in commercial jingles for KFC, for Diet Coke, for McDonald's, but real success came when she gave a 'shout to the Lord.' Can you guess who it is? It's Australian-born Darlene Zschech. Co-host Terry Meeuwsen talked with the Hill Song worship singer and songwriter about her music and her ministry.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Before we talk about the new project that you've worked on, By Your Side, let's talk for just a moment about "Shout to the Lord." What was the inspiration behind that song?

DARLENE ZSCHECH: Well, I mean, I wish it was a grand experience. You know, it actually came out of a very hard time for me personally and I still remember it very distinctly. I just walked away from the situation, and I went and sat in my little piano room with an out-of-tune piano that was given to me when I was five. And it was really old and awful when I was five, but I just opened the Psalms and started to play and seek the Lord. And Psalm 96, there it was. It's basically Psalm 96.

TERRY: Now before we knew of you and knew of your church through all of the music that God has now breathed on and used in blessing the lives of others, you had been singing for a while. Tell me a little bit about your background musically and what you've done.

DARLENE: I've been singing for as long as I can remember. I don't think there's ever been a time when I haven't been singing. I've been paid to sing full-time since I was 10.

TERRY: Really?

DARLENE: I was singing on a children's show in Australia full-time, till I was 15 and a half. And I got saved at 15 and got radically saved. I mean, it was a hard time. I was already living out of the home at 15 and I was overwhelmed by that love of God. Still am. Takes my breath away just thinking about it. After you know what it's like after you meet the Lord, you're just never the same again.

TERRY: It's true.

DARLENE: I took a little bit of time out, because I had been a performer. I had to learn how to sing without having to perform, and God just taught me bit by bit. He said, 'You don't have to perform for Me. You just need to love Me, because I love you for who you are. You don't have to put the acts on.'TERRY: I think that's why there's such an anointing on the music, because you sense that. It is something that's between you and the Lord, but you invite us, and even allow us, to enter into that with you, and then it becomes something between us and the Lord. And it's a precious thing.

DARLENE: Yeah, it really is.

TERRY: Have you always written?

DARLENE: Probably from around age 11, but I never even called myself a songwriter, you know. I mean, we have a great team at church. I represent a great team. And in that team are a bunch of wonderfully gifted songwriters. And they just love the Lord.

TERRY: What is the vision for Hills Praise and Worship?

DARLENE: Well, it's actually not really separate from the vision of the church. We want to build a large Bible-based church. We want to see people saved and set free, and we want to change mindsets, and that is the vision of the church. And so through whichever area of church life you're in, we will do that. Through the praise and worship, we want to do the same thing. In the end, we want to lift Jesus high and see Him draw all men unto Himself and see people saved. That is the goal every time.

TERRY: I have some friends who just came back from Australia. What is God doing in your country?

DARLENE: Well, it's really exciting. You know, we actually are quite a secular nation. I think it's only just over two percent of people who even go to church.

TERRY: Really?

DARLENE: People don't even go to church. Aussies are very black or white: you're a Christian or you're not a Christian. There's no 'Oh, maybe.' The last couple of years, there has been a real change taking place that churches are putting aside a lot of stuff that really doesn't matter and getting back to the basics of loving Christ and being His hands and feet on the Earth today, and showing people the love of Christ by His love. We have just seen, not just in our church, but churches right across the country, that God is moving. He really is. And it's not just through young people.

TERRY: You have a brand-new project, By Your Side. Tell me about this.

DARLENE: Well, this is really cool, because it's my personal revelation that I want to do in the next few years. It's to really bring through the next generation.

TERRY: Amen.

DARLENE: Because firstly, it's not just me. I represent a team. But there is a whole lot of youth that are just sitting there in the wings, who basically God is raising up. And I'm really excited about pulling them through. The song "By Your Side" was written by a guy in our youth group who was 19 when he wrote it. He's 22 now. His name is Marty. On the video you'll see him. He has little white sneakers and he's just so gorgeous. He represents another whole bunch of people who are just hungry for the things of God and hungry to see their generation changed. And so this is like a merging of people who've been around right from the beginning of church and we've come together. It's just so exciting.

TERRY: Amen. Well, I want to say that the CD is a live-worship experience. There is also, as Darlene just mentioned, a videotape of the live-worship experience. The Bible says that God inhabits the praises of his people and you can sense it when you listen to Hill Song music.

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