Album Meant To Give The Suffering A Voice, The Persecuted A Battle Cry
Awaken Church Among First To Open In California Following Lockdowns
CCM Magazine Premieres “Fearless” Video
Awaken Worship members are pictured (l-r): Paul Anderberg (Keys), Jamin Menter (Guitar), Providence Cordell (Vocals, writer), Joel Martinez (Vocals), Jayden Valdez (Vocals), Adrian Dunne (Drums), Chase Kettering (Bass).
San Diego-based collective Awaken Worship, the musical expression from the 10,000 members of the multi-campus Awaken Church, releases its national debut album, Lionheart (Deluxe), today (Oct. 1) via The Fuel Music. Available at all major digital and streaming outlets now, the album was inspired by Awaken Church’s fierce stance on the importance of gathering together as believers to encourage and support one another. One of the first churches to open its doors in California after pandemic lockdowns, the eight-track recording is meant to give the suffering a voice and the persecuted a battle cry.
Produced by GRAMMY Award-nominated Stephen Blake Kanicka (Kanye West, for KING & COUNTRY, Danny Gokey) and mixed by David Cook (Chris Tomlin, Zach Williams, Shawn Mendes), Lionheart (Deluxe) tracks were born in the heat of 2020, a year fraught with conflicting opinions, increased hostility and even threats coming toward the church.
After closing its doors at the start of the pandemic, Awaken Church reopened August 2020 in order to support and minister to their community that was wrestling with rising cases of drug abuse, suicide and a host of other mental and physical ailments. Growing from 8,000 to 10,000 members during this time, and ministering to 25,000 people online, the church faced some backlash for the decision to open, but safety protocols were utilized and COVID-19 outbreaks were minimal.
“We were one of very few churches in America that really said, ‘hey wait a minute, the church is the most essential institution on the planet, we can’t shut down, our community needs it too badly,’” remembers Mike Yeager, who leads Awaken Worship, is the Eastlake Campus Pastor and wrote or co-wrote all but one of the new songs.
Along with the courage and strength found in the lines and melodies of the new album, there is also a sense of peace and simplicity, with an overarching proclamatory power.
“Our church is really big on the power of actually physically speaking out the precepts, promises and principles of God,” says Yeager. “Lionheart is about taking the DNA of Awaken Church and putting it out in the world, far beyond the physical borders of our church. We want to make music that people will listen to who don’t even listen to Christian music. The goal of our music program is really a missions effort.”
As the new melodies from this season are carried out into the world, Awaken Worship hopes people will find encouragement to join in the outworking of God’s plan, being active and hopeful in their mission and purpose as Christians.
This hope is carried forward by Lionheart (Deluxe) songs like the CCM Magazine-premiered “Fearless,” which is meant to remind listeners that the Kingdom of God is unshakeable, regardless of the shaking we see in the world around us, and “Authority,” a rallying cry for the Church with lyrics declaring: Let Your authority rise in me, Break every stronghold, No weapon formed could wage war against Your throne.
“These songs are meant to really empower Christians,” adds Yeager. “We are not the source of that authority, but we possess the authority nonetheless when we realize the source. The long term goal is to have a global impact, with Awaken Worship becoming a source of steadily released music that gives listeners terminology to express their beliefs and proclaim the truth of the Scriptures.”
The full Lionheart (Deluxe) track listing along with respective songwriters and lead vocalists follows:
(Songwriter: Mike Yeager; Vocalist: Jaydn Valdez)
(Songwriters: Mike Yeager, Stephen Blake Kanicka; Vocalist Jaydn Valdez)
(Songwriters: Daniel Molchanoff, Mike Yeager, Stephen Blake Kanicka; Vocalist: Joel Martinez)
(Songwriters: Haley Betlem, Bryce Betlem, Mike Yeager, Stephen Blake Kanicka, Jaydn Valdez, Paul Anderberg, Mark Cullen; Vocalist: Jaydn Valdez)
(Songwriters: Providence Cordell, Deshauwn Tagliareni, Mike Yeager; Vocalist: Providence Cordell)
(Songwriters: Joel Piper, Mike Yeager; Vocalist: Jaydn Valdez)
(Songwriters: Providence Cordell, Andrew Bennett; Vocalist: Providence Cordell)
8) Authority (Piano Version)
About Awaken Worship:
Awaken Worship is a collection of worshippers with a heart for Holy Spirit filled, declarative and prophetic worship. It’s the musical expression of Awaken Church, a vibrant, life-giving church led by Pastors Jurgen and Leanne Matthesius.
About Awaken Church:
Founded 16 years ago, Awaken Church has at its heart the Great Commission to win souls and make disciples of all nations. It’s a church that impacts the city and influences the nations towards Jesus Christ and has a culture and atmosphere of faith, hope and love. Based in San Diego and with a campus in Salt Lake City, the church works to develop leaders and empower people to become all that God had purposed and destined for their lives.
Awaken Church, formerly known as C3 San Diego, was started when Pastors Jurgen and Leanne Matthesius planted the church in 2005. From the humble beginnings meeting in hotels, school gymnasiums, performing arts centers, and at one point a hotel parking lot, Awaken Church has grown from being just a vision in Ps. Jurgen and Leanne’s hearts to now being a multi-campus and multi-generational church seeing lives changed and impacted every week.
About The Fuel Music:
Established in 2008, The Fuel Music & Management, LLC, is a leading artist management and artist solutions company that independently distributes music internationally. Based in Nashville, TN, the Fuel team brings well over 70 years of combined music industry experience in record label operations, major label distribution and marketing, and artist management for artists ranging from upstart bands to GRAMMY Award-winning, multi-Platinum artists. More information on the company can be found at www.thefuelmusic.com.