We’ve just celebrated a brilliant start to 2020 with Joel Payne, a gifted song writer and worship leader!
Joel heads up Resound Worship – a group of song writers who provide the Church with inspiring songs and encourage songwriters in local churches. He also teaches theology to undergraduate musicians. Joel studied Theoretical Physics at York University, and whilst at University learnt the guitar and led music in the Christian Union. After graduating he was invited to work at St Michael le Belfrey in York as Worship Pastor, and three years later became the Director of Music and started writing songs for the congregation. But it was his subsequent move to London which gave him opportunity to meet regularly with ten other worship song writers and to start recording songs; this was the beginning of ‘Resound’ in 2006. A significant turning point for Joel came in 2013, when having worked part time for Resound for seven years, he began to seek God on whether he should get a full-time job. Later that year the answer emerged… Resound was to be Joel’s priority. Over the last decade God has continued to lead Joel in the shape, growth and development of Resound, and his maxim has always been to stand on Proverbs 3:5. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths”.
Within a year of working full time for Resound, Joel was taking on song writing for local churches and sharing the model of his work. In 2014, Resound recorded an album through Crowd Funding, and a song writing retreat in Yorkshire the following year was a brilliant opportunity to meet with new song writers to help, support and encourage their talent, as well as to bring others into the team. Recording albums and annual song writing retreats are significant aspects of Joel’s ministry.
Resound was now on the cusp of being formalised into a Charity, and in 2016 it was reorganised to become a Charity with Jubilate Hymns. This shaped the vision more clearly and four key objectives emerged:
1) To write and publish songs – to be ‘content-driven’.
2) To discover new song writers and to nurture them.
3) To resource other song writers at grass root level through podcasts, workshops and books.
4) To influence – to become part of the wider conversation on Worship.
In 2016, the ‘12 Song Challenge’ was also established on the podcast. This was a great success and 100 people signed up to commit to writing one song a month for 12 months. Another key influence has been the annual Calvin Institute of Christian Worship symposium in the US for 100 worship leaders, which Resound attends, meeting with worship leaders from around the world.
Joel’s passion is to foster Worship and Community. St Paul writes in 1 Corinthians how Christians are to gather together in worship and how they are to treat each other, so much of Joel’s song writing is about the nature of community worship. A new area of work has recently focussed on ‘Doxecology’, the idea of writing contemporary worship songs on the theme of ecology and Christian Hope. Recognising the ecological crisis in the world, Joel has met with friends from A Rocha to work collaboratively on new worship songs on this theme and 150 songs have emerged from this project.
Joel describes his vocation as nurturing new song writers in their talent and endeavouring to help change the ‘worship landscape’. Check out www.resoundworship.org for more details on this great ministry!