A Conversation With Reuben
“I think the challenge of
the church is to keep worship accessible to all people; not to exclude
people through style and presentation. That’s a huge challenge to the church
and especially in our day when there is so much variety and people can
be so specialized.” You would be hard pressed to find someone better qualified
to make those observations than Reuben Morgan, the man who shared this
Friday afternoon conversation with me. Morgan, you see, continues to serve
as the co-pastor of worship for one of the worlds largest churches; Hillsong
Church, located in Sydney Australia.
Morgan is far too humble
and grateful for the role he plays as a worship leader to ever describe
himself as a prolific songwriter. Excuse me, Reuben, if we beg to differ.
How many times have we stood in church and sung praises to our Lord with
songs such as "I Give You My Heart," "My Redeemer Lives," "You Said" and
"Hear Our Praises," all of which were penned by Morgan?
Recently signed to the Rocketown
Records label, Morgan has expanded his worship ministry rather than merely
changing lanes. 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 theireyes 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 one
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, Morgan
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 there called the 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.
To learn more about the
Sun-Child Baby Home and other international ministries that Reuben and
Sarah Morgan are involved with check out www.reubenmorgan.com
By Joe Montague, exclusive
Joe Montague is an internationally
published journalist / photographer. His ministry is dedicated to the memory
of his late son Kent David Montague who went to heaven at the age of 18.
All copyright and distribution rights remain the property of Joe Montague.