At AND: Being the Church at church at Home and Everywhere In Between, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from women and men who have helped make fresh expressions of Church a growing worldwide phenomenon. We’re excited that singer-songwriter Audrey Assad is joining as a featured speaker.
Audrey’s humility and refreshing spiritual realism unite with thoughtful lyrics that reveal a tested faith. These she harmonizes with a refreshing tonal sophistication too rare in Contemporary Christian Music. Her wisdom and sound belie her youth, making her precisely the kind of voice that has come to typify the fresh expressions of church movement—weighty, historical, yet youthful and full of tender, green shoots. Christianity Today says, “Assad shows life as the broken pieces of a stained glass window—beautiful, but fractured all the same.”
In 2010, Audrey’s first album, The House You’re Building, received great welcome, being named Amazon’s Christian Album of 2010. Her reception was no less positive on iTunes the same year when her album was named Christian Breakthrough Album of the Year. A true musicians’ musician, Audrey has worked with numerous artists, such as Chris Tomlin and Matt Maher.
In an interview with Billy Atwell of Catholic Online, Audrey is described as “individualistic, nontraditional, a free spirit and an incredible talent. . . . [one] who represents a change in the winds of Christian music.” The article goes on to demonstrate a keen reason Audrey is making inroads with the current culture in a way the many contemporary artists overlook.
One reason that most contemporary artists do not engage the challenges of living a genuine Christian faith is because the issues are complex. Contemporary Christian music is often effective in creating an emotional experience, but does so with watered-down messages and shallow theology. Rarely do they make us think and grow in our understanding of God and our relationship with Him. Assad is not afraid to make her audience think – in fact, she wants them to.
Such boldness in stirring her audience is immanent in all her works. Here are a couple examples along with lyrical excerpts that reveal her musical verdure .
I Shall Not Want
From the fear of serving others
From the fear of death or trial
From the fear of humility
Deliver me O God
Blessed Are the Ones
Let’s build a house with turned out doors
So we can share what love affords
Pour ourselves out like a wine that we’ve been saving
So when our well is running dry
And when we raise our glasses high
Happy, shining are the faces of the thirsty
In addition to her music, readers of her blog will find beautiful meditations such as the following.
Open hands do three very important things: they let go, they receive, and they give.
Like most people, I have a hard time doing any of these things very consistently or very well. I write about this today because it has been on my heart a lot as of late: my life seems to operate in cycles of accumulating disordered attachments and then releasing them at the behest of the Holy Spirit’s insistent, still small voice—then my disordered attachments clog up the pipes again and I have to do it all over. And it is always painful.
That pain is a good thing—it should hurt to open my hands around the things I inappropriately take solace in or make idols out of. It should hurt, because clutching my idols is not actually loving of myself or respectful of my own dignity as an image-bearer of God. Perhaps the most pernicious bit about those attachments is that they actually keep me from recognizing and receiving the Love of God where it is offered—and in turn, I am inhibited from sharing that Love with others.
Let the Love of God peel your fingers open around whatever it is that is preventing you from receiving it. Let go, receive, and give. Live life with open hands.
Audrey and her husband, William, currently live in Tennessee and a have son, William G. Price IV.