I’ve known Simon Brading for a number of years now and been encouraged by his thoughtfulness, his passion for the gospel, and his heart to see music used in the church for the glory of Jesus Christ. Last year at WorshipGod UK he sang a couple songs and I was struck by his desire to pastor the people he was leading. At this year’s conference, I’ve asked him to lead the music for a main session and participate in a seminar called Planning for Sundays.
Simon kindly took some time to answer a few questions about himself and WorshipGod UK, coming to Bath 7th-9th May.
1. What is your history of leading in the church, musically and pastorally?
I starting playing guitar in my youth band as a 12 year old. When I was 14 I began to lead worship at youth group once a month, and did this pretty much every month right through my teens. At 16 I started to lead worship at some regional youth events. Then at 18, Pastor Joel Virgo asked whether I would be up for leading worship at Newday – a bible week for 7000 teenagers. After going to university, Joel invited me onto staff to lead the worship team at Church of Christ the King Brighton, as well as to coordinate the worship team for Newday each year.
2. What encourages you about what what is happening in gathered worship in the UK and Europe?
Europe is largely a secular, post-modern and atheistic culture. It’s the one continent in the world where Christianity is on the decrease, not the increase. I am encouraged that we are building churches in Brighton and beyond that are engaging with those cultures, teaching them the true gospel and helping them to worship Jesus. Secular, post-modern, atheists are becoming God-fearing, Bible-belieiving worshippers.
3. What weaknesses do you see about what is happening broadly in gathered worship in the UK and Europe?
A general emphasis on style/atmosphere/emotion over substance/content/lyrics. There seems to be a famine of New Testament songs, containing revelation about the Gospel. Or if there is, it seems very light. What are we teaching people about Christ and what He’s done for us? Paul says in Col 3:16, let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly… as you sing. I want worship albums, song-lists, festivals and conferences to contain the word of Christ richly as we sing. That’s what the UK needs, that’s what Europe needs.
4. How do you think WorshipGod in general and your role there in particular might serve folks as they seek to serve in their local congregations?
WorshipGod could serve folks in their local congregations by imparting faith for local church worship, faith for the gospel, faith for God’s promises and affections for His church, faith for small worship teams, faith for great encounters with God.
Not Just for Musicians
We’ve designed WorshipGod UK not only to serve musicians, but pastors as well. To that end, on 7th May, from 10am to 5pm we’re hosting a one day conference called, “Hope and the Pastor,” at the Forum in Bath. You’ll have the opportunity to hear from Kevin DeYoung, Jeff Purswell, and Rick Gamache on topics that we believe will refresh your soul in the gospel. You can find out more information here.