Thanks to everyone who left a comment on my previous post casting their vote for the most creative arrangement of a song from our King of Grace album.
As many of the commenters said, it was difficult picking which arrangement was the best, creatively speaking. But the overwhelming first choice was Joshua Spacht’s arrangement of “Behold the Lamb,” by Mark Altrogge.
Joshua has served as the Director of Music and Worship Ministries at Grace Immanuel Bible Church since May, 2006. He sent me some information about his background that I thought was worth sharing:
I grew up in a very musical family outside of Erie, PA where my father served as a worship and youth pastor. My entire family participated in the music ministry, and I essentially was a pharisee, conforming outwardly and resisting to the truth inwardly and privately in my life. The Lord eventually ripped off the mask and brought me to the end of myself through a series of trials that I just couldn’t run from any longer. I had been a first-rate deceiver and had done much damage to those around me.
I began to realize that no amount of favor in the eyes of men or superficial talent or a sharp tongue were enough to save me from God’s all-knowing eyes. I needed Christ and I needed the gospel. He is worthy of anything and everything we can bring, and that particularly includes our talents and abilities. I went though a series of years where I didn’t serve in a musical capacity in the church as I learned that God cared about character more than my “noise.” I didn’t deserve to be used and he didn’t need me.
Through faithful friends and godly examples, I began to learn that it was possible to serve with pure motives and to not use the meeting of God’s people as a platform (which I had done so often growing up). I love what God has called me to do in leading others to sing His praise and I can’t imagine anything I would rather do on earth. I began to write music feverishly after my dad died at the age of 50 2 1/2 years ago. I felt at that time like the Lord was opening up my heart and ears to this music that I just had to get out. Since I had dropped out of college 3 times (that’s for another time) I was compelled to begin to learn how to notate and arrange for the purpose of transcribing this music. I’m still on that journey and my church, Grace Immanuel Bible Church, has been supportive and encouraging in their role as guinea pigs of all the new music. Again, what an unbelievable privilege to serve in this capacity.
Thanks to Joshua and everyone else who entered for your desire to use excellent music to draw attention to our infinitely more excellent Savior. For those of you who missed his arrangement, you can listen to it below, or download it here.
You can download the following here:
ORIGINAL VERSION OF BEHOLD THE LAMB
Congrats Joshua, that song comes from a long list of my particular favorites. Thank you to Sovereign Grace for holding this competition as well. I’m thankful for the way in which both of you approach music as a medium for advancing praise exclusively for the glory of God. Soli Deo Gloria
That was excellent orchestration. Nice job, Joshua!
Congrats Joshua! This was such a blessing to be apart of. Thank you Bob for putting this together.
Congratulations, Joshua, that was beautiful!
Nice arrangement! Great song.
To God be the glory, Joshua! What a terrific testimony of God’s grace! I am so blessed by your ministry at GIBC.
Thank you to all who expressed words of encouragement. What a blessing to my heart. Bob, thanks again to you for hosting this “competition” and for the guidance you give to all of us on a daily basis! I, along with my fellow music pastors, are grateful to the Lord for your practical help and kindness to all who are following in your footsteps as you forge ahead in this territory called “worship music”. Thank you for steering us clear of so many hidden pits and sometimes pointing out the harsh consequences that are for those who would abuse this privilege of leading God’s people in song. Soli Deo Gloria
Keith and I are so proud of you! Your dad would be overjoyed to hear this and someday he will. How much we are grateful you are pursuing this dream and ministry. Your many years of preparation are now becoming a blessing to many. God bless you! Hi to Carolyn! You are always welcome in our home in Erie!
Congrats, Joshua! It was such a blessing hearing you, as well as all the others. I look forward to hearing more of your music in the future. Blessings!
This arrangement reminds me of Neal Morse’s album Testimony.
I couldn’t agree more. Joshua’s and Neal’s music share a very unconventional sound for your typical Christian music–and they are both phenomenal.
Congrats to Joshua! You are a man who graciously and humbly direct all praises to our Lord. I am excited to see what composition God is going to inspire out of you next!
Soli Deo Gloria.
Awesome! I love it. What a blessing this was to hear! thank you for sharing it!
Is there any way to get that instrumental track? The link doesn’t work.
Kelston, I’m checking with Joshua. Thanks for asking.
I’m interested in getting that track too, 5 months later. Any way to do it? I absolutely love this song. Congrats to Joshua on a job well done!
Marty, I think Joshua left a link on the YouTube page.