On Saturday October 18, 2014, a group of young people and young adults gathered in Brooklyn for “Worship In My City”. The premise was simple for the night; a time to worship the Lord and receive a Word from Him. The event was spearheaded by Danielle Lewis-Johnson and her Pure Worship Band. Danielle is an acclaimed vocalist, songwriter, and worship leader who has a heart for today’s generation. Her vision for “Worship In My City” is for it to grow into a movement where lives are changed for God’s kingdom. “Worship in my city is a time for a local community to come together to worship the Lord and have a time of refreshing. So we can take this worship in my city experience to Maryland for example, where we have an artist and someone giving an encouraging word to the youth.” A major point of the event Danielle emphasized was the ‘youth driven’ and ‘youth given’ aspect or in other words for us by us. “We know that after events like this churches, communities, and schools are going to change because of the presence of God and our unity. Thus, a true change is the vision for the event.”
AB: What do you feel is the voice of this generation and prevalent that Worship In My City can counteract?
DLJ: Well, first of all there is a lot of disunity in terms of the youth. Everybody is about their own situation and their own life. Our hope is that by bringing the youth together they realize we need each other in order to move forward. On a basic, surface level that is the need we are fulfilling, without being super spiritual about it. It is all about love and unity.
The night got kicked off with The Misfit Praise Team from Queens, NY out of The Christ Tabernacle Church. The youth centered praise team fitted with guitars, bass, keyboards, and multiple singers gave rousing praise to the King of Kings. The crowd was on their feet from the first song with hands raised singing in unison. A song that truly captured the hearts of all was ‘He is risen’, declaring the power of Jesus over death and the grave. The drive reminded all that the same power which raised Jesus from the dead resides in each one of His followers. The presence of God was evident in the room as all in attendance were joined in one accord praising the Lord. An amazing sound resonates, when a group of believers sing praise to the most high God. The Misfit Praise Team’s set smoothly transitioned to Danielle and The Pure Worship Band.
Danielle opened up with the song Freedom, an upbeat tune with stirring lyrics. Danielle then took us to her Caribbean roots doing the popular Michelle Williams’ song “When Jesus Says Yes”. Danielle put her own little spin on the tune engaging some audience participation. After Danielle’s set, it was time for the Word to come forth by Youth Pastor Chris Durso from Christ Tabernacle. The Misfit praise team leader accompanied Chris on stage as she raised the song ‘Majesty’. A powerful song that firmly affixes one’s heart on the sovereign God.
You are royalty so I crown you King of Kings, oh you are royalty so I crown you King of Kings. Your Majesty
Pastor Durso’s message for the night was entitled “I got it from here”. He spoke of Jesus’ walk to Calvary and a random bystander named Simon who was ordered by the Romans to aid in carrying Jesus’ cross. Pastor Durso likened us to Simon having to daily carry our cross to follow Jesus, but it is the cross of purpose. He emphasized that as disciples of Christ we must take up our purpose daily. “You are strong enough to carry the cross God has given you by His grace.” Pastor Durso went on to say that the Lord sends us and promises to go with us, thus we are not destined to fail. “If it has been put in front of you, you can handle it.” Pastor Durso drew many analogies from his own life that helped drive home the message the Lord had given him. In declaring the importance of our purpose, Pastor Durso left attendees with a few good nuggets; “Don’t let someone’s response deter you from God’s command”, “Only obedience looks like God”. “What can look like failure could really be fulfillment.”.
The night concluded with a call to a deepened commitment to follow Christ and walk in our purpose. Danielle came back to lead the altar call, as young people cried out to God after a stirring message. The Bible declares that His Word never returns void, but it accomplishes that which is was sent forth to do. Crosses of purpose were lifted at Worship in my city to fulfill divine destinies and cause a change in our communities for His glory.