An interview about Worship & Justice

Here's an interview Deb Stanley did with Amor Ministries recently about how she got involved with Soul Survivor and some thoughts on worship and justice. You can read the whole interview here.

 

What is your story leading up to where you are now?

I grew up in the Hills District of Sydney and met Jesus as a young teenager through a worship song by Hillsong called “One Way”. After school I finally gave all the areas of my life over to His plans and promised that I’d be up for anything He asked.

I studied a Bachelor of Engineering (Aeronautical) and at the same time came across Soul Survivor and began to sense a call to church ministry. At the end of my degree, the opportunity to move into a full-time role with Soul Survivor arose and I enthusiastically jumped in. I love working with young people, growing leaders, writing songs, leading people in worship and seeing how God transforms lives.

I now live in Canberra and lead Soul Survivor ACT and am passionate about seeing God’s Kingdom grow in Australia.

How did God bring you to Soul Survivor?

I found out about Soul Survivor in 2008 when a friend and I started to get churches working together in our local area to do practical service projects in our community.

The team at Soul Survivor found out about us doing that and wanted to help resource and equip us and they began training and inviting us along to their big worship and serving conference SOUL IN THE CITY: Canberra. I loved what was taught and demonstrated - an expression of worship as a combination of word, Spirit and action.

Passionate about Jesus, consumed by His Spirit, and expressing a practical gospel to the world. I came on team as a worship leading intern and never really left. Since then I’ve spent time growing our teams of musicians, starting up a leadership internship ‘calledtolead’ and now have moved down to Canberra to lead a local Soul Survivor ACT base to minister to the young people of Canberra and the rural regions.

How/When/ through what do you hear God speaking to you the most?

I hear God the most through reading the Word - I love to spend time reading until something really stands out to me as pertinent to a circumstance or issue that I might be experiencing. Obviously the bible is the written word of God - but I love to read His word until He speaks a word that is specifically for today.

I also hear God powerfully when I’m journaling my thoughts and I might ask Him a specific question and a thought or phrase might come to mind.I find it easiest to express my thoughts and feelings to him by singing to him, or reading the Psalms back to him.

My mind is often buzzing with new ideas or thinking deeply about something so I find it easier to hear God when I’m in a quieter environment and not as distracted.

Why Worship - what is the significance?

We are all created to worship; place our value in, ascribe worth to, invest our lives in something.

The question is - what could possibly be worthy of all creation’s worship? No greater love, sacrifice, grace, promise or life can be found then that demonstrated by Jesus.

God rescued Israel from Egypt in order that they might be free to worship Him, Jesus demonstrates on the cross the most practical act of worship, and if we did not declare his praise, Jesus tells us that the rocks will cry out in worship.

All of heaven is consumed with an eternal song of worship. The current battle between darkness and the Kingdom of God expresses itself in a war over our worship. Will we acknowledge the King of Kings with our lives? Will all our heart, mind, soul, strength be dedicated to giving Jesus attention? Everything else in our lives really stems from who or what we worship.

How does worship impact creating justice?

Worship without justice is lazy, and justice without worship is angry (TWEET). The relationship between worship and justice is so closely linked that you really can’t separate one from the other, especially if you want to be creating justice with the heart of God. The bible says that if we worship without justice, our songs sound like clanging gongs. God really doesn’t like it, in fact much of the message of the prophets throughout the bible was addressing this very issue!!

Motive

As we worship Jesus, we become aware of His character and nature which should compel us to want to create justice with a heart of compassion, love and grace just like His. It’s his attention to the poor and to injustice that motivates us to serve.

Humility

If we create justice with the heart of a worshipper, we don’t think too highly of ourselves as we remember Jesus’ place as the ultimate Justice-maker. We aren’t the saviour of the situation, we are just part of God’s plan. When we create justice with a heart of worship, we stay humble.

Love

When we create justice with our hearts connected to Jesus, we can’t help but love with a greater love than we could muster ourselves. It’s often said that ‘lovers make the best workers’. If we can’t express our love to God, what would make us think we’d be able to express love to other people and the world which he created?

Hope

When we get overwhelmed by the extent of injustice, as worshippers we are full of hope knowing that God has a redemptive plan in motion, and that all things will be restored. It’s only by worshipping God that we keep a Kingdom perspective that helps us have hope in the midst of despair.

Deb Stanley

Canberra, ACT, Australia

Deb started working with Soul Survivor in 2008 and now lives in Canberra, where she leads Soul Survivor ACT and also looks after the worship teams at soul.conference. Deb finished her degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 2011 and is studying at Morling College.