Praise for ‘Canyon Worship’ keeps resonating
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
“Canyon Worship” continues to be a hit both inside and outside Grand Canyon University.
The first EP release of GCU’s Center for Worship Arts has climbed as high as 37th on the iTunes Christian singles chart and drew another unsolicited and extremely positive review.
And when Christian worldview online instructor Michele Pasley posted a link to the EP on a GCU discussion forum and asked for feedback from students, she was stunned by the depth and breadth of the reactions, particularly to the featured song on the EP, “Follow You.”
“It really connected with them,” she said.
A sampling of some of the responses:
- “As I started listening to ‘Follow You,’ I automatically started getting goosebumps. I felt the presence of God in the song, and it really spoke to me. Sometimes we need those reminders to tell us that God is there for you no matter what, and that is what I received from this song. I tend to put myself down a lot and I always think that I am not worthy, but in reality He has done so much for me and I have to be grateful for that. I know that I can look up to Him at any time and He will always be there for me.”
- “‘Follow You’ really touched me with its wonderful message of how we can look up and see that God has been singing over us with the assurance He is with us. It reminds me of another worship song I have played many times that speaks of Jesus dancing over us. These songs invoke an emotional response within me envisioning the God of my creation taking the time to care for me as an individual to not only encourage when things are tough but also rejoice in my victories.”
- “‘Follow You’ really hit home for me. It reminded me that I am not the person I used to be and that through the precious gift of Jesus Christ’s blood I am saved. I am no longer defined by my past, but as a believer and a follower of Christ and that I need not worry about being accepted by others for I am accepted by God through Christ Jesus. This song’s message lets me know that I am worthy of God’s love and that I can follow Him.”
- “I loved ‘Christ in Me.’ The beat was happy and the lyrics struck me, I think, because it is a constant struggle to see Christ in me. He has become something I think about in every aspect of my life. He has become my comfort, with each fear, my redeemer with each fall, my food for my soul. I think I chose to listen to that song first because having ‘Christ in Me’ is something I so want in my life.”
- “After having a very stressful day, I was very overwhelmed with emotions while listening to ‘Christ Be All Around Me.’ It just really made me realize that God is truly with me in every moment and is my constant no matter what is going on around me. God is always there to give me peace and that is a truly amazing thing.”
Pasley was most heartened by the fact that the album gave students, both male and female and in a wide demographic, a feeling of encouragement and evoked such passionate responses.
“When you’re an artist, all you usually get back from people is, ‘Good job,’” she said. “I was glad that the students responded with substance.”
Pasley said she tries to reach out to students in a variety of ways, including having them read the College of Theology’s blog or through music and dance videos. But she can’t recall getting a reaction like the one to “Follow You.”
“It really tapped into the common human experience,” she said.
● For the story on how “Canyon Worship” and particularly “Follow You” came together, click here.
Contact Rick Vacek at 602-639-8203 or [email protected]