Starting off in the 70s, Scott Wesley Brown has recorded over 24 albums. With a portfolio of songs such as "I'm Not Religious, I Just Love the Lord," "This is the Day" and "He Will Carry You," Brown has left an indelible mark in Contemporary Christian Music. Further, many of his compositions have been covered by Petra, Amy Grant, Sandi Patty, Pat Boone and even Opera Singer Placido Domingo. Having toured internationally, he has sung before people of over 50 countries. Currently he is the senior pastor of Sonship Community Church in Southern California. We are honored to be able to catch up with Scott Wesley Brown for this Hallels' exclusive review:
Hallels: Scott, thanks for the interview. You have got quite a lengthy career as a Christian artist from the 1970s until your latest effort "Songs from the Valley" in 2011. If you could single out two career highlights ,what would they be?
I would say my greatest highlights have taken place overseas where I've been privileged to minister in third world countries and seen the dedication and faithfulness of believers who are in the midst of tremendous suffering yet worship with total abandon. Even though they are poor or persecuted they have humble and grateful hearts. This has shaped my entire approach to ministry. Being in fellowship with these precious brothers and sisters is greater than any award or commercial success I could have in the Christian Music Industry!
Hallels: How is Christian music different today than when you started in the 70's?
Technology has allowed us to sound better and be much more creative but somehow the original passion to simply share Jesus has often been muddled up in a competitive and commercially driven industry.
Hallels: I must confess that I came to know your music when I was a child, listening to your Integrity Music "Mission of Praise," what made you decide to record a worship album? And what are your views of contemporary worship today?
During a Discipleship Training School with YWAM in Hong Kong in the late 80's one of the teachers, Jeff Ling, taught on worship. I was heavily into missions and had put worship on the back burner. It was then that I began to realize that the goal of missions is worship and that they go hand in hand. I later read John Piper's book called "Let The Nations Be Glad" and discovered that missions is the invitation to the nations to worship Christ! I asked the Lord to teach me to be a worship leader and he spoke to me that I needed to be a worshipper first! Several years later Integrity Music approached me about doing a worship album centered around the theme of missions!
Hallels: Many of our readers are also your fans, are you currently working on a new record? If you are, what is the musical direction? Live worship? Contemporary Christian? A hymns project?
I am no longer with a major label so financing a new CD is a big undertaking. As I am able I record a new song and when I get about ten or more I'll put them together on a CD. I also post them on my website as singles. The project I am working on now is a collection of songs about life. There are a few "worship" type songs but some on relationships, and struggles we all face. I wrote one about my mom who passed away a few years ago, imagining the glory she now knows in the presence of Jesus!
Hallels: Many of your older records are no longer available, are there any plans to re-issue them again? Or do you have plans to re-record some of your older songs again; maybe as a new "Greatest Hits" package?
I actually have a couple of "Best Of" CDs but most all of my available music, old and new, is on my website, (www.scottwesleybrown.com) I have thought about re-recording a few of the older songs as some of the tracks sound out-dated.
Hallels: I believe you have taken up the role of a pastor. Why the transition? Tell us more about your church and your role in this ministry.
I have always been connected to the local church, either as a worship pastor or elder. As a theology buff I've taught many classes and Bible studies over the years. Since much of my touring has slowed down I want to invest more deeply into the lives of those who live nearby. Our new church, Sonship Community, has a lot of artists and musicians coming. Ministering into their lives is so needed. We also hold some of our services down at the beach or at coffeehouses here in southern California. We want to be missional in everything we do! I think the transition to being the lead pastor is just a natural step from what I've been doing all along!
Hallels: Over all these years in ministry, can you share with us just one experience where you have particularly felt God's presence?
I remember being in India with American Leprosy Missions. I had a temperature over 100 degrees and felt so weak. They put a big fan next to me to cool me down as I led worship in a little chapel at the Leprosy Center. All I could think of was me, my pain and discomfort in the sweltering heat. But then a man with leprosy rolled in with his wheelchair. I saw him lift his stubs (what was left of his arms) in praise to God. His face was disfigured and there were sores all over his body. Yet he was worshipping! I began to weep as I saw his heart for God and passionate worship. The Lord humbled me and I found myself falling before his throne. Although I was convicted of my own self centeredness I felt no condemnation from the Lord but rather his presence and loving grace in a profound way. I later learned that the man in the wheelchair called himself "Hallelujah" and was thankful that he had leprosy. For it was the leprosy that brought him to the Leprosy Center where the Christian doctors led him to Jesus!1