In a recent interview, Worship music pioneer, former Hillsongs worship leader, Darlene Zschech, speaks about the release of her new album titled In Jesus Name: A legacy of Worship and Faith.
The album features songs written during her recent battle with breast cancer and includes a new track titled “My highest hope” which Zschech had penned in the midst of cancer treatments and tests. The album also celebrates other well-known anthems previously recorded by Zschech such as “Shout to the Lord,” “Worthy is the lamb,” and “The Potters hand.”
The award winning singer and songwriter has led millions of Christians into worship, worldwide, and has written and performed over 80 songs, some which have become global anthems. She currently serves at Hope Unlimited Church in New South Wales, Australia, where she and husband Mark are senior pastors. Zschech first discovered that she had breast cancer in December 2011 and despite difficult treatments, has continued to place her hope in the Lord, unceasingly sharing her unwavering faith in Him, in various blog posts.
In the following interview she describes her walk with the Lord, through infirmity, the writing of her latest single and what the word legacy means to her.
Where was your latest song, “My Highest Hope,” birthed from?
Writing the song ‘My Highest Hope’ was written as I was walking through a life and death battle last year. It was such a privilege actually because I had Jesus to cling to and to be honest I don’t know how people walk through massive life challenges without Him. All the while, having scans, chemo, having radiation, and praying that everything is going to be okay, I could just picture Jesus with me. I just could speak His word over me…and all the promises I had – All the Psalms declaring “with long life will He satisfy me.”
What would you say is the one thing that kept you going, through such a stormy season?
I’ve always loved the Word of God and the presence of Jesus. This year I don’t know how I would’ve done this without Him. I needed faith; I needed to be around faith. I needed to be in church. I needed to be around faith filled friends. I just surrounded myself in faith. If I could inspire anybody today I would say remain in faith. Don’t let your circumstance tell your faith how strong it’s going to be. The Word of God says when we are weak then actually we are strong. It’s all about being in Him. In Him I live and move and have my being.
We are so excited about your new album! Tell us a bit about it.
Some of these songs, like “Worthy is the Lamb”, just means so much to me – it came out of a heartfelt moment of sitting by the piano and getting so bowled over by the presence of God, I started to focus on the cross and what Jesus has done for us. And just like “Shout to the Lord”, it was written in a hard time, in a valley. “The Potters Hand” and “In Jesus Name” were written when I had friends walking through a cancer battle. That just inspired my heart to sing sing sing! Sing praise! Psalm 27 says The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear. It just tells us again to sing sing sing! To lift up my voice in song! That is what I do.
Since this is almost like a “best of” compilation, was it difficult to decide which songs get to go on this album?
Life brings challenges and all of these songs are very precious to me for different reasons. Some of these songs I haven’t written, some of them I just remembered that when we sang they brought such life and like a wave of hope over people. And that’s also why they’ve been chosen for this project.
The album title speaks of a legacy. What does that word mean to you?
I love the word legacy. At first I got a little bit depressed like “Oh I’m not dying!” After last year I would tell you in my heart of heart that everything I’m doing, I’m living with legacy in mind. My passion is always to write songs that will just declare and announce that God is here. My passion is that more and more people would really encounter the love of Christ wherever they are around the planet. And that the local church would really rise up in stature. That’s one of the reasons why Mark and I are pastoring: We really love the local church!
What type of a legacy do you feel that your music has shared with the world and what type of legacy would you want to leave behind?
I am very committed to training and releasing generations of young people to know why they do what they do when it comes to worship. And for me it’s really simple: I feel God calling me there like the clarion call to my heart! The other thing that is more important than all of it to me is my husband and my children and grandchildren — that I would inspire them to really live a life that is the same in the unseen as it is in the seen and that their lives would be known for loving Jesus and outworking His Great Commission in their lifetime.