I’ve been privileged to know Troy Bronsink for quite a few years now. We met in Decatur over emergenty types of things, hung out at the Atlanta Emergent Cohort for awhile, and got to know each other more and more over the years. We’ve collaborated on some worship workshops, Presbymergent stuff and it’s been to see where God is taking him and using his gifts and skills as a worship leader, musician and artist. A couple years back, Troy was our worship leader for the College Conference at Montreat, and we got to spend a bit of time together, grabbing some beers and talking about life. In fact, with the Alt7 Conference and the College Conference, most of our interactions recently have been at Montreat.
I really appreciated Troy’s unique worship leadership at Montreat, and took one of his songs (O Blessed God) home with me and our youth started singing it at the last church I was at. Well, Troy has come out with a new album recently called “Songs to Pray By.” You can hear some of the songs directly below, as well as read a fuller description of the project and all those that helped make it a reality.
What you’re holding is the fruit of a three year collaboration and friendship. As a pastor myself I’ve seen artists and pastors struggle to connect. But when City Church began and reached out to me to do music, their pastors and leaders wouldn’t settle for such a disconnect. They envisioned beauty ringing in harmony with devotion and peace-making. So we set out together to build Christian worship experiences that were authentic to the indie music and art, and lives of justice we all loved.
Then in the spring of 2012 we decided it was time to share these experiences through an album. City Church’s leadership put up the first half the budget and we were fortunate to raise the other half on kickstarter in just 29 days. Even though this is comprised of songs we sing week after week as a congregation it has been quite a project. A smaller band met weekly for three months tightening arrangements; then one March weekend a host of people put together the stage, lights, sound, beer table, you name it; we recorded both the dress rehearsal and show involving as many as 18 musicians—all live to tape; then spent a couple months in the studio editing, mixing, mastering and committing all manner of skullduggery with the textures culminating in what you now hold in your hands.
If there’s one thing we hope you get from this project it’s that prayer is not quartered into hours, lines, or measures. It is a way of being present, resonant with God’s presence all around us. And because of this, worship–be it as a church congregation, at a party, or as an individual with ear buds–oughta include songs. We hope you love listening to these songs, that you learn to play them and pray with them, and that they help communities pray together. But we also hope this kicks you in the butt to get out and create authentic art that you can pray by too!