Hard to believe it, but 2013 represents the twentieth anniversary of the Soul Survivor summer events. Fittingly for the conference that has always placed sung worship at the heart of the action, Integrity Music are delighted to announce the launch of an epic compilation album celebrating the very best of Soul Survivor's first two decades.
And while many of the worship leaders who took their first steps at the event have gone on to establish global movements like Worship Central (Tim Hughes), win Grammy Awards (Matt Redman) and get old enough to retire (Delirious), it doesn't take much to remind yourself that the sounds and the songs that have emerged from deepest Somerset have lost none of their passion and power over the years.
Soul Survivor 20th Anniversary Collection contains thirty tracks taken from the full range of Soul Survivor live albums. There are songs from Matt Redman's early days (Undignified, Heart of Worship), his middle-years (Facedown) and recent times (We Are The Free). Likewise, a youthful Tim Hughes belts them out (Whole World In Your Hands, Consuming Fire, Beautiful One) while the more mature version of the man serves up the songs with equal power (Happy Day, Because Of Your Love).
Other classics from the past still pack a punch (Break Our Hearts by Kevin Prosch, Lost In Wonder by Martyn Layzell, Now Is The Time by Delirious) and many have gone on to become well-worn favourites within the church today (Love Came Down and For Your Glory by Ben Cantelon, Our God sung by Tom Field). Beth Croft, Jamie Rodwell, Lex Buckley and Rend Collective Experiment all add to the depth and breadth of the album.
Describing last year's event, founder and director Mike Pilavachi wrote: "It's always incredible and humbling to see thousands of young people meeting with Jesus and a privilege to see hundreds give their lives to God. But these numbers are made up of individuals with stories to tell of how their Saviour has impacted their lives… Once again we have been amazed and humbled at the powerful, kind and loving way the Lord has met with his people. Our main job, as always, was to try not to get in his way."
For those looking for a formula or the secret to Soul Survivor's success, these words reveal the truth behind the event; that God had His way and the team just tried to keep up.