A live worship recording is highlighting the indigenous sounds of the Chinese church––and drawing people to Christ
A live worship project that joins musicians from the U. S., Europe and China is highlighting the indigenous sounds of the Chinese church––and drawing people to Christ.
Produced during China’s Olympic Games, The Door was recorded during a Sunday service at Beijing’s 4,000-member International Christian Fellowship––where worshipers’ identities are checked by government agents before they can enter the hall.
“To get into the church, you have to show a foreign ID of some sort,” said Arkansas-born musician Mark Tedder, 47, who served as full-time worship leader at the fellowship for two years and spearheaded the project.
“There is a police presence at the front door.” Remarkably, authorities gave their offi cial permission, but Tedder and his team still made sure the hard drive containing the recording left China quickly. The main condition was that the team should not broadcast the recording before the Olympics.
“It was a miracle to pull it off , simply because it’s never been done before,” said Tedder, now based in Colorado.
Captured on both CD and DVD, the live worship recording brings standard Western worship sounds alongside 2,000- year-old traditional Chinese instruments such as the dulcimerlike yangqin, the harpstyle guzheng and the drone pipe hulusi.
“We wanted [the recording] to give the vibe that local worship teams could actually incorporate and redeem some of these ancient instruments,” Tedder said.
Tedder did not intend to make a commercial recording and initially distributed the album freely. But the project caught the attention of Integrity Music Europe and was picked up for distribution. In the U.S., the CD is available at worshiplanet.com. “I had no idea it would go outside of mainland China,” Tedder admitted.
“The heart of this project was that God would use it to encourage local churches throughout China.” There have been other major worship initiatives in China––notably the famous Canaan Hymns by Xiao Min, who wrote more than 1,000 indigenous praise songs.
In addition, Hong Kong-based Vine Band released From Ashes to Beauty in both English and Mandarin.
But The Door is the fi rst offi cially sanctioned live project to come out of China.
Reports claim that lives are being changed through it. “We’re hearing stories from China that villages are sitting down in one person’s home who has a TV and watching The Door project,” Tedder said. “People are getting saved through it.” —CLIVE PRICE