Freedom Worship Focus: Cenacle

How should worship sound? I would argue that there does seem to be a broad range of genres in worship music (going from Paul Baloche, through Israel Houghton and down into August Burns Red) and down at the heavier end of the worship spectrum (a whole new article in itself) lies Cenacle. This band comes from my hometown and our paths on our walks with Christ have passed on more than one occasion.

I wanted to write this post because I want their work to be heard just that little bit more, because their message is pure and simple. Reach the lost through rock music. Simple.

Youth AflameI first met Si, and ex-band member/Si’s brother Joe, back when I was in Sunday School when I went to church because my mum did. Their family and my family attended the same church and we went to Sunday School together. It’s safe to say seeds were planted way back when as when the opportunity came up in around 2007 / 2008 to put together a worship band for a new youth project called Youth Aflame (check out their Facebook), those old friendships seemed to resurface and really helped to create something special that has since grown into a powerful voice for God’s Kingdom in St Helens.

Si and Joe started Cenacle many, many years ago and have recently gone through some changes and come out in 2013 with a new line up that has seen some amazing revelations for them. Now Si, BenJah, Ben and Dan have spent two years meticulously writing their new EP “The New Today”, and I have recently had the privilege of working with these guys on a few live shows including their incredible EP launch at the venue where it all began, the Citadel, St Helens and an enlightening weekend away to Cardigan, Wales.

To paraphrase Eric Delve, an evangelist and author, the band each bring their own strengths to the band, Si – a leader, Dan – a passionate heart, Ben – a voice to express His message and BenJah with a childlike passion. These strengths blend effortlessly into the band, and it shines that the band are as close as brothers.  It makes working with them a pleasure.

These experiences highlighted to me the solid vision and attitude of service that these guys have in their ministry.

Ben Houghton at the EP Launch

© Cenacle 2014.

The band list influences, of both music and ministry, such as Breaking Benjamin, Red and MaLoKai. This sound reaches people that are far away, right where they are. This is an amazing ministry and definitely the band’s calling. Their career so far is splattered with awesome riffs (as demonstrated in older songs such as Moving Targets and Caroline) and brilliant lyrical hooks that speak directly to the hearts of those who need to hear it. They are brutally honest and show true courage, shining a light into a dark corner of the world that is barely touched by more ‘mainstream’ worship music.

Having spent time with the boys in Cenacle, I discovered that their ministry went much deeper than their music. The music is a key, a way to meet new people and unlock conversations that would be much more difficult to initiate without having the music. Cenacle want people to encounter Jesus through meeting them.

The truth is much of today’s worship music is tailored towards church. More specifically, for those who regularly attend church services on Sunday. It exists to enable people to encounter their living God in a safe church community, but I think the point I want to make is, when this message is taken out of the doors and onto the streets, into pubs, clubs, festivals or wherever, it doesn’t stop being worship music. It needs to take on a new form, a way of connecting with people and a way of sharing God’s love that is really exciting and hits hard.

Music creates and evokes emotion, it was designed that way, and while personal preference plays in on what emotions it will evoke, I am an advocate of the Christian Rock community and know that the message within their music is pure, true and strong and I take great pleasure when I’m working with the boys from Cenacle.

I would highly recommend that you check out Cenacle on Facebook, through their website and on iTunes & Spotify too. Watch their new video for their single ‘Rise Up’ (in which I make an appearance) just below.




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