David Glenn ‘Relentless’ In Worship

David Glenn Relentless In Worship

The name David Glenn may technically look new to the Christian music community at large, but in tracing his steps throughout the past decade or so, it’s evident his fingerprints have popped up in plenty of familiar places. Prior to the launch of his entirely original official debut disc ‘Relentless’ in the summer of 2013 (which quickly climbed to #23 on the iTunes Top 200 Christian and Gospel Albums chart), the singer/songwriter spent more than ten years in the metro Atlanta area building contemporary worship programs from the ground up for several churches. By the top of 2012, he moved to River Oak Church in Virginia Beach to do the same (where he remains on staff through today), while simultaneously carving out a solo ministry that’s since found him performing praise concerts all across America and abroad (including an opening slot on NewSong’s annual Christmas tour).

In fact, there are few corners of the country Glenn hasn’t reached yet considering that many of his anthemic choruses such as ‘Glorify Your Name’ and ‘Bread Of Life’ are being sung by countless congregations every Sunday. Add in a ‘See You At The Pole’ theme song credit, editorial acclaim from Worship Leader Magazine’s SongDISCovery, plus time as a World Vision Artist Associate, and although Glenn may look like a fresh face on paper, chances are you’ve encountered his inspirational work without even realizing it (although he’d humbly deflect that kind of attention).

“First and foremost, my identity is in Christ,” he says matter of factly. “My goal is to simply inspire a spirit of worship and be someone who is encouraging in other people’s lives. My goal is to do that in a creative and culturally relevant way, but at the end of the day, I want to put my guitar down and feel like what I contributed truly helped others worship the Lord.”

That mission is more than accomplished after a listen to ‘Relentless,’ which could easily land right alongside Chris Tomlin or the immensely talented Passion troupe in the browser bin, all wrapped around production from the incomparable Scotty Wilbanks (best known for his ongoing collaborative relationship with multi-platinum superstars Third Day). In other words, that means plenty of musical originality, though it never comes at the expense of hindering the praise process, which remains paramount in Glenn’s artistic calling.

“I was purposeful in writing melodies that are easy for the church to grab on to without anything that could create confusion musically,” he asserts. “I also wanted the record to have different dynamics so there are moments within each song for the worshipper to connect with God, rather than always going 100 miles an hour. I really wanted to write for the church to be able to worship, but also produce in a way that’s musically interesting for Christian radio audience as well. People sing worship songs at church and they also sing the same songs as they listen to the radio, so I really try to appeal to those audiences. As I look out into the congregation at my church and in the places I travel, I see everyone from teenagers through senior adults and everyone in between…”

Given that widespread cross section of worshippers, ‘Relentless’ is rooted in universal themes that seek to meet believers wherever they may be in their faith walk, augmented by co-writing from fellow CCM mainstay Jason Cox on several occasions. In the case of the moving title track, Glenn takes his inspiration from Romans 8:38-39 and the reminder that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Come the extremely infectious lead single ‘Great King,’ the singer/songwriter/worship leader turns to Psalm 95 to reference the tale of the Israelites initially turning away from God, but eventually taking the road back towards redemption.

In the upbeat rocker ‘Every Good & Perfect Gift’ (motivated by James 1:17) the tone turns towards a heart of thanksgiving, which Glenn also hopes can be a resource for other worship leaders looking for a song to lead during that occasionally unsung holiday season. There’s even a battle cry for unity come the contemporary pop cut ‘We Are One’ (inspired by Ephesians 4), which has thus far served as a mechanism for healing in a variety of relationships, especially when it comes to equipping the church to collectively take a stand together.

“Unity in the body of Christ is really a theme that runs through the whole record,” explains Glenn. “When we gather corporately, that’s our opportunity to join our voices together as one, which is my sole goal on this CD and on stage. I don’t just want to get up and play songs, but to really speak truth into people’s lives, allow them to be a part of it and make it their own.”

Thus far throughout Glenn’s ministry, that’s clearly the case, so much so that a multitude of family, friends and fans supported the ‘Relentless’ project long before a single note was recorded via Kickstarter. The crowd funding mechanism raised more than $14,000 in a mere 30 days to handle the bulk of initial expenses, while also giving the artist behind them a spiritually-centered confidence that he was truly on the right track.

“My wife Destinee and I were blown away,” he says, also noting it certainly came in handy now that their family includes a newborn baby. “It didn’t pay for the whole album, but it really took the pressure off and was especially exciting when the CDs came in and we had a team come in to help package them up. I sent a thank you letter to everyone for going on this journey with me and it was rewarding to know people really believed in me as an artist.”

Indeed, a sense of community means more to Glenn than potential fame, and whether that be within his nuclear family, the fellow body of believers at church or those he meets on the road, that quality remains the primary thread that holds his multi-faceted ministry together. “My wife and I celebrate our fifth anniversary in October and she’s been an amazing wife and mother, plus someone who really supports what I do. Now that I’m diving deeper into the artist side of leading worship, it’s a new thing we’re still figuring out, but there’s no way I could do it without her support. And having led church worship for so long, I know there’s a whole church family right there for her when I’m gone on the road.”

Adds Glenn: “Long gone are days of worship pastor standing up and just leading people. You’ve got worship pastors who are artists, and instead of just singing other people’s songs, they have a lot more invested and write their own songs from a fresh perspective that they lead themselves. It’s just really cool to be at a church where I can do that as a worship leader, and as that extends into being a recording artist, I hope these songs can be a resource to everyone I encounter to simply continue worshiping even long after I’m gone.”

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