Two minutes with Ryan Griffith – Worship Leader debutant 

You are bound to get loads of invites to lead worship so why did you say yes to New Horizon this year? 

In my life I have had lots of experience at youth events and with mixed aged adult conferences but here I get to engage with many denominations, different to those I’ve grown up with. It is a real privilege to be asked, and great to join in with what’s going on around Ireland, not exclusively this area. I co-ordinate Worship Central in Ireland and N Ireland, which is inter-denominational and has a heart for the whole church. It’s brilliant to be encouraged and inspired by other people and encounter God together in this huge tent.

What are your expectations of the audience before you bring worship to them? 

You have got to know the people you’re leading, what you’re coming into. I try to understand what has gone before me, to know where they’re at so I can stretch them. I want to express praise, do it louder, go deeper and further. The Holy Spirit is here, doing what only He can do so therefore my expectations are not of people but of God. He’s always doing new things in our lives, allowing us to encounter more. I’m not forcing people to do certain things.

What makes a good worship session? How do you gauge success? 

Worship is an end in itself. It’s a holy act full of passion and energy. It’s a space were people engage wholeheartedly. Before I go to lead worship I pray that God would anoint it and show up in powerful, tangible ways. It is not just singing, if we think it is then we’re cutting God off. When we open our heart and mind to respond in spontaneous worship we discover moments that are really true. God loves it all. As a leader I love to see freedom in worshippers because we are free, we’re no longer slaves.

Quick fire question – hymns or new worship songs? 

New worship songs. I love song writing and these can reach a new generation, or the unchurched. God created music; the Psalms tell us to sing a new song of prophetic nature that speaks of the moment. When old hymns are brought to life they bring denominations together and shine light. For me it is about being able to encounter by whatever means glorifies God.