How did you all end up having a song on a Hillsong worship album at such a young age?
Luke: We had been doing Delirious covers at Youth & Summercamp, and our Youth Pastor Phil Dooley asked our youth worship team to try to write some original songs for Summercamp. Marty Sampson and I wrote a song each, he wrote ‘By Your Side’ and I wrote ‘Stay’. We did them at Summercamp and they went really well… The youth were really touched by the fact that their peers had personally written worship songs. Word got out that we'd started doing some of our songs at Summercamp, so Russell helped us to shape the music and Darlene helped me tweak the lyrics for church.
What did you learn through the whole process?
Luke: I felt like I had taken the first steps of my God given calling to worship ministry. I knew where I fit, and what I wanted to do with my life. From there I've never stopped or looked back, just following God's plan for my life and letting him lead me to wherever He wants to use me - which has looked very different than my plans for my life. I knew that my relationship with God, and the pursuit of worshiping Him wasn't going to be a side thing, but it was going to be an all-consuming life for me. And it has been, and will continue to be.
How did you keep your feet on the ground as a young guy with such great opportunities given to you?
Luke: So many things! Ps Darlene Zschech was our worship pastor, now my Senior Pastor, and she raised us pretty much from kids to focus on purity of heart, worshiping in spirit and truth, extravagant worship - always referring to David in the bible - dancing in his underwear in abandonment before God - never bringing anything that didn't cost him. She taught us to bring a ‘sacrifice of praise’ even in life’s stormy circumstances. And to have a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude.
That it wasn't about us, but always about Jesus. She taught us not to entertain Christians, or put on concerts but how to Lead Worship. She taught us that wherever we went around the world, and whatever we did that "Home was the prize" and to make church strong on Sundays. That no matter how influential we might seem or whatever accolades might come from humans, we should always give the glory to God - and that Glory was never meant for man to receive but to reflect upon God.
You’re still very much involved and still great friends with the Hillsong worship team now, from your perspective, what has changed and what has stayed the same?
Luke: Yeah, we are family and our heart is always the same - we want to connect as many people as we can with God by creating an atmosphere for people to encounter Him in a fresh way. This has never changed, I was living this out then when I was 18 and I'm still passionately living it out every day at 33 years of age.
Music styles come and go, but music is only a vehicle to carry the presence of God. You can worship God in any style and in any fashion as long as your heart is right. So essentially we're doing the same thing we've always done - finding new ways, methods, sounds and styles to express our praise and worship to God and lead others in this.
Interview with HILLSONG COLLECTED