When worship leader, songwriter and captivating vocalist Meredith Andrews set out to record her first solo live project, Faith and Wonder (Live), she knew there was only one place to do it— her hometown church, The Belonging Co., located in the heart of Nashville. “I wanted it to feel like church,” she says with a wide, friendly smile that lights up her whole face. It quickly turned into a family affair, most of the crew and production team were church members as well as a large portion of the live audience. She was joined by UPPERROOM’s Cody Ray Lee and Abbie Simmons as well as The Belonging Co.’s Andrew Holt. Andrews’s husband, Jacob Sooter, produced the project. The result is a collection of songs that feel like a homecoming, intimately personal while still filling the room with a collective chorus of worship for a God who saves.
While talking about the new project, Andrews’s entire countenance brightens recalling all that went into creating a space for true worship. “More than anything, I wanted this project to honor the Lord. It was an opportunity to get a bunch of people together and sing these songs over them and watch them encounter the presence of God and be changed.” It was her first and only goal in creating the 6-song EP, Faith and Wonder (Live), for God’s presence to be felt in a deep and genuine way.
Andrews co-wrote each song on the project with writers including Jacob Sooter, Phil Wickham, Mia Fieldes, Hank Bentley, UPPERROOM’s Abbie Simmons and Cody Ray Lee, Bethel Music’s Steffany Gretzinger, The Belonging Co.’s Andrew Holt and Vertical Worship’s Tyler Miller and Eddie Hoagland. She approached the night of the recording with prayer, surrounding herself with people praying for God to be revealed through the performance and the songs they planned to sing. “We prayed over the songs and the night, that these songs would be life-changing and eye-opening. I kept getting these pictures of what God was going to accomplish, of a dam breaking and water rushing in, enveloping everything. Of identity being restored, complete freedom in worship, limitations erased. I wanted to get lost in the presence of God, free from inhibitions or reservations or anything that would hold us back from giving Him everything.”
More than just a live recording or a new project, Andrews feels that Faith and Wonder (Live) is the direction and vision God has given her for this moment — to encounter God’s presence. “I was holding it with open hands and saying, ‘God, this is Yours.’ Lately, I’ve come into a different season of my life and hopefully there’s been growth and maturity. All of these lyrics have been wrestled with, lived out, walked out. We didn’t go into it thinking about what sounds good. These songs are about where I am right now.”
With lyrics like All my life/I’ll sing of Your love/On and on Your love keeps growing and Full of faith and wonder/I will say no other/Name but Yours and We give you access to our hearts/You give us access to all You are, Andrews’s passionate pursuit shines through, removing everything but a wide-open, all-encompassing love of a God who never fails. With such personal moments and prayerful consideration for those whose lives may be impacted, Faith and Wonder (Live) washes over and through the heart like a balm, singing with one voice about the vastness of God’s unending love.