I sat down with the members of GLO worship ministry on the lush lawns of Franschoek Recording Studios, where they are recording their first Afrikaans radio single with the production help of Helmut Meijer. As they start to chat about what they believe to be their calling as a relatively new worship ministry on the SA scene, a scripture from Romans starts to mull through my head: "For the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God." Romans 8:19 (KJV).
I mention this to the guys, and they laugh delightedly. "One of the songs on our album is Sons of God," discloses William Loedolff, who is the lead singer and also the primary songwriter of the team. It turns out that this scripture is one of the keys to what GLO (pronounced glow) believe they are called to unlock in the Body of Christ for such a time as this.
"It is our absolute passion to see people recognize that Christ in them, the living hope of glory, is the reality of their faith," says William. "We write songs that are based purely on what Scripture says we are: new creations reconciled to God in Christ, with the Holy Spirit living in us. That is how we relate to God, by faith. Even though we are people with emotions, GLO prefers to say what God says, sing what He says and avoid being caught up in our emotions. We find that many popular worship songs sung in church services around the world have human emotions and opinions as a focus; GLO prefers focusing on the Word."
GLO is made up of six musicians (William Loedolff, Elmi Nortier, Roedolf Nortier, Herman Rossouw, Neil Loedolff and Pierre Schoeman), who serve in their own congregation in Somerset West under their pastor, Lodewyk Spies. They also believe that they are called to help equip other faith-communities and worship teams. Because of this, GLO participates in various week-long outreach events in towns across South Africa with an outreach team under Pastor Lood, where they host an inter-denominational program called Christ's Blueprint. They lead the worship in the evenings during these outreach events accompanied by local worship teams, whilst spending time with these worship teams during the day. Their anointed music breaks down the inner walls that people sometimes have and creates an atmosphere where the Word can really minister to those present. This outreach team ministers together.
"It is a prophetic and evangelistic partnership where the music merged with the Word has the anointing to penetrate hearts and see people come to the knowledge of Christ, and salvation."
GLO primarily write songs that help people prophetically confess the truth of their God-birthed identities over themselves. "Many people are not used to actually taking the Word of God and intentionally speaking truth over their lives. We want to write songs that actually give people the opportunity to confess Scriptural truth, like the fact that we are one with God in Christ, which is the chorus of the new Afrikaans song - Ek is een met Hom (I am one with Him)."
Roedolf Nortier, piano player of the group, confirms that the mission of their music is to help people get a revelation of 2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!". Neil Loedolff, who learned to play the drums a few years ago, specifically to join the team, also highlights how Hebrews 11:6 is a foundation stone of their ministry: "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
When asked about their name GLO which, if read in Afrikaans is believe, they explain that it was completely unintentional, but looking back it seems pretty significant. "We had a few name options, and we wanted a name that carries the heart of our ministry, which is to express the reality of 2 Corinthians 4:6 (For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ). We asked Pastor Lood what his thoughts were, and GLO resonated with him as well, so that's how it came to be. The name is uncomplicated; it even references the word "faith" in Afrikaans!"
GLO believes that the season of worship music in the Church is shifting towards true revelation songs, where faith in the Word to frame your life being the fragrance and the fullness of Christ in us, is the focus. "The Holy Spirit wants to recognise Himself in the words of our worship songs. The Holy Spirit recognises and responds to the Word. He is glorified when His light shines from within us. When we have a faith response to God's Word and not an emotional response, trading our opinions for His opinions, He is glorified. Worship is about Him, not us. When we sit with worship leaders and help them to realise how their worship service song selections are really important to disciple people to respond to God by faith, and not from their emotions, we rock the 'worship lyric' - boat a bit. It does not take long though and we row the 'worship lyric' - boat together in harmony.
I ask them what they want the legacy of their ministry to be in twenty years' time, and the response is unambiguous: "We want to see this nation worship Christ in Spirit and in Truth." Neil also relates a dream he had, where the Holy Spirit showed him how the fire of God consumed poverty. It is GLO's desire that the Gospel would be Good News, from the top to the bottom and the bottom to the top; to see the Kingdom established in all spheres of society.
"We know that we minister what we believe, more than just what we sing," said William. "It is from this understanding that all the members of our team add their faith to the music that we bring to churches and communities. We know that the anointing of the Holy Spirit breaks yokes where people encounter Him through the songs that He births through this ministry."
"Worship. Encounter. Be." explains Pastor Lood "Our message is the Gospel - all the nations shall be blessed in Christ. Christ in you, the hope of glory. So, just be..."
Before we finish our chat, Roedie and William sing the new Afrikaans track for us a-Capella style. It has a catchy melody that makes me want to fall in with a harmony after hearing the first few lines. The lyrics "want ek is een met Hom..." however resonates in my spirit as I drive away from the inspiring interview, with a renewed desire to live from a place of knowing the Holy Spirit and the Living Word of God intimately.
As I am known by Him.