Worship duo Shane & Shane are on a mission to create music that is “helpful” for the Church, fueled by the belief that true, deep worship is one of the primary ways God proclaims His name to the nations.
For over two decades, Shane Barnard and Shane Everett have been creating music together, collaborating with other chart-topping artists, including Michael W. Smith, David Crowder and Keith and Kristyn Getty to create some of today’s most-loved worship songs.
“We want to sing things that are true, that will last,” Everett told The Christian Post. “We want to sing things that are helpful. We believe that the Word of God is active and alive and it's the very Words of God ... as much as we can, we want to sing that, because we know it's true. It's not opinion. And it's rich. And it's life-giving.”
After a six-year hiatus — during which they launched the online worship resource The Worship Initiative — the pair is back with a new album, Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, Vol. 1. The album was inspired by Colossians 3:16 — "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, Vol. 1 is comprised of 13 songs, ranging from thankfulness and adoration: “Psalm 42 (Loudest Praise),” “Greatest Love I’ve Ever Known,” to lament, “Song in the Night.”
Barnard highlighted the importance of lament in worship music, noting that the Bible “gives us language in those seasons, gives us permission to bring our complaints to God.”
“It doesn't scare Him away, doesn't chase Him off. He knows every single thought before we even have it,” he said.
The strongest theme that runs throughout their music is the biblical truth that “God is our treasure, our portion our inheritance, our lot,” Barnard said.
“When we become a Christian, the main thing we get is God,” he said. “That's kind of it. And if we can, by the power of the Holy Spirit, wrap our hearts around [the fact that] if we have Him, we have everything. There’s no next level. That really does free us up ... I can lay my life down for the sake of my wife and my kids and others, my friends and my neighbors, because I have everything I'm looking for. I have my return."
He added, “You'll find that running through this record, as thick as ever, and it probably will be running through every other record that we have the privilege to do, by God's grace.”
Already, the album is helping reach the unreached for Christ. Barnard said he and Everett even heard from a man in Tajikistan who is bringing their songs to tribes who have never heard the name of Jesus.
“Anytime we get to be a part of something like that, we never take it for granted," Barnard said.
The pandemic afforded the duo an opportunity to create music in a unique way: “We have a team, we have facilities, we have studios and video editors, and all kinds of resources here in our office, and so in the pandemic, we got the opportunity to really help and serve the Church that might not have been resourced that way,” Everett said.
Though known for their modern take on classic hymns, the Texas-based group didn’t grow up in believing homes. Barnard said they are attracted to the hymns of old because they have “connected this great cloud of witnesses” for hundreds of years.
“We can see over Church history the rails that hymns have,” Barnard said. “One of the factors has to be that [they’re] passed down from one generation to the next. And so it's such a blessing ... we've done a ton of different hymns, and we're going to continue to do that; that's going to be in heavy rotation ... singing from the Word, singing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, in order that the Word of Christ would dwell richly.”
To ensure songs are theologically accurate, Shane & Shane said they run “every thought” through Scripture, cover them in prayer, and vet lyrics through a team of trusted, Bible-believing friends.
“Some of the best heretics in the world are also running all of their stuff through the Word,” Barnard declared. “And so just having a community of people … we don't all go to the same church, and we're not all from the same background, but we all have the same common purpose, and it’s pretty helpful.”
“It's a fun process," he added. "It's kind of like walking by faith. You're just going, ‘Lord, where do I walk? What do I say?’”
Worship music is a “pillar” of ministry, Barnard said — and through their music, Shane & Shane hope to infuse biblical truth into the tangible lives of listeners and inspire them to share the Good News of the Gospel with a fallen world.
“I would love to see … that because of songs written out of the Word ... that they create worship, like true, deep worship that makes its way into people's real, tangible lives, their lives of community, their lives of parenting, their lives scholastically, their lives in business — all of those things, that God would use worship music to create worshipers to the ends of the Earth, that worship music would cause people to go to their neighbor as their act of worship.”
He added: “[I hope] music is the avenue that people will say out of their mouths, and people will hear in their ears and believe, and that will cause worship on the Earth for Jesus to come back … and God getting all the glory that He deserves … and for all the people on the Earth to enjoy Him appropriately.”
Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org