Zealand Worship is an American worship band, founded by Phil Joel, hailing from Franklin, Tennessee. The band started making music in 2015. They released, Zealand Worship - The EP, an extended play, with both Word Records and Warner Records, in 2015.
The journey to Zealand Worship has been a wild and adventurous one that no one anticipated. Led by Phil Joel, best known for his long-standing role as bass player and vocalist for the Newsboys, the band has faithfully traversed an unscripted, unexpected, and yet; pre-ordained road.
Regarding the bands’ name, Phil explains, “I’m from New Zealand but the name isn’t about a country; it’s a state – a state of being zealous for the ‘land’ God has for each one of us, starting with our relationship with Him. Leading worship from within this band has been the freshest and most invigorating ministry opportunity I’ve ever been a part of.”
When Phil left Newsboys after thirteen years, it wasn’t long before the phone started ringing and ministry opportunities began to emerge throughout the United States, New Zealand, Australia and even China. “Early on, I was asked to lead worship for a series of youth conferences,” says Phil. “At first I wasn’t sure if I was the man for the job. I knew I wanted to be involved in more hands-on ministry, but ‘worship leading’ wasn’t on my radar. I guess my radar doesn’t always match God’s. He’s sneaky like that.”
Without even realizing it, Phil’s perspective began to shift, opening his eyes to a new understanding about worship and his role in it. “It was like the lights came on for me,” he explains. “I realized that leading worship is all about leading people’s hearts to a place far beyond a stage or a melody. True worship isn’t just about a moment; it’s about a lasting movement in people’s lives.”
And for the past few years, Zealand Worship has operated “off the grid.” They go where they feel led, minister where they are invited; under the radar and out of the spotlight. It’s been a season of growth and preparation.
Raucous and invigorating Zealand Worship is taking the next step as authentically as it can, staying true to their sound and their mission.
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