William McDowell is a consummate worshipper. He first caught the attention of the gospel community with his breakout hit, "I Give Myself Away." Staying true to his passion for lifting up pure, unadulterated worship to God, McDowell released the album, "Withholding Nothing" which captured the hearts of listeners. Today. June 9, the singer makes live concert footage of that epic worship experience available for free for 7 days. The concert is streaming at WithholdingNothingFilm.com.
Containing more than 20 songs, the Withholding Nothing concert film shows 2,000 people immersed in passionate, authentic and pure worship. The DC Gospel Music Examiner spoke with William McDowell about the film, his passion for worship, his new radio single, "My Heart Sings" and the singer gives some behind-the-scenes insights of how it all came together.
Why was it important that this DVD be made available to everyone for a limited time?
“It’s very simple. I believe we captured something very special that happened that night and I think my desire is that as many people as possible see it. I wanted to remove every barrier as possible to seeing it that we could so that everyone could have the opportunity to experience it.”
What were some of the most memorable moments for you?
"I have to tell you, the entire night was memorable. But once people are able to actually watch the concert, what you’ll discover is that the last hour of it is completely unscripted, because something special happened in the room during the song of intercession that completely changed the rest of the night, so that the actual song ‘Withholding Nothing’ was birthed at that moment. We had never sung that song anywhere prior to that moment and the finished radio single that is going across the country now, was written six months after the moment. So the first time it was ever sung was right at that moment and it wasn’t even planned to be a part of the live night. The recording is called Withholding Nothing now because of what happened at that moment. I think the Song of Intercession, the Withholding Nothing moment and there is a song after that called ‘There Is A Sound’ that was also completely spontaneous that was not a song until that moment. So the last hour of the DVD is completely spontaneous; so I think the last hour is my favorite."
How do you define worship?
“One of the best definitions that I live by: a worshipper is one who is acquainted with and has a daily relationship with God exhibited toward Him and one whose life privately and publicly honors God in everything.”
Are you working on another worship album?
“We’re constantly working, because were constantly serving and hearing what God is saying. I’m not in the exact moment of working on a worship project right now, but I don’t think a songwriters’ work is ever finished. We’re always working.”
Were there any particular experiences these songs were born out of?
“All the songs written are out of experiences and out of moments. As a worshipper songwriter no song is ever written for commercial purposes and the main reason is because every song of worship is birthed out of ministry with God and spending time with Him. What I believe my calling is as a messenger is one who hears what God is saying and releases that and writes about it so that other people can sing it. A lot of times we give voice to what a lot of other people are feeling, but can’t quite articulate so that’s part of the present of the gift of songwriting. There’s a myriad of experiences we all go through in life and I think that it’s a matter of us paying attention to those experiences and paying attention to our learning in those experiences so that we could write out of them. I don’t think that any one person’s pain or experiences is any greater than others. I just think that some of us have the gift of learning how to articulate the outcome after it’s over. I think I could go down the line, but I can’t tell you there’s a specific thing that caused it or thing that caused that. All of it is actually written out of a posture of submission before God as we prepared for what it is that he is doing. The scripture says that all things work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose so even if it doesn’t feel good or look good, it’s still working for your good. You’ve got to pay attention to that.”
Why did you choose “My Heart Sings” as the next single?
“A lot of time I pay attention to the moment, what’s happening in a room when a certain song is sung. A lot of times when I find if it resonates on the hearts of people quickly it’s generally going to resonate across the nation and across the world. We chose this single specifically because of the organic nature of how it was birthed. It was one of those things where literally I would be shocked I’d start singing something to some people who’ve never heard it and before I finished with the first sentence people are singing along. I think the goal of all congregational and corporate worship is that you give voice to other people, what their hearts are trying to say, but didn’t know it until they hear it.”
Tell me about the church you started, (Deeper Fellowship Church in Orlando, Fla.)
“It is going amazing, people are coming to faith in Christ every single service. There’s a great community of family that’s being born and we’re just excited about where the teaching holds for us. It’s a privilege to be among the people let alone pastoring them.”
What should viewers expect when they see the concert?
“They will see a moment that was captured and not a concert that was captured. You can see what it looks like and sounds like when God shows up in a room and people respond to him. The ultimate goal and what I desire is that people will also feel like they’re in the room, in that moment with us when they’re watching, that it would be an immersive experience.”
© 2014 Sarah Hearn All rights reserved. Reproduction of this article in part or in its entirety on websites, newsletters, magazines, etc. without permission is expressly prohibited. DCMA rules will be applied.