Raging seas/we fight for every weary breath we breathe… The opening lines of Joe Frey’s “Hold Fast” feel all too familiar these days. With terror and tragedy touching every corner of the world, it can be hard to see beyond the darkness. But the Vermont-based singer/songwriter presses on. Hope, after all, is his mission.
“I believe ‘Hold Fast’ is an anthem the local Church so desperately needs in a time when this world is in constant turmoil,” Joe says of the title-track of his national debut. “The simplest way to put it: we need Jesus and He is willing and ready to be there for us. He is our Anchor. He is our Rock."
Hold Fast, as a collection, is quick to reveal Joe’s own heart for the Church. “I love playing concerts and doing festivals, but the core impact for the Kingdom happens at the local church,” he explains. “It happens when people come together to worship, fellowship, and disciple new believers. Without the local church the Gospel of Jesus won't reach the people it needs to reach.”
To that end, the album features five potent selections, all co-penned by Joe, encouraging believers to stand strong in their faith while challenging comfort zones. Produced by Joel Rousseau (Carrollton, South by North), the project opens with “Restore My Soul.”
“Psalm 23 is a verse you learn at a very young age. It’s engrained in you at Sunday school, but until you hit a valley in life, you don't really find the significance of it,” Joe says of the track’s inspiration. “I was in a valley of seeking God's restoration in some areas of my life and I wanted to put that into a song. Now, each time I play it I am overwhelmed by the power of God's restoration and love for us. It's definitely one of my favorites.”
“Your Love Won’t Be Denied” and “Faithful” offer moments of organic worship amidst a collection of singer/songwriter-driven pop. The musical dichotomy is also representative of Joe’s life. The son of a pastor, the path of ministry wasn’t his ambition, but God had other plans.
“I loved church as a kid but as I got older I began to see the awful parts of ministry,” he shares. “I saw my parents struggle to survive with three kids and I honestly wasn't interested in going into ministry; I thought I couldn't handle the heartache. But as I grew older I began to see the beauty in the brokenness and how my father served endlessly. He gave everything he had to grow the Kingdom, and he is now seeing the fruit of his labor.”
Inspired by his father’s commitment to ministry along with his own desire to live in total surrender to God’s will, Joe leapt from the corporate world to the music mission field in 2014. With the support of his wife Sara and their four children, he put together a band—The Broken Vessels—and began sharing his music in churches, as well as at conferences and events, throughout New England.
While Joe’s calendar is largely devoted to life on the road these days, he’s also passionate about equipping the local Church to be more effective in all areas of worship. His “The Church | Worship Gatherings” is a unique opportunity for other leaders to learn from Joe’s experiences over the years.
“We gather teams from several churches together for a one-day worship-equipping intensive,” he explains. “At the end of the day we come together, inviting these entire congregations for a night of worship. The idea is to see the Church unified, coming freely to worship. My prayer and vision is for this to not only strengthen churches, but to bring the Body of Christ together to work outside the four walls of the Church.”
With Hope seemingly hard to find of late, the Church’s mission is more critical than ever. Joe’s purpose reflects this same goal—whether he’s sharing the songs of Hold Fast around the country or bringing congregations together to grow in worship. “Despite our brokenness, no matter how messy or far we fall from God, He still loves us and His grace is far greater than our sin,” Joe says. “He wants to restore us, to build us up to be disciples. But are we listening to His call, to His still small voice? Are we holding on to Him?”
“I pray this record speaks to those who are walking down that path of brokenness. Because we can't truly be effective for the Kingdom until we surrender everything. He is faithful...even in our darkest days/even when I've lost my way."
THE CHRISTIAN BEAT
New Release Today