The Vision: This album began in the summer of 2001. On a night in late August, God began to show me a vision that would birth this project. The vision was a grand ballroom. Inside were guests - saints and angels - dressed in shining robes and white clothes. The guest of honor was Jesus. He was beautiful, dressed as a King, wearing the clothes of royalty. As I watched, He made His way down the staircase and onto the main floor. For several moments He stood there motionless, his eyes scanning the crowd. Soon, whispers could be heard from the crowd, "Dance.....Dance....". He simply shook His head.
Slowly, He turned towards the door. There He took off the beautiful adornments and crown and quickly stepped outside. It didn't take long for him to find what he was looking for. I was there in the gutter, covered in dirt, looking terrible, smelling just as bad. He ran to me and smiled. "Dance with me" I just looked at Him. "Jesus, how can I possibly dance with you? Look at me! I could never come with you..." He spoke it again, "Dance with Me." And with that, He picked me up and began to carry me back to the ball room. We stopped at the door. He turned to the angel standing there and spoke the words found in Zechariah 3:4. "Take away the filthy garments from him." And to [me] he said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes." He took me by the hand and led me into the ballroom, through the crowd, and up the staircase. We walked down the hallway and into another large room. Here, there were no other guests. We danced alone as He began to sing.
I began to write. Many songs will fade away.... but I'm hearing a new song.....
All the songs on this album (except one track) have been written since that night. They are reflections of the songs we believe God is singing over a church He desperately longs to romance and purify. As you listen, we pray you will hear the new song - the call to come away and be romanced, to dance through the night around His throne.
by Evan Earwicker
Track Samples (Disk 1)
- I Need You
- Dance with Me
- The Wonder of You
- Come Away
- Even So, Lord Come
- Revelation 4:1
- You Will Remain
- Overwhelm Me
- Searching After You
- Hold Me Now (Intimacy)
Evan Earwicker on "Dance with Me" and Why the CD was pulled from Circulation (and Re-Released)
"There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears." Philippians 1:6, The Message
Two years ago, some friends and I began recording a handful of worship songs. We sat for hours in my basement, recording, worshipping, mixing. The project that resulted was "Dance with Me", and God took that project around the world. I was amazed. After two years, however, I found myself in a difficult place.
In the fall of 2003, I was taken aside by my pastors and confronted with the same message I had been sharing through my music and ministry. Honesty. Purity. Character. Humility. I heard their words and sadly I had to admit - my pride was blinding me to my own sin and destroying the message in my life. Out of honor for the message I was bringing, and respect for those the music ministered to, I discontinued sales of "Dance with Me". Many of you sent encouraging emails and letters throughout those months. Thank you so much. It was a difficult decision to make, to let it all go, slowly watching it fade, in order that it might bring death to a good seed, and in the future, much better life and fruit - much deeper than finances and fame, CD's and songs.
After nine months aside from formal ministry, in April, 2004, I traveled to Russia with Pastor Tim Smith to visit and minister to a group of Bible Students in Kamchatka, Russia . During that time, I felt God's release to once again make "Dance with Me" available, realizing how little it was about me and much it was about Him. Soon after, my pastors confirmed what I had sensed, and I made plans to once again release the album.
I step back into ministry now, only because of God's great grace and kindness to me. As Philip Yancey writes, "Jesus' stories of extravagant grace include no catch, no loophole disqualifying us from God's Grace." I am amazed and overwhelmed that still I stand qualified to receive God's grace, in all its unbelievable and undeserved abundance. My prayer today is that my life might illustrate what my music has said all along, that in his mercy, God delights to call the failures and drop-outs out of the gutter and back to the banquet. He loves to clothe us in a righteousness not our own, all the time calling us deeper into intimacy that we don't deserve.
Just before making the decision to pull the CD, I wrote the following song. It has become my deepest prayer throughout this difficult season, and continues to be the sincere cry of my heart.
When everything has faded
and the treasures of my accolades are gone
And all that I have hated is all that I've become
When all my castles made of sand,
crushed like dust in your hand
Fall to the raging sea
Let grace wash over me
Covering me in your tender mercies
This is my request, for love and nothing less
Come and be with me.
I still need Him, more now than ever. No song, CD, or ministry can take His place. I'm 19 years old now, and still there is much to learn and experience. But I am confident in this one thing - He who began this excellent masterpiece on the canvas of our lives is faithful, and He will be faithful to finish the work in me and in the lives of those who are touched by this ministry.
I would like to say special thanks to a few people who have offered much encouragement and strength this past year. To my pastors, Tim Smith and Jess Strickland and to my family; as well as Jay & Dawn Smith and Craig Eshelman, Timothy Heil, Ken Gire, Casey Parnell, Raleigh Willard, & Whitney Stern. I am who I am in Christ because of you. —Evan Earwicker, 06-04-04
At the age of 12, Evan felt the distinct call of God to ministry. He began leading worship in his local church within a year, and after attending a Worshiptogether conference in San Jose in 2000, began expressing his passion for Jesus through songwriting.
In August of 2001, at age 16, he recorded and released his first project, "This River", a live worship album with his former band, Halfhour Silence. During that same time, he began to write and record his first studio album, "Dance with Me" with Whitney Stern. Within several months, the title track was finding its way to the top of radio charts throughout the Pacific Northwest. Shortly after 9/11, he co-produced "Rise Again, America," a full-length benefit album to raise support for the victims' families with students from his high school in Bend, Oregon.
The following summer, he spent 10 weeks on staff with Global Outreaches Unlimited and eventually Youth Outreach Uganda (Y.O.U.) in East Africa. Upon his return to the states, he began to travel throughout the Northwest, ministering in churches and schools through his music and speaking. Since that time, he spent 3 years serving as a staff pastor at Living Hope Fellowship in Portland, Oregon.
In addition to his worship ministry, Evan has been instrumental in raising funds and awareness for many of the people he has ministered to around the world, including the victims of the Mozambique floods in 2000 and the Otino-Waa Orphans of war-torn northern Uganda. Northwest Worship is proud to partner with The Cause, a non-profit ministry aimed at global awareness and outreach.
Evan's heart is for worship beyond music and deeper than emotion, motivated first by God's endless grace & kindness, and for His fame alone. His message speaks of the great need for transparency and purity in worship today, stressing the importance of honest worship born of spirit and truth. One of his greatest passions is for generations, to see young and old worshiping Jesus together.