Opinion | Pop Culture

Q+A: Darlene Zschech, the ‘Mama Bear’ of Worship Music

The former Hillsong leader talks about the industry 20 years after ‘Shout to the Lord’
Q+A: Darlene Zschech, the ‘Mama Bear’ of Worship Music
Image: Darlene Zschech / Facebook

If you’ve sung along to Hillsong Music on the radio, at a conference, or at church, you partly have Darlene Zschech to thank.

During her decade-plus tenure as the worship pastor at Hillsong Church in Sydney, she wrote, produced, and sang more than 80 worship songs on more than 20 albums released by Hillsong as the ministry continued to rise in global popularity during the 1990s and early 2000s. Her legacy helped launch Hillsong Music into the global force it’s become today, with more than 50 million people singing its songs in church every Sunday.

But the Aussie singer behind praise and worship staples like “Shout to the Lord” and “Mighty to Save” doesn’t like being called a “worship artist.”

“If I ever see it about myself I make sure it’s changed,” said Zschech, who now pastors Hope Unlimited Church in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband, Mark. “I’m not a worship artist; I’m a worshiper. Yes, ...

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