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Worship Leading
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Our Story of Worship Leading

Katie Torwalt and Bryan Torwalt

0:33:29 · Worship Leading

Bryan and Katie Torwalt share their journey of writing the song “Holy Spirit”, and how God took the song a different direction than they expected

Story Behind the Song “Holy Spirit”

  • Bryan and Katie met at worship school 12 years ago. After they got married, they were on staff at a small local church in Fresno California, where they led worship and started writing songs. They wrote the song “Holy Spirit” a year after they were married. Bryan and Katie had no expectation at all for the song going anywhere. Years later it was on the radio and in tons of non charismatic churches. 
  • “Write songs from your heart, that have good theology, because you have no idea where they’re going to go.” (Brian)
  • Holy Spirit got nominated for a grammy. 
  • “We are all here because we feel called to do this, and we all have hopes and dreams. Whats the timing going to look like for that, and how much expectations do we need to have for these kinds of things? Sometimes we have tests where there’s doors that opens, and sometimes it looks a lot different than we think it’ going to look like.” (Katie)
  • The Grammys as artists, that’s a dream. But we saw God take this a different direction than we expected. (Katie) 
  • A couple of weeks later, the label called and told them that the Grammy Association has a loop hole where the award is for the writers and the performance. If it’s not the first performance, the writers are not awarded. This was not the first performance of the song, so Bryan and Katie were not going to be credited. Bryan and Katie found out they couldn’t go to the Grammy Awards either. They told God, “Do whatever you want with our music.” The day of the Grammy Awards came. They decided to go to Trader Joe’s while it was airing, and Bryan was streaming it in the car and heard, “The Grammy Award goes to Holy Spirit.” They get into the car and were silent on the way home from the grocery store. 
  • We looked at each other and said “Wow, this is a test of our heart, what are we going to do with this?” (Katie)
  • When we first wrote the song Holy Spirit, we talked about our songs were never having our names attached to them, and if that happened, if we would be okay with that. (Katie)
  • When they were in the car on the way home, they realized they were being tested by what they had talked and prayed about originally.

Check Your Heart

  • “What God wants to do with your art and your story will go further than you could ever earn for yourself but it will look different than you could ever think.” (Katie)
  • “Check your heart, because what you said God wanted you to do, He’s going to do it. Where’s your heart at? Why are you writing the songs you’re writing? Why are you leading?” (Katie)
  • The timing of God is such an interesting thing, we have no idea what it looks like. (Brian)
  • God took them on a journey where they didn’t expect any of those things to happen. 
  • A huge value for us has become our community and stability. We write songs and tell stories of being in the journey. “As you’re leading your congregations and teams, they need to see the real you, and how you process things and how you are vulnerable in those moments.” (Brian)
  • When Chris Quilala lost his son Jet, and our community watched them walk through it and worship through it. It changed the culture of our worship in our community. (Brian) 
  • There’s something so powerful in engaging with your community and not hiding yourself in those moments but letting your story come out through your songs and your worship leading.” (Brian)
  • “People are going to see you on the platform go through highs and lows, and as we walk that out authentically, and worship through those moments, that’s how we shift culture.” (Katie)