At its very essence worship is an invitation. Whether it’s a church congregation on a Sunday morning or a solitary soul reaching up to God in a moment of personal praise, worship is inviting God’s presence into our lives so we can celebrate His glory. That’s why “The Invitation” is such a fitting title for singer/songwriter Meredith Andrews debut on Word Records.
Beneath her youthful exterior and fresh-faced exuberance, Andrews is a focused artist who knows exactly what she wants to say. She creates music that serves as a personal conduit for those seeking to worship God, and she also wants to remind others of God’s desire to reach them. “God is extending an invitation to you, to you personally, calling you by name,” she says. “He knows where you’ve been and he knows your background. He knows your family situation. He knows the things you struggle with, but he’s calling you by name and he’s inviting you to come in and to meet with him and to know him.”
Andrews felt the call into music ministry very early in life. Growing up in Wilson, NC, she started singing in church when she was only six-years-old. “I remember the first song I ever sang in church was ‘I Love You Lord,’” she recalls. “Then me and my mom would go around to other churches in our area and sing Southern Gospel music.”
Andrews attended Liberty University where she majored in family and child development, and planned on working in an orphanage after graduation. She was born an only child, but her parents provided homes for many foster children. “We had about 20 kids come through our home in a period of about 10 years,” she recalls. “We ended up adopting three of the boys. They are my brothers now. I forget they are adopted.”
Seeing the impact her parents and their faith had on other children was an inspiration to Meredith and she had planned on a life of service, working to help children. However, during her junior year at Liberty, God revealed His plan for her life. “It was an amazing time of worship,” Andrews says. “Looking out at the student body with their hands in the air, you could tell that the presence of the Lord was so sweet in that place. It was like the Lord just dropped something into my spirit saying ‘This is it. This is it! This is what I called you to do.’ I remember thinking, ‘This is the thing that makes me feel most alive.’ It is also the thing that I feel like the Lord takes the most delight in and I feel closest to him when I’m doing it. That doesn’t necessarily mean being in an arena leading worship, it also means when I’m behind closed doors. Private worship must precede public worship. If what I’m doing on stage isn’t first birthed behind closed doors, then it’s inauthentic. I can’t take people where I haven’t been with the Lord.”
Just as God led Andrews to Liberty University, he opened doors in Nashville that led her to sign with Word Records. “I wasn’t really looking for a record deal. It just fell in my lap,” says Andrews. “I’m so humbled by it all. It’s obvious that it’s the Lord’s hand and not my own.”
Andrews wrote or co-wrote every song on “The Invitation.” Produced by Jason Ingram, the project not only showcases Andrews’ skills as a songwriter, but her engaging vocals as well. She has a clear, pure voice that draws the listener into her songs and points them to the heavenly father. It’s a message that also resonates powerfully on the stunning ballad “You’re Not Alone.”
It is with great pleasure that I present it to “those who have ears to hear”.