We sang “Go” this Sunday at North Side and it is the final song on our “Knowing Jesus” album. On the album, it goes right into the 21st track, “Epilogue” which continues the song and also reprises two musical themes from “I Will Follow” and “Come Lord Jesus.”
The song is written in an African-type of call and response. It is simply Matt. 28:18-20 put to music. It summarizes the gospel message, gives authority to Jesus, and lays out the instructions for us as believers. “We will go until every nation has heard.”
As we were writing these songs, I told the band I was setting aside the commission song until I was in Africa this summer. Scheduled to lead one of our mission teams, I really felt that the Holy Spirit was going to bring something together while I was on the field. I prayed that something would happen to be the catalyst for the song that it would be so undeniable that the song would write itself.
When that moment happened, I had no doubt I had a gift from the Lord.
It was Sunday. It was Hausa Church time. As we sat on the porch and flies swarmed around us, we were led in worship in Hausa and in English. Our worship leader, rocking out the djembe, began singing one song that all the missionaries got real intense about. I loved the sound of it. Then someone started singing it in English at the same time. The words?
“I will follow Jesus anywhere, no matter the roughness of the road. I will go, I will go, I will follow Jesus anywhere.”
I slipped my hand down into my pocket, took out my phone, called up the voice memo app, pressed record, and told Jesus thank you for this gift. As I began to sing along, I knew without a doubt that this was what I had prayed for.
Later that afternoon, we began our journey back across the country. The next morning, I boarded a bus ride that rode like this for the next 14 hours:
It was on this bus ride that “Go” was written in its entirety. The reason I’m up and down so much and not the guys in front of me was I chose in this moment not to hold onto my seat and rails to see how much I would actually jump. It was unbelievable.
I decided to let the Hausa worship song be the bridge of the song, then I began to break down the Great Commission into verses. Some of the band members joked after seeing the above video that the chorus chant of “Go” almost sounds like if you opened your mouth on that bus ride: “We will go…o…o…o…” Pretty close to reality.
The bus ride was a tad bit too bumpy to handwrite the song, so I used notes on my phone to write out the lyrics. Since it was so loud and I was in the back seat of the bus (which is why my seat literally catapulted me often), I could also sing into the voice memos to remember the melody ideas. At one of our bathroom breaks, my traveling buddies asked what I had been doing, and I said I had finished the commission song and hit my head on the bus ceiling 20 times.
On the original studio recording, we were blessed to have our 6 college summer missionaries sing the Hausa portion of the song. It made the song so much more special and memorable. When they came out to lead it at North Side for our “Knowing Jesus” event, I thought the church was gonna blow up there was so much commission excitement in the room.
We also had another special group of singers on the song. The choir that does the repeat throughout the song is actually the college Bible study that meets at my house on Wednesday nights. How did we record it? I got all the students with iPhones to station themselves around the room to record the vocals and they emailed me the files. That is truth. We were able to take about 40 students on my playroom floor singing into phones as an integral part of the song. That makes it so special to me whenever I hear it to think this dear crowd sang this in our home.
On the live version, it was such a joyful eruption of worship. This song and the epilogue makes me lose my mind. I love the Great Commission.
Hope you enjoy it! Get chord charts for entire album here.
Listen to a snippet below or get your copy:
Jesus lived a perfect life
For our sins was crucified
He died and yet He rose again
All authority’s been given to Him
We will go – o – o until every nation has heard
Go – o – o making disciples with all we’ve learned
Go – o – o we will go
In the Father’s name we will baptize
And in His Son Jesus Christ
And in the Holy Spirit as well
It’s news too good to keep ourselves
Ni zan je da Yesu ko ina
Ba damu da gargara hanya ba
Ni zan je, ni zan je
I will follow Jesus anywhere
No matter the roughness of the road
I will go, I will go
I will follow Jesus anywhere
We will preach the gospel all our days
He promised to be with us always
Until that day when He returns
We won’t relent till all have heard
We will go – o – o
Go – o – o
Go – o – o we will go
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
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