The extreme poverty of the developing world is always deeply shocking to visitors from the affluent West. Vicky Beeching was only 10 years old when she spent a month working with her missionary grandparents in Zimbabwe, an experience that infused her with a passion for justice and the thrill of living wholeheartedly for Christ.
“It blew my mind,” Beeching admits. “My grandparents had normal jobs until they were in their 40s, then they just sensed God saying that it was time for a huge change. It reminded me that in a good way, Jesus is dangerous! He asks you to do crazy things and leads you on amazing holy adventures. I saw them do that journey and I knew that Jesus looked after them.”
Out of the Comfort Zone
Growing up in Kent, England, Beeching remembers taking part in the March for Jesus as a child. “I remember feeling like God was saying to me, ‘Vicky, you have to get a little acoustic guitar and go on the march.’ I was so embarrassed, but we traipsed down to Argos and got this cheap guitar—like a cricket bat with strings on—and I played it all down Canterbury High Street. For the first time God showed me what it feels like to worship in front of people, and it was a good experience.”
As she grew older, Beeching began writing songs and performing them for her church youth group. One evening, her youth leader suggested that the group join in, giving Beeching her first experience of leading worship.
“We put the words up on the overhead projector, and everyone sang it with me. It was a defining moment; hearing other people singing my words to God was so profound, and suddenly I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life, to give people words to say to Jesus that they couldn’t find.”
Lighting the Dark Corners
Continuing her grandparents’ legacy, Beeching has frequently stepped out of the traditional “worship leader” box, playing in night clubs, red light districts and women’s refuges in her desire to bring Jesus’ presence to those outside the church. “It’s an amazing form of evangelism, ’cause the kingdom shows up and people sense God when they’ve never known Him before. Jesus’ heart is for the dark corners of the world. If you take a little bit of His light outside the church, it goes a long way.”
The excitement and joy of meeting God are vividly portrayed in Beeching’s new songs from her new album, Eternity Invades. “There’s one called ‘Deliverer,” which is based on 2 Corinthians 3:17: ‘Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.’ I think the whole album is going to be about eternity coming into time and God’s kingdom breaking in and bringing salvation, new life and the freedom we’ve always longed for.”
Changing the World
Passionate about God’s heart for the poor, Beeching believes worship leaders have a crucial role in demonstrating His love to those in need. “We should be leading worship through acts of justice as well as through singing. We’ve got to be first to do that.” Beeching is convinced, though, that good works must go hand in hand with the good news. “A lot of Christians dive in with the justice movement but leave Jesus out of it because that part’s a bit awkward. A lot of bands water down the Jesus content too because they want to be relevant. But I think to be relevant we have to offer something people don’t already have—something eternal and something of heaven.”
As an advocate for organizations such as Hope for Justice, founded by Ben and Debbie Cooley, Compassion International and The International Justice Mission, Beeching has seen how relevant Jesus really is.
“Justice is a huge ethereal reality, but God breaks it down into bite-sized chunks: it’s about opening your eyes, and when someone is suffering, not turning away. … If everybody did that, we really could change the world. It’s not just pep talk, it’s actually true. We could genuinely change the world as the church today.”
Click here to purchase Eternity Invades.