NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Acclaimed singer/songwriter Erskin has partnered with Nik Ripken Ministries (NRM) for the release of his latest music video, “Is He Worth It?” Spotlighting the plight of Believers in persecution, the video was directed by Jonathan Barker and produced by Luke Harvey and features scenes from the 2016 NRM and LifeWay Films documentary The Insanity of God. Based on the bestselling title of the same name by Nik Ripken—a veteran missionary and leading expert on Believers in persecution—the film powerfully depicts accounts of Christians around the world serving a living Christ, even when it costs them everything.
Co-penning the track with Nik Ripken, Laura Allen and Matt Papa, Erskin hopes both the song and music video will challenge Christians who have not faced persecution to share the Gospel boldly, standing in solidarity with those suffering because of their faith.
“Nik was the keynote speaker at a gathering of Christian songwriters I attended, and I saw firsthand how his impassioned love for Jesus was informed by years of death-defying service to the persecuted Church,” Erskin shares. “During the retreat, each songwriter was asked to consider how we might use the gift of songwriting to encourage the persecuted. The phrase ‘Jesus is worth it’ quickly turned into a lyrical call to action.”
“I pray ‘Is He Worth It?’ will introduce more people to the fantastic global work of Nik Ripken Ministries,” Erskin adds. “The stunning encouragement to love Jesus despite difficulty has become the hallmark of this ministry’s authenticity, and I hope the song will elicit a strong personal passion in all of us to declare that Jesus is indeed worth it in every area of life.”
“Erskin’s interest in what persecuted Believers have to teach us was infectious,” Nik Ripken recalls of their first meeting. “And now—through this song and video—he is helping give the persecuted Church a voice that sings in environments where persecutors have tried desperately to beat Jesus’ song out of our souls. It’s not about ‘I’ and ‘me,’ but Erskin’s music and ministry, alongside Nik Ripken Ministries, returns the ‘us’ to what we sing together. He models how ‘we’ sing together, to ‘our Father Who art in heaven.’”
“The first time I watched the music video I was speechless,” Ripken adds. “Erskin’s talent and heart combine to create a powerful message—’Is He Worth It?'”
Nashville-based singer/songwriter Erskin Anavitarte has garnered loyal fans around the world with his unique blend of pop, jazz, R&B and hip-hop styles. Following his 2014 EP, Let’s Ride, Erskin released Look Up in 2015, which featured the watershed single “Black & White,” a thought-provoking, action-inspiring narrative on race and religion in America. Love Moves, Erskin’s sixth recording, bowed in 2019.
A Texas-born high school basketball standout, Erskin received an athletic scholarship to East Tennessee State University and earned an M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. An advocate for orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children, Erskin serves as an artist representative for Holt International. He is also a diversity spokesperson, with a focus on strengthening ministries, engaging the culture and creating impactful art.
For further information, visit erskinmusic.com. Follow Erskin on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.
About Nik Ripken Ministries
The mission of Nik Ripken Ministries (NRM) is to expand the Kingdom of God by sharing practices learned from Believers in persecution. NRM engages current generations with the truth of Jesus Christ, challenging them to follow Him no matter the cost.
Prior to founding NRM, Nik and Ruth Ripken spent 35 years as missionaries with the Southern Baptist Convention International Mission Board. Having served in Malawi, South Africa, Kenya, Somalia, Germany, Ethiopia and the Middle East, the couple conducted extensive research among Christians living in the midst of persecution. Their findings inspired The Insanity of God feature length documentary and three books, among many other resources. The Ripkens are now devoted full-time to teaching in churches, schools and with mission organizations.
For further information, visit nikripken.com. Follow NRM on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.