His face might be plastered on billboards around Las Vegas but when Andrew Tierney, a member of world-renowned Australian vocal group Human Nature, first introduced himself to Tim Dunfield, a Canadian who was then worship pastor at South Hills Church in Las Vegas, and asked if he could serve on the church's worship team, Dunfield confesses he didn’t know who he was.

“I had no idea who he was,” he says. “I’d been in Canada for a while and…while I was in Canada was when the boys kind of came to Las Vegas and set up the residency and so I missed the hype of them coming to town…I’m sure I drove by their billboards and saw them but they’re such a unit – they’re the four guys – so to pick one out and say ‘Oh, he’s in my church’ – it didn’t happen. Even when he came up to me and introduced himself, it took a while. Now, of course, I see him everywhere.”

Finding Faith2

Andrew Tierney and Tim Dunfield have released their first album as Finding Faith.

Several years on and the two are now firm friends. Not only that, but they've also been working on a joint music-related project under the name Finding Faith, recently finishing their first, self-titled, album.

“We didn’t start writing songs together, we just started as mates, singing together on the worship team...” says Dunfield, who now serves at Sin City Church, another Las vegas house of worship. “We were just writing songs for the church and then it just seemed like God opened doors for us.”

“We didn’t start writing songs together, we just started as mates, singing together on the worship team...We were just writing songs for the church and then it just seemed like God opened doors for us.”

- Tim Dunfield on how the collaboration came about.

As the title suggests, the album is a reflection on the idea of the faith journey people undertake in their quest for God.

“The lyrics are very uplifting, even though a lot of people’s faith journey comes out of going so low that they can’t do anything else but look up,” notes Tierney. “There’s this great book I read by Richard Rohr called Falling Upward and it really speaks so much to, you know, some of us hav[ing] to fall to realise that we’ve got to look up to get out…and it’s not a bad thing, it’s just a reality of the brokenness of our human nature. We spend our lives trying to get back to that place that we were [in] when we were born, just that connection to God…"

The album also reflects on their personal faith journeys. Both men were raised in a Christian homes – albeit one in Canada and one in Australia – but both have faced challenging moments in their own lives.

For Dunfield, who is married to Joanne and has three children, one key moment came in his early 20s.

“I stepped away for quite a while and ignored my faith and that took me to some very dark places," he says. "I’m not proud of some of the things I did and the people I hurt and the life I lived and there was this very dark moment where I woke up…and realised that I’m killing myself, [that] I’m going to die if I don’t change my life.”

He stumbled across a Bible and, with “nothing else to do”, started reading it.

“And I got to the story of Joseph and, you know, Joseph said to his brothers ‘Everything you meant for evil, God used for good’ and it just wrecked me because my life pretty much up to this point had been used for no good, and yet God’s saying to me, ‘I can turn that around if you give me your life’. And so I recommitted my life at the moment…and I’ve been on this journey of faith with Him ever since.”

Tierney, meanwhile, says that while he’d gone to church all his life, he’d never been “active in the church” and struggled with the idea of surrendering his whole life to God.

Finding Faith album

“I’d been someone who kind of sat at the back and wanted to remain anonymous and just walk-in/walk-out - kind of just have my moment with who I thought God was and what God wanted me to do - and go on with my week," says the music industry veteran.

That all started to change a few years ago, says Tierney - who is married to Heather and has a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter Violette, when his life “almost fell apart” due to his struggle with drinking, eventually leading him to engage in a deeper relationship with God – and a new found desire to serve in the church.

“I was in this kind of moment probably when God put it on my heart to join the worship team…I guess I was finding faith through that whole process – what it looked like, what God wanted me to do…”

“The mainstream media has embraced what we’re doing as a really interesting talking point…We’ve had amazing conversations with different people…I’m kind of blown away by this opportunity.”

- Andrew Tierney

Dunfield says he hopes that as people listen to the songs, they’ll “come on that journey with us” and see that “there is hope and there is love”.

“You know, you can go through difficult times but there is a God and there is a faith that holds you…we just hope that people lean into that even if it’s just to begin a conversation that they’ve never had with themselves or with people around them about this idea of faith and this idea of there being more in the world. We’d be honoured if people went on that journey with us.”

Noting that his fellow members of Human Nature - which whom he's been performing since as far back as 1989 - have given him their full support in pursuing the project, Tierney adds he believes that platform that his career in the music industry has created has given he and Dunfield the opportunity to “get into areas that a purely Christian artist may not be afforded”.

“The mainstream media has embraced what we’re doing as a really interesting talking point…” he says. “We’ve had amazing conversations with different people…I’m kind of blown away by this opportunity.”

There’s no plans at this stage for a tour but the two men say they’re “open to anything”.

“We’d love to keep going if this is God’s plans for us…but our friendship will last long beyond this, long beyond our ability to write songs together,” says Dunfield. “We’re just very open to what God’s plan is for this.”

www.iamfindingfaith.com