Ian Smale


Born In : Guernsey
Occupation(s) : Musical Artist
Genres : Christian / Gospel

If there’s one man who has brought children’s ministry out of the cosy nostalgia of Sunday Schools Past and wrenched it screaming (though with hands raised in the air) into the blaring world of electric guitars and cracking drum beats it’s Ian Smale, known to one and all as Ishmael. But not only has Ishmael made a rock ‘n’ roll beat respectable for lisping tiny tots as well as acned pubescents. He’s also taken Holy Spirit ministry into places undreamed of when the Charismatic Renewal began.

For under Ishmael’s watchful ministry British Christendom is seeing a swathe of British children not only experiencing the Holy Spirit as a very real person but operating His gifts. Any unsuspecting soul who has stumbled into an Ishmael children’s praise party expecting a piece of Everybody’s Favourite Uncle With Balloons And Songs About Jesus and finding instead children eight, seven and younger prophesying, bringing words of knowledge and praying for the sick (often with spectacular results) will be stunned. But under the wise old headship of Ishmael, the Spirit has well and truly been introduced to children’s ministry.

For those parents who’ve yet to experience the ministry phenomenon that is Ishmael, he has given the church a legacy of songs that few but the most fossilised Sunday Schools can ignore. Songs like “Father God I Wonder”, “God You Put A Tongue In My Mouth” and “Jehovah Jireh” have crossed over not only from the Praise Parties that Ish has pioneered directly, or indirectly, in thousands of fellowships, but have touched many an adult too. His albums, often fronted by a set of teardrop-shaped cartoon characters called the Glories have been mainstays of the Christian bookstall racks while his seeming omnipresence at Spring Harvest has spread the radical image of children as true worshippers and true Spirit-filled Christians far and wide.