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Kristian Stanfill’s is one of top worship songwriters in the world. His songs are sung in churches all over the globe and have racked up millions of streams.

In this episode, Kristian shares his songwriting process. We cover his daily writing routines, how he collaborates to elevate his songs, and what makes for a TRULY great worship song.

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Transcript

Speaker 2 (00:00) It’s a hard question, but what makes a great worship song? In your professional experience estimation, what makes a worship song a great one? Hey, everybody. We are talking with Christian Stanfield, the one and only, today about his songwriting process and songwriting tips. If you are a worship songwriter or you want to try your hand at worship songwriting, this episode is for you. I encourage you to send it to any other worship songwriters in your life because Christian is going to drop some mad gold. I’m positive of that. Christian, welcome back to the podcast. How are you doing?

Speaker 1 (00:30) Doing well. Doing great. I’m happy to be back with you, man.

Speaker 2 (00:34) Dude, it’s crazy. I looked at my archives. 2018 is the last time I talk to you. Oh my gosh. I know. I was like, that’s six years. Six years, dude.

Speaker 1 (00:42) Six years, yes.

Speaker 2 (00:43) I was like, 2018? Oh my gosh. I was a wee lad. I was like 32 or something like that.

Speaker 1 (00:48) Yes, six years ago, I was 35. I turned 41 this year. So a lot’s changed, man. The world is different. Our life is different. A lot A lot of things are different.

Speaker 2 (01:01) Yeah. Well, all the good ministry happens after 40, it seems. I mean, look at all the people in the Bible. That was the start of the real stuff. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (01:10) I won’t disagree with that, man. I won’t disagree with that. Decades are important, and I’ve talked to a lot of people when they turn 40, and I would agree with this, there’s just another level of authority and fire. If you want it, if you’re asking for it, if you’re ready for it and available to it. There’s a reasoning that comes as you age. Lord willing, I I have much more years to live and a lot more to learn. I’m still learning even today. But there is something about 40. There’s something important about it. I do feel the most excited I’ve ever felt in my life. That’s not hyperbolic. It’s not just words. I feel more excited now to be in church. I feel more excited to be a worship leader, a songwriter. What we’re seeing God do in our city and what we’re observing happening all over the world is unlike anything we’ve been a part of before. I love 40.

Speaker 2 (01:58) I love 40. It’s not to be afraid of. No. And it’s interesting, too, because I feel like, at least for me, because I’m getting close to 39 this summer. I’m like, I feel like the ’30s, late ’20s, early 30s, mid-30s were ego, trying to prove myself, trying to show off, trying to impress people. I actually did a lot of counseling in the last year, and it really helped me put a lot of that stuff to death. Now, I genuinely don’t want to… I’m not trying to impress anybody, and you probably feel the same way. I’ve achieved a lot of things in my life, and I don’t to prove to myself that I’m… Sorry, guys, this is not songwriting, but we’ll get there, I promise. I love this. It was putting that stuff to death. Now, it’s genuinely I’m finding my worth in God’s steadfast love and nothing else. I don’t need to try to impress you. I don’t need to try to impress anyone online. I’m just here to serve. I bet you that’s what happens around the ’40s.

Speaker 1 (02:49) I think you’re right. I think what I’ll add to that, I 100% agree, is that I think I’ve just accepted the fact that it will always be a struggle for me, worrying about what other people think, worrying about how do I sound? How do I look? Do people like my songs? Do people like when I’m worshiped? Does my wife think I’m cool? Do my kids think I’m cool? That is inevitably going to be a part of… Paul talks about that thorn in his flesh. I think inevitably, that will be a part of my life and my struggle until the day I meet Jesus. I think I’ve grown a lot in it. But I think what I found as I’ve stepped into this new decade is there’s strength in just admitting it and owning it and taking it to Jesus. Anytime that lie starts to whisper in my ear, I’m really quick to confess it and say, Lord, I know that’s not you. I know that’s not you. You’re not saying that to me. You’re not wanting me to think about what other people think about me right now. That’s a distraction from the pit of hell.

Speaker 1 (03:41) I’m going to take it to you and go, I don’t want to think like that. Help me, Holy spirit, to think on what is good and noble and pure and right. Then the other thing I’ve learned to do is just to reach out to people. I’ll text my wife. I have three guys in my life that know everything about me, the good, the bad, the ugly, and I’ll text them. I’ve been standing side stage about ready to walk out and lead worship before, and I’ve texted them and go, Here’s where my head’s at. I’m swimming in performance for love, people-pleasing. I’m just swimming in all that, and I need to say it out loud. Bro, I’ll tell you, whenever you say it out loud, even if it’s in the text, it just pulls the rug out from underneath that lie takes the power out of it. I think that’s what I’ve learned, is it’s not that these things go away. It’s just you become aware of them in a way you go, I’m just going to talk about it out loud. There’s no sense in hiding. God’s eyes see everything about us. He knows us better than we know ourselves.

Speaker 1 (04:30) It’s silly to me to try and put a mask on and pretend. Just drag it out into the light. It gets rid a lot of the power.

Speaker 2 (04:37) It reminds me of 1 John, which I’m sure you’re familiar with, where he’s like, Anyone who says they don’t have sin is a liar. You’re a liar if you say you don’t have sin. But if you confess your sin, if you say it out loud, he is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you. It’s like denying it is actually a losing battle. Just being like, Yep, that’s me. It reminds me of that Shane and Shane song where it’s something about the devil said, and he’s right. Yeah, he’s right. But it’s Christ saved my soul.

Speaker 1 (05:04) That’s right. That’s right. That’s it. That’s it. That’s what I’m learning in my 40s. Maybe when I turn 50, these things will be totally uprooted and out of my life. I pray. I believe the process of sanctification, I don’t know how it’s going to look when I’m 50. Anyway, little by little. That’s right. Every day.

Speaker 2 (05:20) Well, to be honest, and you’ve been very transparent about your struggle over the past couple of years and how the Lord saved you and redeemed you and freed you from that hidden that hidden secret sin of alcohol. I would love to have you back on the podcast to really dive into that. I’ll tell you why. Because I think there are actually so many more worship leaders and church leaders who would ever admit it, who are struggling with secret sin of some kind, and they’re feeling defeated and hopeless and condemned and beat down and discouraged. Maybe God doesn’t even love me, but I believe that you have something beautiful to share with them about your experience and your wisdom. If you’re willing, I’d love to have you back for around two of the podcast to talk about that.

Speaker 1 (06:01) Would love it. It ties into a lot of what we were just talking about. I’d love to talk more about it.

Speaker 2 (06:07) But I do want to honor Lauryn, your PR agent, because she makes these connections happen. Lauryn, I promise we will talk about songwriting.

Speaker 1 (06:15) Which is an equally- I love talking about songwriting.

Speaker 2 (06:17) I love songwriting. You have so much wisdom to share about this. Yes, we will book another slot and we’ll do that round two. But you’ve written with some of the greats Chris Tomlin, Redman, Crowder. You are now considered one of the greats. Your songs are sung by maybe millions, at least hundreds of thousands of people all over the world every week, which is what a privilege, right? I have about nine questions about your songwriting process to tap into that beautiful brain of yours. If you’re down, let’s just dig into your process. And guys who are watching live, feel free to type your questions in the chat or save your questions for the end when we have our private Academy Q&A. So we’ll start simple and broad, but what does your songwriting process look like nowadays?

Speaker 1 (06:58) Well, it’s every day. I I think it’s a discipline that I keep returning to daily. Sometimes I have time to spend hours on song ideas or thoughts, and sometimes it’s just 45 minutes. But I try to find time every day to sit down and just be available to the process and the discipline of songwriting. I think about it like a fire. If you stop feeding the fire, it’s going to get colder, maybe down to the embers. Or if you stop working out a muscle, it gets weaker. I just try to keep going back and keep writing and just make myself available to the process every day so that if inspiration can come down from heaven. It’s happened when I’ve had 15 minutes just to sit down at the piano. I sit down and I have to sit down and start playing and start singing something out, something that God’s showing me or teaching me through his word or through his church. Those have been the moments. Some beautiful songs have been in birth. I think it’s just returning to it, returning to the discipline every day. I think that’s what it looks like for me right now.

Speaker 1 (07:57) We have four kids, and our life is full, and it moves quick. I’ve learned to give myself grace and go, Hey, today I could only sit down with my journal for a few minutes and write down a few ideas or type a few notes on my phone, but it’s moving in the right direction. It’s not a hard and fast rule. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (08:15) That is so important for everyone to hear. Christian Stanfield writes songs every single day. Or at least-At least you try, yeah. Right, yeah. And that’s what makes someone great. It’s not waiting for inspiration to strike, but it’s like you just sit down and do it. And in that doing it, the inspiration comes. So what does that… You’re capturing it, you’re writing it in a paper journal or you’re capturing it in your voice memos, or all of the above, just all day long?

Speaker 1 (08:39) Mostly on my phone because you have it with you all the time. And so it’s easier just to take it out and sing something into your phone or write down a thought in your notes and then just come back to it later. Some days I’m able to just sit and just steep in it, marinate. I’m just here. I’m just going to sit here. I feel like there’s something on this thought or this melody or this idea, and I’m just going to be… But sometimes it’s not that way.

Speaker 2 (09:04) Sometimes it’s work.

Speaker 1 (09:05) Yeah.

Speaker 2 (09:06) That leads to my next question, which is how or when do you know that a song might have something on it? You probably have 25 ideas a day, or whatever. When do you know, Oh, my gosh, that one is special. I got to spend time on that one. What’s the background?

Speaker 1 (09:23) Well, I think a couple of things. I think one, the more you do it and the more you return to the craft and the discipline of it, the sharper your instinct gets. I’ve heard myself sing a lot of different things. I’ve heard myself flesh out melodies and write… I’m sick of my own voice, my own head. You know what I mean? When something sparkles or pops, when I’ll sing something out and go, Oh, wow, that’s different, because I know how the process usually works. So your instinct gets really sharp and you learn to decipher what has that shine, that sparkle on it, go, Wow, there’s something on that. If you keep returning to an idea, that’s probably a good indicator that, wow, my heart is magnetized to this thought or this melody. When I sing this, it unlocks worship in my own life. That’s a good indicator of maybe you should return to it. Then it’s I’m sure we’ll get into co-writing, but then it’s thinking about what friend or what group of people can help complete this idea or complete this thought. I can maybe think of one worship song that I’ve ever finished alone.

Speaker 1 (10:26) Almost exclusively, it’s a collaborative effort. When I do feel like I have an idea that sparkles a little bit, it has some life in it, I’ll start thinking about what are the next steps and who could I reach out to that would help finish this out.

Speaker 2 (10:40) Yeah, that’s so cool. When do you know to give up on an idea?

Speaker 1 (10:44) I mean, like I said, your instinct gets sharper and you just know. That was maybe a step to get me to another idea. But then, honestly, the best filter for knowing what’s good and what’s not is working with other people. I’ve played ideas that I thought were like, This is the idea, man. I’ve got this thought. Then you look back at them and they’re like, That’s cool. What were you thinking? It’s good to have people around you that are really honest and will tell you, Hey, maybe I love the seed of the idea in there, but maybe there’s different words or different melody to put around it. A lot of that happens in the collaborative process. I think the more you work out an idea, too, you start to find the holes in it and the weak spots in it. You go, This maybe isn’t as complete a thought as I originally thought it might be.

Speaker 2 (11:31) It’s funny. It goes back to the confession idea of putting things out in the light. When it’s in the dark, it feels pretty good. Then as soon as you start to show it to people or you’re about to show it to people, you start having all these doubts. You’re like, Actually, this sucks, and that sucks.

Speaker 1 (11:45) It’s very exposing.

Speaker 2 (11:47) That’s a good point, showing it to others and really getting an honest…

Speaker 1 (11:51) It’s so important. It’s so important.

Speaker 2 (11:53) Your newest album, we’re going to talk about this at the end, but when you were talking about a song that just has something on it, that song on that record, He Who Is To Come or whatever, that, man, when you wrote that, were you like, That’s sparking me?

Speaker 1 (12:08) Yeah. Yeah? Yeah. That was one of those… This doesn’t happen a lot, but Sean Curren and Cody Carnens and I worked on that one together That was one of those songs that as it was taking shape and when it was finished, it was very emotional for the three of us to sing that song. It was the thing that we needed to sing, which I think, I’m sure we can talk about this more later, but I think that’s where the best songs, the most authentic songs come from when you’re writing and singing what’s happening in your life or what you need to sing or confess. That song was something that we were all living in that tension. The tension we sing about in that song, we were living in that tension and wrestling with it. I just remember finishing that song and singing it down, and then we listened to it, and we were just a mess. It was just touching something, not just in the three of us, but it touches down into this gigantic truth that we as the people of God, live in, this reality that we live in, that we have a king who is actively presently reigning and ruling, but he’s also actively moving back towards his people to reclaim his bride.

Speaker 1 (13:13) That’s just such a hope for today and a hope for tomorrow, like we sing. That was one of those songs, I don’t ever do this, but as soon as we finished it and Cody sent me a little demo, I started sharing it with our team. I was like, Hey, guys, I feel like this is a song we need to sing at passion. Tell me if I’m wrong. Tell me if my instinct here is wrong. I think our team really agreed that it was a good thing to sing and carry the passion. Anyway, that was one of those songs that we felt like we just became an open channel for that song.

Speaker 2 (13:43) That’s what it feels like, yeah. I’m so glad you started the album with it because it’s just so moving and strong. Quick question, we don’t have to spend a ton of time here, but in terms of the melodies, is it for you melody first, lyrics first?

Speaker 1 (13:55) It’s a little bit of both. I mean, the process is such a mystery. You guys all know When you’re writing, you’re not real sure where it comes from. You know where it comes from, but you’re not real sure how it all works. But I think for me, recently, in the last few years, it’s starting with themes. Themes of what you’re reading in scripture, what you’re in in God’s word, and things start rising to the top. I feel like you’re highlighting this theme in your word or this through line or this thread in your word. You listen to that. You go, That’s the Holy spirit. Holy spirit, what are you speaking to me? What are you trying to show me? Give me eyes to see. Those themes start raise up. As you think on those themes, language starts to clarify. As you think on these themes, words start to distill down. Then you start writing out words. At first it’s just words, but then you start to see maybe a pattern or a lyrical pattern and you’re like, Okay, maybe this is a song taking shape. That’s beautiful because then now you’re writing a song out of something that the Holy spirit is revealing to you in those intimate moments with Jesus and his word.

Speaker 1 (14:57) Recently, that’s how it’s been. Also just leading in We’re at Passion City Church here in Atlanta. Every week I’m in town, I’m here leading a lot. You just observe God, what are you doing in your church? What do we want to sing here in Atlanta? I love melody, though. I love interesting melody. A lot of times I’ll have random melodies in my phone that I’ll record or piano things. Sometimes they find their way into song, sometimes not. But I would say more often than not right now, it’s more bigger themes that distill down into a song.

Speaker 2 (15:26) I think the idea of limitations, a theme boxes you in, and then that’s where you find a little bit of freedom because the boxing in actually allows you to just focus. I recently wrote a song for a woman’s gathering that they’re having this Saturday, and the theme is Walkworthy based on Ephesians 4. I just wrote right out of that text, and it was so much easier than like, What do I want to say today? But it’s like, No, this is the purpose. That was one of the questions I had for you, and you answered it already, but if there’s more, elaborate. Are you sitting down at the beginning of a song and asking questions? Some of the questions you said are like, Yes, what does our church need to sing? What’s going on in the global landscape? But are there other questions that have been helpful for you as you sit down to start a song?

Speaker 1 (16:08) Some questions, I think more confessions or more like when I sit down at the piano or sit down with a guitar We are all aware that what we’re doing here is not just creativity for creativity’s sake. We’re singing about eternal stuff and singing about a kingdom that never ends and a God who is more beautiful and more holy than we can even understand. We all take that very seriously. I think there’s more like a confession like, Lord, prepare my heart right now. Make me aware and available for whatever you want to speak and do right now. Even if it’s just a few minutes I have, I want to be fully present to this moment. I think it’s more like those confessions. Then there are questions, I guess, along the way. Who’s it for? What scripture it’s coming around? When and where is it? All these things are good questions to ask.

Speaker 2 (17:00) Right. Is it a youth conference where we need to…

Speaker 1 (17:03) Yeah.

Speaker 2 (17:04) It’s all an act of service, right? You’re thinking about the person who’s being affected by it. Then for you, especially, but any songwriter, it really is scary, frightening to be like, I better make sure that what I’m putting on people’s lips is actually truthful. It’s a heavy weight. One of the funny statements that I heard from Joel, what’s his name? Hillsong guy, Joel.

Speaker 1 (17:25) Houston.

Speaker 2 (17:26) Yeah. You probably know him, but he It was very pragmatic. He was like, I always picture people at the front of a huge stage singing their guts out. I asked the question, what are the words that they’re singing in that moment? He’s almost reaching into the future and back grabbing the words. Yes.

Speaker 1 (17:45) That’s cool. I relate to that. I sometimes feel like I have a stadium full of people who just can’t wait to sing songs in my head. They’re just like, We’re ready to sing a song. It’s also been helpful for me, though, too, to go sit in the back row of our church and pay attention to the people who want to fade back into the shadows and anonymity and go, I don’t really know if I belong here, and I don’t know what you’re singing, and I don’t know what language you’re using. You find out really quickly what makes its way all the way to the back of the room, what language, what songs. I think it’s good to pay attention to those front people because there’s a lot of zeal there. There’s a lot of fire, and there’s a lot of buy-in. But it’s also good to go sit in the back of the room and go, Well, what’s making it to the first three rows and dying there? Because there are songs that we sing that make it to the first four or five rows, and it just stops there. But there are also songs that reach all the way to the back and go, Everybody, this is for everybody.

Speaker 1 (18:38) It’s good to have both and to pay attention to both.

Speaker 2 (18:41) That’s one of the questions I have for you. It’s a hard question, but what makes a great worship song? In your professional experience estimation, what makes a worship song a great one? Because you’ve seen good ones, you’ve seen pretty solid ones, but why is Great Are You, Lord, so great? I don’t want to get specific on that one, but for you, how would you answer that question? What is a great worship song? What makes a great worship song?

Speaker 1 (19:05) I would say that if God is exaltet in the song and we’re singing true things about him, I think that that’s a beautiful thing. There are a lot of great songs out right now, and some of them are singing almost exclusively about the nature of God and who he is and what he’s done. That’s beautiful to watch the church sing that. There are also some songs that we are in the mix. We’re singing about what God has done for for us. But in both of those songs, ultimately, God is exaltet, and the redemption work of Jesus on the cross is exaltet. God’s character is exaltet. I think when we exalt him and who he is truly, singing true things about him, he dwells in those kinds of confessions. He meets us there in those kinds of confessions. It’s important for us to keep putting the one true God at the center of it all. Then I think, too, authenticity. I think sometimes we’re already thinking about where we want the song to go and how we want it to be used. We’re like, All right, that’s where we want to go, so how do we get there?

Speaker 1 (20:05) Instead of going, Where am I today? What is the expression of worship that God is putting in my heart right now? Then letting God be responsible for the wind. Let him send it wherever he’s going to send it. But I think sometimes we get it backwards where we think, We have to write this song, so let’s write this song. That’s not bad. It’s not bad to do that. But in almost all of the cases of the great worship songs of our day and in our generation, it started with someone who was desperately in love with Jesus, meeting with Jesus on a personal level, and the song flowed from that pure place of worship. It’s hard to answer that question, but I think that’s where great worship songs come from, from a heart that’s desperately in love with Jesus on a personal, intimate level. And those songs, I’ve seen it so many times, they end up touching the world. God uses those people and uses those songs.

Speaker 2 (20:54) Because they weren’t trying to write a hit, right?

Speaker 1 (20:57) Yeah.

Speaker 2 (20:57) I did a hot take. I don’t personally have Instagram, but I’ll film these hot takes, send it to my social media manager, and then he posts it. But I did a hot take about why I love ’80s and ’90s worship songs is because they came from someone’s bedroom. It was truly a pure… There wasn’t an industry yet. There was zero industry, so it was completely a pure worship song, as opposed to… No offense to the industry, we love that it helps get songs out. But now people are writing for the industry to hopefully hit that big hit that you’re talking about. And you’re saying what I’m saying, which is where it starts is the person’s private bedroom. They want nothing else but to commune with Jesus. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (21:36) Exactly right. It’s exactly right. And you felt this sometimes where you write a song and it comes out in this… Again, just a real sweet, quiet, secret place with Jesus. Then later you sing it with a group of people and you’re going, God, this was just you and me. Now look, all these other people get to participate in it, which is really cool. One thing I will say just along those lines is I’ve really been struck by 2 Chronicles 16:9 recently, where it says that the eyes of the Lord, they look all across, they roam all across the earth looking for those whose hearts are fully committed to him so he can strengthen those people. I just want to encourage people, just remember that God’s eyes know where to find you, and he knows where to find his people that are committed to his glory, that are committed to his story, committed to his church and his kingdom. He sees those people. He has no trouble finding you. Our responsibility is as worshippers first, and then maybe worship leaders or worship songwriters, is just to find the purity of that place, that affection with Jesus privately, and let all of life flow from that place.

Speaker 1 (22:39) It’s bigger than just songwriting. Let your whole life flow from this deep well of affection for Jesus. But you will write songs from that place, and there’s a chance they’re going to touch a lot of people. That’s so good.

Speaker 2 (22:49) There’s this pure songwriting, just genuine whatever. But then there’s also this craft of songwriting that Matt Redman talks about. It’s work. It’s struggling It’s vibling, it’s fighting, it’s wrestling, right? You’ve written a lot of songs. Are there tricks or is there a trick that you found that automatically will improve a song?

Speaker 1 (23:09) Man, I don’t know. I don’t know. There’s one thing. I’m not asking for the silver bullet.

Speaker 2 (23:17) I’m just saying, is there something that you’ve learned to do over the years that has improved your songs? It could be like, Hey, yeah, I use a thesaurus for this, or I start my melody a third above the verse for the chorus. Are there a couple of little things that you’ve learned that improve song? Give us your secrets.

Speaker 1 (23:38) Going back to involving other people, I think immediately whenever I share a song with other people, it instantly gets better because all of our giftings and the way that we write and think about melody and lyrics, it’s all different from person to person. Immediately, the bank of lyrics and melody get wider the more you share it with people. I I think that’s an easy one. I mean, easy one. I know when I’ve taken an idea as far as I can take it, I keep hitting the same wall, and I’m like, I need to involve somebody else. Immediately, there’s clarity, and they’re pointing to things when that’s really strong, that needs to go away. What if you said it this way? You’re like, Oh, my gosh. I would have never thought about that because I’m not this other person. I think that’s one thing. I think showing it to people who are nonmusical is really helpful, too. My wife is not musical. She basically can tell me when she’s like, I’m I’m either bored or I’m not bored. I’ll play stuff for her and she’ll go, Wow, that one’s great or not great or whatever. Then showing it to people who maybe aren’t musically minded but have a deep theological mind and can help sift through the theology in the song.

Speaker 1 (24:46) All those things instantly make your song better because you’re instantly getting feedback. One thing I’m trying to do right now, it’s musical and maybe a little nerdy, is make things more linear. My natural instinct is to start low and then jump the octave. I love emotion. I’m just super emotional. I love the drama of starting down here and I’ve got you way up here. It’s so brooding and emotional. Now we’re up here. You’re like, We did that for a long time. We still do that to some degree. We did on He was to Come, so we’re not done with that. But something I’m paying attention to now is how do I keep the verse and the chorus and the bridge, not the exact same notes, but in the same three or four note range. That way it translates. It’s easier for people to sing because you’re not jumping around. It can go male to female really easily. I know it’s just something I’ve been working on, trying to grow in because my natural, when I sit down, is to start low and go.

Speaker 2 (25:43) All the guys with a very small range hate you for it.

Speaker 1 (25:46) No, man, it’s always a struggle for me. But those are a couple of things that I think of.

Speaker 2 (25:51) That’s so helpful. Yeah, thank you. Let’s ask just a couple more general songwriting questions. What would 41-year-old Christian tell 18-year-old Christian about songwriting in general or about For the church?

Speaker 1 (26:04) Man, I would tell 18-year-old Christian, as it relates to worship songwriting, I would just say, if you’re pinning your hopes on just writing a hit, then your happiness will be driven by that. It will rise and fall based on how successful you are. I don’t know if that makes sense. But I would say to 18-year-old Christian, I would say, The church is forever. The church is eternal. It’s the bride of Christ, and he will not leave it or forsake it. Just write songs that call the church to adore him, to behold him, and to worship him. That goes on forever. I think I would say that. I don’t even know if that made sense, but I think when I was 18, I thought so much about just capturing light being in a bottle. It’s like, I’m just going to sit down and today I’m going to do it. I’m going to write the song, How Great is Our God? Part Two. I think that’s the other thing I would tell myself is that is a distracting way to think. It doesn’t work that way. It takes work. There’s discipline involved. You have to show up, and it flows out of relationship like we’ve been talking about.

Speaker 1 (27:05) I think those are the couple of things that I would say to my younger self.

Speaker 2 (27:08) It’s a long game. You’ve been doing this for a long, long time. 85 to 95 of your songs probably never see the light of day. Then out of the 5% that do, there’s three that really the Lord takes and sends all over the world. It’s funny, we have in our academy every Saturday, we do a poster setlist Saturday. I will say Glories Day does show up quite as the number one song. You’re helping the churches worship and you’re getting a little bit of royalties every week as well.

Speaker 1 (27:36) Yeah. Well, that one is just… It’s so wild to see where that song pops up. A friend sent me, he was at an Arkansas University of I saw a baseball game the other day, and he sent me a video. I was like, I have no idea why they’re playing Glories Day right now. But it’s like, in between the names, they’re playing Glories Day. I was like, Wow, this is so… It’s so wild. But there again, that was a song that was almost in the trash can. I mean, that song was I don’t know if this is going to be anything. We kept working on it and kept involving more people, and you just never know. So you just got to be diligent, I guess.

Speaker 2 (28:08) Yeah, that’s good. Hey, that’s a cool story of redemption. Let’s shift gears to talk about the album. Just a couple of questions about the album, and then we’ll move into our academy Q&A time. I’ve seen a lot of great questions come in from the students, so I’m excited to have you answer them directly. Just about the album, it’s probably honestly boring for you to talk about the albums with every single podcast. That’s why I try to ask different questions. But just in general, what do you love most about this new album? It’s called Call on Heaven. Why do you like this one?

Speaker 1 (28:36) Well, I like them all. They’re all special moments in time, but this one was particularly special. If you were at passion, then you’re able to understand what I mean when I just say it was just so many holy moments at conference this year and where Earth looked a lot like heaven and sounded a lot like heaven the whole time we were at conference. There was so much heaven language and the Holy, Holy, Holy reality of heaven was happening at the Benz. When you listen to the record, you hear that. You hear the intensity of a generation singing and worshiping Jesus, singing to worshiping Jesus. I think that’s moments that we’ll never forget. I also think we’re in a moment in time right now that’s just really special and exhilarating just to see eyes being opened to see Jesus, hearts being softened, ears being opened. Then everywhere we go, we’re just seeing it. People people are repenting, turning away from an old way of life and moving toward Jesus. We saw that at the Benz, and I think that’s what you hear. It’s just this spirit of turning back, like a return back to Jesus. It was It’s so beautiful.

Speaker 1 (29:46) Call on Heaven was something we put a banner over the year, all last year leading up to conference. But it’s also something we’re continuing to do. It’s something that we’re continuing to do as a church. And everywhere we go as passion music, we’re calling on heaven. For for redemption and revival, for salvation, for healing. It’s just become a really special… It’s a really special project to all of us.

Speaker 2 (30:08) There is a hunger right now. You’re definitely right about that. People are being called out by God and redeemed. I met a lady last week at church who the Lord revealed himself to her in a dream. She was Jewish, and he just, on the throne, just revealed himself to her. She like, whoa, Jesus is real, and she completely changed her life overnight. It’s like, you’re right. That’s happening in Mass right now. Yes. Maybe your song about Jesus Coming Back, you have two of those big ones, the first one on the record, and then you also have your older one. Maybe it’s coming soon. Who knows? So real quick, the four songs that I’m going to recommend people to check out that are congregationally really strong. You might have others that you would tell them to check out is He Who Is to Come, Salvation Belongs to You. That song has some cranberry vibes from the ’90s.

Speaker 1 (30:54) Oh, wow. Yeah, dude.

Speaker 2 (30:55) Dude, straight up. And then How Great is Your Name? And then No Body. So are there other congregational songs that you’re like, Hey, guys, check out these songs if you’re looking for new songs to introduce?

Speaker 1 (31:06) Yeah, The Lord Will Provide has been a beautiful one for us here. And again, God gives the right songs and the right things to sing at the right time. So that song has landed in our church, like such a perfect time. So the Lord provides a great one as well.

Speaker 2 (31:19) Nice. We are about to jump into our Academy Q&A, which is just a live thing that we do for the people who are on the call live. But for the general public, do you have any concluding thoughts, final encouragements, final remarks, whether it’s about songwriting, specifically or just in general as worship leaders. You have thousands of worship leaders who will listen to this on July first, 2024.

Speaker 1 (31:38) Yeah, we’ve covered so much. I think the things that I would highlight is fall in love with Jesus, love his word, be with him, live with him, walk with him, behold him daily, adore him with your life, and let everything flow out of that. I mean, everything. If you’re going to love your wife, if you’re going to love your kids, if you’re going to be a good friend, if you’re going to write songs, if you’re going to lead worship, whatever you do, it will all flow from this place of true affection for Jesus. So I just want to highlight that over and over and over again. Amen.

Speaker 2 (32:09) You’re a good pastor. Well, we’re going to jump into our Academy Q&A. Christian, thank you for being on the podcast. And Academy members, hold tight. We’ll be right back. Thanks for tuning in today. I hope this episode encouraged you, helped you, and pushed you forward in your ministry. If it helped you, can you take a second and help us by sending it to just one person that you think needs to hear this? And if you’re feeling extra nice, leave us a nice shiny five-star review on Apple Podcasts or like this video if you’re watching it on YouTube. If you want to discuss this episode or ask questions, we do have a free section in our Academy where you can post comments and questions and chat with other worship leaders just like you and also sample some of our courses. And you can go to worshipministrytraining. Com/free to join us inside the free portion of the Academy. If you’re looking for more, check out the full Access Academy. You can get 15 days for just one dollar to start and try things out. Again, you can try all of it for 15 days for just one dollar by going to worshipministrytraining.

Speaker 2 (33:04) Com. Hope to see you inside the Academy or else I’ll see you next month for another helpful episode.