Phil Wickham Caring For Your Voice Vocal Health

Phil Wickham has one of the most unique and beautiful voices of our generation. But four years ago Phil almost lost his voice forever. In this episode, I talk to Phil about what led to his vocal polyp, what he learned through the healing process, how he cares for his voice now, and how you and I can strengthen and develop our own unique singing voice for the glory of God and the good of our churches.

Phil Wickham Online
Living Hope (iTunes)
Living Hope (Amazon)


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Transcript

Alex Enfiedjian 00:10 Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the worship ministry training podcast. This is Alex Enfiedjian, your host, so thankful that you’re tuning in to this podcast. If you are a new listener, I want to encourage you to dig through the episode archive list. We have four years worth of episodes on practical topics, ranging from theological to like how to play your guitar, or how to do vocal cues. So dig through the episode list and see what topics will be of help to you in this season of your ministry. Today, I am talking with the one and only Phil Wickham about a couple of things, but primarily talking about vocal care, because if you didn’t know this, Phil almost lost his voice completely, and needed to change how he cared for his voice. And so we talked about how singers can care for their voices, how we can strengthen our voices, how we can find our own style and unique tone, and just even how to approach singing for church services in a way that helps the congregation sing. So lots about singing. We also talked about his new album Living Hope, which is amazing, you should check it out. And I’ll put links in the show notes. So excited to share this episode with you. Before we do that, I want to tell you about our recommended product of the month core sound pads. This is backing pads for your band, that’s that ethereal, soft, fluffy, warm atmospheric sound that sits in the mix under your band kind of glues all the pieces together catches you acts like a safety net, when the music dies down and helps transitions be smooth, amazing product by core sound pads. They have multiple sounds and samples for their pads. It’s just an mp3 file that you can put into any software or play right from your iPhone or iPad. Or you can do that from their app, which is called pads live. So you can check that out in the App Store. If you decide to buy the pads from core sound pads calm. You can use the promo code WM t podcast, W mt podcast at checkout. And that will save you 20%. That’s our recommended product this month. Let’s jump right into the episode with Phil Wickham. Hey, everybody, I’m here with the one and only Phil Wickham. Hey, Phil, thanks for being on the podcast. Thanks for having me on. Alex. Good to be here. Yeah, man stoked to have you? Well, Phil, I’d say just from my own personal opinion, like God has given you one of the most unique and beautiful and recognizable voices in the modern worship genre. And what our listeners may not know, though, is that a few years ago, you had a scare, where you almost lost your voice completely. And so I’d love to talk with you today about the lessons you learned from that experience and how you’re taking care of your voice now. And what some of the things that our listeners can do to take care of their voices and even strengthen and develop their voices as they lead their churches in song. So just for the record, like when did you develop this vocal nodule problem and have surgery like how many years ago was that now?

Phil Wickham 03:05 Man, that must have been four years ago, I guess around 2014, I was diagnosed with actually a pulled up on my vocal cord, which is a little more can be more intense, I guess, or less depending on what kind then a nodule nodule is a little more like a callus that can develop over time and also can diminish over time. And polyps are kind of a little more iffy, like mine was actually hemorrhaging, which there’s some blood coming out of it. And oh my gosh, and yeah, it’s just and it’s one of those things where like, you just, they’re not like for sure gonna go away if you just rest your voice, you know, and I was on steroids for a month, and I didn’t talk or sing for a month to see if it would start to diminish just from rest. And it actually just stayed exactly the same, but started bleeding even more. And so they’re like, man, we if you want to be back on the road, anytime we got to try surgery, but there’s possibility that it might not heal properly, which could kind of diminish your ability to sing. And you know, and that’s that’s not like, hearing you have cancer or something. It’s relatively like my whole world and like fall apart, but at the same time, this idea of like, well, I’ve got I might have to change the way I live my life and the way I do my job and it’s scary. Yeah, it affected a lot of me of what I do and and what the future holds for me and kind of how I viewed myself I realized pretty quick when that was like a reality that I might have to like, take, you know, this giant part of my life away. As far as like being on tour leading people in worship, I realized actually pretty quick how much I depended on that. Just like approval of man. Just to like, validate my existence, you know, because I realized I felt depressed. I felt frustrated. I was impatient. It was gonna be like a six month process. You know, and then it’s how I provide for my family. So there’s like a bit of fear and anxiety and impatient But the biggest thing I felt was a surprising thing, which is like just feeling lost, you know, and feeling like my worth was kind of getting taken out from under my feet. And in that though, when that kind of was stripped away when the thing that I didn’t even realize I was kind of like resting in that, like, Okay, this is what makes me valuable. As a human, like God really replaced that with a much bigger truth, you know, which is sweet, because there’s so many songs about it now, like Hillsong, you say, I am a good father about, about really choosing to believe who God says we are and what he has made us into and what he is making us into. But that’s where I first really started to believe that in my life, so I’m so thankful for that time. But at the same time, it’s difficult, taking four months off and being absolutely silent for two of the months, thankful to God that The surgery went great, and the healing actually, it really was miraculous, when three weeks after I got the surgery that the surgeon checked in with a little microscopic camera. And I remember her gasping just saying, literally, if I wasn’t the one that went in and cut your this out of your vocal cord, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t believe someone even did surgery on you. I don’t see any. Yeah, so it’s just such an answer to prayer. So that was that part, which was like an amazing kind of life giving thing how God does that in the midst of trying things he just brings his life and beauty. But then there’s the nuts and bolts aspect of like, Well, how do I keep this from not happening again?

Alex Enfiedjian 06:27 You know, yeah. Now? Well, first of all, like, we’re so thankful that the surgery was successful, because we wouldn’t have had the last two albums, which are both amazing. And so we’re so glad that God gave you your voice back to sing and to lead people in song and to write songs for the church. And I think what you said about finding our worth, and what we do, I’m pretty sure, almost every listener can relate to that struggle, I completely do. You know, it’s like, my wife sometimes says, like, dude, stop checking your podcast stats, because like, it’s an idol for you, you know, it’s like we find value in the value that we bring to other people. And there’s good to that, obviously, but it can’t be our identity. So it sounds like God did an amazing work in your life through this trial.

Phil Wickham 07:10 Yeah, obviously, we want to do things that are impactful. And a lot of ways we see that they’re impactful is like direct response. You know, if, if we’re making music for people to sing in churches, we want to open our eyes when we’re leading it, and people are lifting up their hands and singing it, you know, you want to make sure, I think that like you said, there’s good too, like the litmus test of like, is this doing what it’s supposed to be doing? You know, and if not, what do we tweak but then it becomes an unhealthy thing where it’s like, we start to rise and fall like our emotions, our demeanors our countenances, and our face rises and falls with like, just the visible aspect of what we do. I think we’re missing out on a lot of freedom that were promised in Jesus, you know, when we’re when we’re, I just know now when I compare myself now like walking on a stage, whether it’s to a giant audience that bought tickets to come to a concert, or if it’s like a midweek study at the church, I leave that to walk on stage, really like reminding yourself so it’s like, oh, my God, I’m so desperate for a gracious God. And he has been overwhelmed and gracious to me to give me this opportunity to point people to him, then also like, that God is completely pleased in what I have to bring, and that He has given me everything I need to accomplish what’s before me, it’s like, there’s such a freedom in that, like, I feel so much more free to do the will of God in my life. When I’m believing the truth about what he says I am, you know, where I’ve taken a stage, I’d be like, wow, I am forgiven. I’m set free. God takes joy in my songs. And so it’s it no longer becomes about Okay, how can I create a moment how can I rustle up some kind of emotional response where people like can kind of get on you know, it’s no longer about me trying to make a moment happen, but it’s me in my heart has shifted to a place thank God, I just can’t wait to bless your heart with my songs. You know, not like not like God helped me to do a good job or God. I want it to be a moment Lord helped me you know, it’s it’s less of this stressful thing and more of like this, man, I cannot wait to get out there and sing about you. And then and work inspired me work inside of me. There’s just a freedom there. So that’s a whole nother thing that I’ve learned from it.

Alex Enfiedjian 09:34 That’s a good lyric work in spite of me work inside of me. Yeah, I get maybe it is. Yeah, that’s good. No, that’s, that’s so encouraging man. And, yeah, I’m really just, I’m really glad to hear that your heart is in that spot. I want to talk a little bit just about what led to these vocal nodules because you know, we all sing a lot. Nobody thinks probably more than you do. But we do all sing a lot. And I think we’ve all experienced vocal fatigue soreness, hoarseness from time to time for you, what were the first symptoms where you were like, dude, something’s wrong. And it’s kind of a serious thing. And what would you say contributed to you getting to that place, like too much coffee or too much thinking or singing wrong? Like, how did you get there? And then how did you kind of know something was wrong?

Phil Wickham 10:18 Well, you can’t really know exactly how it got there, because I didn’t have a history of getting checked out by a voice therapist, you know, but what 99% believe is that, at some point, a vein in my vocal cords hemorrhage, which means it kind of like burst and created this small little injury on my vocal cord, and I didn’t rest that injury, continue to sing on it. And so it developed this, like protective coating around this injury. And then that protective coating ended up weighing down one of my vocal cords, so I kind of lost control. I couldn’t really, I couldn’t sing notes that I wanted to sing. And, and my voice was very hoarse. And so as far as how it got there, I mean, I think it was a number of things. But I know that I’ve implemented some very simple things. I mean, my life hasn’t changed drastically as far as from before and after as far as a singer. But I’ve implemented some very simple thoughts and ideas into my vocal health that I know now. Like, I can sing four or five nights in a row, hour and a half long sets. And I’m tired by the fourth or fifth night like I’m like, Okay, I need a couple days off. But I remember beforehand, like, even after one night, sometimes I would get offstage. And my voice sounds so hoarse, you know. And so the things that implemented is this, it’s like, it’s just, it’s being aware of a few things. And so much of it doesn’t have to do with anything. While you’re on stage. A lot of it is all the stuff you’re doing when you’re offstage, I love to talk and hang out, and just say hi to people meet new people when I’m traveling, but I was talking so much during the day, and I would get on plane flights and talk with the DB level, you don’t realize when the engines in the air is you’re like in a 9293 Db level situation just by sitting in an airplane. And so if you want to talk over that, you’ve actually talked, you don’t realize it but you’re talking at a much elevated level, or allowed restaurant or the lobby of a concert or wherever, like the noise is elevated, and you’re not realizing that you’re pushing your voice more than you should. It’s like, if you think of it as like being like a professional runner. And you know, okay, I’ve got to do an hour long race tonight. But then all of a sudden, there were reasons for you to like do a five mile jog here and a two mile jog there and a three mile jog there you didn’t realize it but you’d already jog 10 miles. And now you’re back you’re at your official race but you tired your whole voice out, you know, and that jogging throughout the days is equivalent to a covenant to singers throughout the day like talking on an airplane and, and doing a two hour long soundcheck where you’re singing the whole time. And so so much of it is just keeping your mouth shut, and choosing to put headphones on and listen to music instead of talking with your friends on an airplane or, or realizing Hey, this is a loud situation right now. There’s been many times where I’ve had to, like bow out have a really fun thing that like the rest of the whole crew is doing. But I’m like, man, I know. If we all go to Top Golf right now I’ll be shouting, you know what I mean? Or I know if we were out on a basketball court, I’ll be yelling, we’ll be having, you know, everything will be invaded. And I’ll get tired, you know, so I say no to a lot of stuff. And so one of the it’s just being so careful. On the date nights you have to sing during that day, just like keep your mouth shut, and then take it a lot of water. And honestly, even those two things make such a giant difference. And I would say the third thing is quick warm up before every time you sing like before soundcheck and before you go on stage, 11 minute warm up that my voice doctor made for me. And it’s so it’s 11 minutes, it’s pretty easy. You know, I can do it on the car on the way to church when I’m leading in church, warming up, resting your voice throughout the day, and then getting good rest at night and drink a lot of water. It’s like seems so simple. But when I think to how I treated my voice before this, and then I was just destroying it. Yeah. And I was and if there’s one more thing for me personally, I wouldn’t say everybody falls in this category. But and I think this falls into kind of what I learned through that time, too, is like, when I would get on stage before the surgery. And ever since I was in high school, like, I always felt this need to like, Okay, I gotta prove to people that I deserve to be here. Like, I got to prove that it’s worth their Friday night that they came out, you know, and, and so I’ll be like from beat one just like 100% singing, you know, singing as hard as it could is as much as and that was that’s super fatiguing to your voice too. And also, when you listen back to recording of that, it’s like, doesn’t sound that great. Yeah, you realize, well, I should just chill out, you know. And so yeah, that’s a long answer. But those five things is to completely revolutionize my voice health.

Alex Enfiedjian 14:50 That’s That’s amazing. You know, I sing a lot here as well. at our church. We have three different service slots and the Sunday morning slot has three services of its own. So one thing that I’ve started to do is, during rehearsal, we run through the songs twice before, this is Sunday morning before the three morning services. So I’m going to sing basically the same set five times in a row, right. So what I do is the first run through, I sing it, but the second run through I sing just enough of the phrases for the band to know where we’re at in the song. And I just back off the mic and don’t sing the rest of the phrase. And that allows the band to listen to each other better, it rests my voice, and it just kind of gives me one set less that I have to sing. So that might be something that people listening could could try to save their voice. But and also, like you said, that’s a huge tip. Just we don’t need to blow out our voices on the first note of the first song, you know, it’s like we can we should be using our dynamic range anyway. So 100%

Phil Wickham 15:45 Yeah, even on on our tracks, we have a track, click and mute and unmute of my voice singing every song. Oh, no. So if we ever need to rehearse anything, or like, do a sound check, like, we can just unmute that track, and I don’t have to sing, you know, which is amazing.

Alex Enfiedjian 16:01 Yeah, that’s rad. That’s a good hack. So speaking of like, using our voice as well, during services, and not, you know, using dynamic range and all that, what is the best advice that you could give to a vocalist on how to strengthen their voice? So like, you talked about warming up, but not just strengthen their voice but shape their own unique singing tone and style? Like what would you tell a worship leader, you know, who’s trying to copy you or copy Matt Redman or, you know, whatever you because you kind of hear that sometimes you’re like, man, they’re trying really hard to be so and so what would you tell a vocalist, like how to find their own tone, how to develop their own style, and then how to strengthen their voice, like maybe even strengthen and increase their range? Any tips on that? Well,

Phil Wickham 16:47 I know that growing up, there are several singers that I just absolutely tried to copy. You know, in some senses, it was like a little bit silly, a little bit funny, because people dig while you’re trying to totally be this guy or that guy. But a large part of that is helping me discover my own voice. You know, for me, I think so much of it, is just, the more you sing, the more I think you discover your own voice, and where your voice sits in songs and all that. And then the more you sing in front of people, for me, I think a lot of trying to emulate other people. I mean, one is, was just being a fan of people, but I think another one was like, a lack of confidence, you know, was like, like, I need to do something special with my voice, or I need to make it sound like this guy or that guy or right. But I think the more we do it, the more we get on stage and get comfortable with our own voice. I just know for me, you can tell when someone is trying to be is putting on a mask, so to speak as a worship leader, you know, you can just as in their voice, you can tell when someone’s trying to overstate allies. And for me, it’s a distracting thing. And, and a part of it, I think is just you mature as a vocalist and just mature as a person to realize man, like, my voice works, you know, it took me a while to realize how much power there is when we are just being us on stage. You know, I used to think I needed to say the things on stage and lead the same way and sing a certain way. Because that’s the way you lead worship, you know that I need to say this phrase. And the older you get, the more you do it, you realize man, like I want to lead at a my own personality and what God has given me and, and not say the same things that I’ve heard other people say before songs, but maybe, maybe God has given me a 22nd little moment of inspiration to speak out or a verse that I’ve never heard anybody else say before we sing, you know, before we sing oceans, you know, God has given you a verse, it’s like, man, we need it, it’d be amazing to speak this over the congregation before we’d sing this song. And, and you start to just find your own voice. And so much of that I think is, is really great to try to emulate singers that you think are awesome, because it helps you find your own voice and learn how to use your own voice. But then there’s a point where you just got to kind of break off and be like, oh, who am I? And I want to be confident in that. And we get out of that.

Alex Enfiedjian 18:58 Right? That’s so good. Like, the emulation period is like training wheels until you get some bearings for, you know, this is this is who I am. And one of the things for singing in terms of leading worship is like, it’s easy to like, try to do all these fancy runs and do all these really cool, amazing things. But a lot of the time that can actually kind of pull people’s attention away from Jesus and onto this amazing vocalist. And it’s like, you know, sometimes right down the middle of the road is the sweet spot. And like, if people watch you on like the harvest live stream, they’re gonna see a different vocal style than if they watch you at a concert. You know what I mean? Because you’re, I mean, not that you’re changing too much. But when you’re leading a church service, you’re not going to be doing these crazy, like, unique vocal things that you would do at your concert. At least I think that’s true. Is that true?

Phil Wickham 19:48 Well, I mean, I would, I would say the same vocal style. I would just it’s probably just simplified notes, you know, so that’s what I mean. Yeah, that’s the same time like I would, I mean, I would be living hope the same way. concert as I would at church, you know, yeah, just Sure. I mean, if it’s if a song is meant for people to sing along to, there’s just a sweet spot for that, you know, it’s not like, okay, it’s a concert, and I’m going to, like, draw more attention to myself on that song. You know, it’s more just like, no, this song is among people to respond to Jesus. I just want to sing the melody and get out of the way so people can do it with me, you know? Yeah,

Alex Enfiedjian 20:21 yeah, simplified notes. That’s, that’s a good way to put it. So you mentioned Living Hope, which I would love to talk with you about. That’s your new album, beautiful album. I remember talking to Jean Kim, who was your monitor engineer, I maybe he still is. But he said that he was like, I’m so excited about Phil’s new album, because he’s writing it for the church. He’s trying to write songs that people can play in any sized church with any accompaniment, and it will work. And I feel like, you know, most of the songs on the album really hit that spot. So can we talk a little bit about the album? Like, what was your goal going into? Writing Living Hope? What did you want it to be? And maybe how did you want it to be different from your past albums?

Phil Wickham 21:02 Well, I think how this This record is different is that it was probably the least goal oriented record. And in a way, it was probably the most freeing, it was a very natural progression. About two years ago, I started leading fairly regularly at a church at harvest Christian Fellowship, and I found myself just filtering a lot of what I was writing through, hey, would we would you seen this at harvest? Or do you think this melody would work at harvest? Or should it be a little more simple? What songs are we missing at harvest that we need more of? And no one was asking me to do that, you know, I just found myself starting to write for this community that I was, I was getting closer and closer to and more and more a part of, and then all of a sudden, I had listed 2025 30 songs that I had written, directly and indirectly to sing at church. And all of a sudden, I realized, man, this is my heart right now like, and so I think it was more, instead of the goal, and then chasing after the goal. It was like, trying to serve the local church and realizing, hey, I think there’s records done, you know, as far as being written. So yeah, it was, I don’t know if that answers your question. But it wasn’t a big goal in mind, it was just a very natural progression of what was happening in my life.

Alex Enfiedjian 22:12 Yeah, you were writing to serve the people that you were called to serve. And I had this thought like, which is so cool, Phil, because people could call you a superstar, you know, they can call you celebrity worship leader. But I’ve just been thinking a lot lately, like the call of worship leader is to be a servant, not a superstar. And I think these songs and the way that they were birthed just show that that’s your heart, your heart is, is to serve the local church that you’re serving at, and then through that serve the global church. And there’s also something else I wanted to highlight in what you said, You had mentioned, like you had written 2530, maybe more songs, and you know, 10, or 12, make it to the record. And just for the songwriters, listening, that seems to be the kind of the norm, like when I’ve talked to Keith Getty or Paul Bosch, or like Andy rozier, they all say the same thing. They say, for every album, you’re going to write 10 times the songs that make it on the album. And, and I think that’s just an encouragement for the listeners to kind of peek back behind the curtain and go, Oh, not every song Phil Wickham writes, makes it on an album.

Phil Wickham 23:11 Yeah, that’s so true. It’s like, if you’re a songwriter, then it’s just a part of what you do. You know, and you’re singing songs and situations and and as you respond emotionally to movies, and music, and Bible studies, and books and relationships, you just, you don’t just respond emotionally, but you start singing the songs and it all, I think, for us are two songwriter, writing the song is enough of the end result. Like, that’s kind of probably how it was for me, like, even if, if some reason I lost my voice, I knew I’m never going to make a record again, I’d still be writing songs, because I’m not writing songs, first and foremost, even to to be heard. I’m writing songs, because I love writing songs. And it’s the way I I tried to bless God’s heart. And I’m so thankful that God has seen it fit to give me an outlet where quite a few people can get blessed. And churches can even get new vocabulary to sing to the songs I write in my bedroom or my office at home. So what an honor and privilege. But yeah, like if you’re a songwriter, you just probably always have five or six or seven ideas doing around and you just never know, when the right verses are going to come along, or the right course is going to fall in your lap. Just even this morning, I had this these two lines forever. Oh God of miracles. Nothing is impossible for you. You resurrect my soul, you can take the old and make it new, just like this kind of dig. You are the God who never fails kind of thing. I never knew what it was for. And now a friend of mine is going through a super super trying time. And I just as I was praying and thinking on him, I did the rest of the song just spelt out you know, and I probably had that chorus for a year and a half. And, and so now it’s like it just was for such a time as this you know, and so on. I would say to all you songwriters. Right, right, right. Don’t think every song should be introduced to your church, make sure you have like, a kind of a hierarchy of people you can bounce stuff off of, from theology. Are you saying all the right stuff that really connects people with the truth of the gospel and God’s Word to like, real happiness and melody? Is there something in life that can speak into that, you know, guys that are seasoned to say, like, Hey, you know, like, there’s something really special, when you went that direction, the rest of the song kind of lost me, but I think you should scrap everything. But that second verse, men write a song around that whole second, you know, whatever it is, I think it’s so important to have guys that speak in your life, and you really listen. And you don’t just like hold everything with a tight fist, but it’s like an open hand of like, Man, this is just to serve. So let’s make it the best as possible. That’s right.

Alex Enfiedjian 25:49 As we wrap it up, what song should worship leaders consider introducing to their churches? I have a couple of my own, but I’ll let you go first.

Phil Wickham 25:56 I’ll make it quick answers. But the song Living Hope definitely on my top three favorite songs I’ve ever written. I think I’ve got nine records out now. And you know, that’s a lot of songs to write. And, but there’s out of all those songs, there’s only a few that are I call them moment songs like it’s like atmosphere changing moment. And Living Hope is probably the first one since this is amazing grace, where it’s like, well, this is a this is something bigger. That’s happening here isn’t just people listening to the record and coming in knowing the song but it seems like it’s connecting on a bigger level. So Living Hope, great things. Were actually leading it this weekend at harvest that was written to be just to add one more song to the list of the openers for the setlist because those are so hard to find. So great things is working so well anthem at harvest, and I love seeing anthem Christ is risen is probably the one that the church things that allowed us you know, man, maybe those four are the ones that have really, really connected.

Alex Enfiedjian 26:56 Yeah, we’ve introduced great things that is a hit. People love it. So worship leader should definitely check out great things. And then how great is your love we did last week? All right, that was really good. Yeah, that’s really good. And then Living Hope is epic. So Living Hope is like no praise of the name anastasis type song that’s just like a big him that is just so compelling. So people should check those three or four out that we’ve mentioned. So, Phil, any final words for the listeners today,

Phil Wickham 27:23 man, just give yourself time to fall more and more in love with Jesus, you know, and I’m saying that because I’ve been challenged to do this too. I was really struck with the story of Martha and Mary, you know, where Jesus and some disciples come into the house of Martha and Mary. And Martha is just so doing all the right things she’s cooking, she’s getting the house in order, she’s feeding everybody she’s serving, she’s making it a place everybody wants to be. She is so busying herself with serving, and just she comes in just a hot mess. And does some things that are pretty intense. She She kind of rebukes Jesus a little bit, she calls us out like Jesus, like, weren’t you telling Mary, she needs to get up and do this? You know, she’s talking to God saying you shouldn’t do this, you know. And so she’s rebuking Jesus, and she’s humiliating her sister in front of all these men that in her house, you know, because I think a lot of people, especially type eight people, when they come into a situation like that, they would point at Martha saying, well, Martha’s definitely like doing the right thing. Here. She is serving she’s spending herself. She is sacrificing her own comfort for everybody else. That Jesus turns and says, her name twice, which is very sweet in my mind, says Martha, Martha. Like there are many things that you are doing. There’s many things that can be done here. But the Mary has chosen the one thing but there’s one thing that is needed and Mary has chosen it. And Mary’s just sitting there listening to Jesus, enjoying his presence and man for worship leaders now for anybody nowadays, but man for worship leaders, I mean, getting the setlist together and I’m sure there’s so many married people keeping their marriages together and married people with kids that are keeping their kids alive and then pleasing senior pastors and then getting back to people that are writing in about it’s not loud enough, it’s too loud, and then Instagram and you know, trying to feel as hip as possible on stage and it’s just so much to deal with. But Jesus said is but one thing is needed. And Mary’s chosen it and she is not doing anything other than letting herself enjoy the presence of Jesus you know, and that story really, really hit me in a big way recently because I realized how busy My life is between for kids and marriage and life and travel and songwriting and doing so many things that all have so much beauty and goodness in them. But one thing is needed. And I believe you can even further say one thing is needed to Bring the most beauty out of everything else. That’s to make it a priority, to be quiet, and to listen to God. And to give him a moment where you say, this is your time. And this is my our time. Jesus mean you not just even check the box of reading the Scripture, not to check the box of print. Okay, I prayed for everybody want to pray for or read my chapter today. But you know, I’m going to take a walk around the block. I’m going to say God speak to me. And I’m not gonna say anything. And I’m just going to do that I’m going to put it on my calendar instead of hanging out, my friend said of going golfing. And instead of something else, something else I’m going to put on my calendar 30 minutes for Jesus every week, you know. And so that’s been something I’ve been challenging myself with. It’s crazy how simple it is. I mean, that Sunday school Christianity, you know, but it is so quickly lost in today’s culture. And it is so life giving to me as a dad as a husband, as a songwriter, his worship leader, Jesus Himself said this one thing is needed. And I’m realizing man, I’m not cultivating the one thing that is needed enough in my life. So that would be my encouragement to all the worship leaders out there.

Alex Enfiedjian 31:10 Yeah, that’s huge. Thank you so much, Phil, thanks for your time. I’m gonna link all your links in the show notes and to the new album to your website to your socials and stuff. But thank you for the time. Thank you for the wisdom and thanks for your heart and for just giving the church great songs.

Phil Wickham 31:23 appreciate you having me on. God bless you. And all you listeners out there, man. Just keep going for it and serving. God sees your hearts. Thanks so much for what you do.

Alex Enfiedjian 31:36 All right. Well, that’s it for today. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you, Phil, for your wisdom. I would encourage you guys definitely check out Phil’s new album Living Hope tons of great congregational songs, consider introducing some of those songs to your church and be blessed by the music that he is writing for God’s people. Also check out core sound pads at core sound pads calm and use w mt podcast at checkout to save 20% on your purchase and get that great atmospheric sounding pad sound. And that’s all for this month. I will see you guys next month for another helpful episode.