For every musician, there are moments. These specific moments are etched into us and most of us can still recall them with a crystal clear retelling. For most musicians, music is a calling. Whether it’s a call to serve in the music of the local church, write pop songs for mainstream radio, share vague Celtic music covers or rap about math facts, most of us feel that music is more than just something we like.
And for most of us, that calling opened up to us in amazing and wonderful musical experiences. Here are a few of mine.
- Learning Steven Curtis Chapman’s “For Who Really Is” from a SPARROW RECORDS: FRONT ROW VHS tape. I spent hours copying the guitar chords and strum patterns and when I had learned the song, something changed for me. I wasn’t observer anymore and my heart came alive when those words and sounds were coming from me and not a TV speaker.
- When Kristen and I were dating, I wrote my first worship song. It was called “Covenant Love” and it was horrible. But I loved it at the time and the first time I led worship with that song was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. And underneath the ego of hearing your words sung back to you and the ownership of having your own music, something else was shining through. In those four minutes, the responsibility and chaos and potential of writing worship songs came home for me.
- “Pride (In the Name of Love)” from Rattle and Hum. On one vacation, I probably listened to this song 100 times in a row. Looking back on it, I realize that I was most moved by the zeal of the track…that a song could generate that sort of response. It was the biggest song I had ever heard in my life.
- My next musical moment came much later, after I was married with kids and leading worship in a church. My dad passed me a DVD of Baloche’s “Offering of Worship” project and I was literally moved to tears watching the title track. It wasn’t an issue of just liking a song, it was actually hearing a song that said everything I wanted to say in my heart. It was probably the first time I had ever heard a worship song that so powerfully and perfectly connected with where I was in relation to God.