Kim Walker-Smith’s name is synonymous with modern worship. As a leader of Jesus Culture, Walker-Smith’s albums and anthems have helped shape a global worship movement. These days, she’s the one being shaped. As a new mother, Walker-Smith says she’s learning new language and perspective for her own relationship with God, and that the lessons learned are translating into new songs for the church.
On My Side (buy) is her brand new album, recorded in the studio for the first time. We recently asked her about choosing to forgo the typical live recording process, and how becoming a mother is shaping her in new and unexpected ways.
CCM: We want to talk about the new album, but first and foremost, you’ve been a leader and influencer within the modern worship movement for some time. In what ways do you feel like your own approach or motivation has changed in that time and in what ways do things feel the same as when you first started?
Kim Walker-Smith: Some things are the same. Anyone who has been in a worship set that I’m leading will know that I’m usually pretty bold and going after something. I sing a lot of spontaneous worship, and don’t always stick to the lyrics in my songs. I love to incorporate ministry into worship, into what I’m doing. I have a tendency to, if I feel something really strong in the moment, start sharing or speaking what that is. I follow the Lord in what I’m doing, and that’s what I’ve always done and that’s who I continue to be.
Something I try to tell a lot of younger worship leaders is not to get too focused on the songs or trying to have a perfect set list. I tell them to remember that they’re there to serve the church; it’s about what God wants to do in those moments. The songs are just the vehicles that help us get there. We want our focus to be on Him and partnering with Him and what He wants to do in the lives of people in the room. In that sense, that’s always been there and always will be.
I will say, however, that over the years, growing in the Lord and in my relationship, as a mother, it has really influenced and changed the way I worship and how I see the modern worship movement. Becoming a mother definitely birthed a lot more love and compassion in me for people. It’s also birthed a lot more patience, probably [laughs]. Kids will teach you patience in a really great way.
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