CCM: The Church?
MWS:
Yes. There’s a lot of white. Or, “let’s go do the gospel version of that.” And I know [unity] can be complicated, but to me, it’s doable. It’s very doable. If you hear the worship record, you sense an “every tribe, every nation, every tongue.” You’ve got this soulful kind of thing going on. A lot of scatting, really all on the fly, and the Spirit in the room, and all of a sudden we’re breaking into Spanish. And then, back to the pop record, I’m talking about [unity] as well on several songs. And yes, the Church—we need to do better.

CCM: Aren’t we all somehow a reflection of God?
MWS: Absolutely.

CCM: So when I was watching the trailer for Surrounded, this diverse live worship setting—you have African-Americans, and Hispanics, and different languages being sung, is this not a direct reflection of our Creator, of who we’re saying we’re worshipping? Why are we so resistant to unity?
MWS: I think its pride. We like to be in control. We’re not still enough. “Be still and know that I am God.” Gosh, I could preach on that for 30 minutes.

Michael W. Smith, CCM Magazine - image

CCM: Go ahead. [Laughs]
MWS: I feel like I’m a father. I hold that so loosely because when I think about fathers, I think about Don Finto [former pastor of Belmont Church in Nashville, Tennessee], the guy who mentored me …

CCM: … but you now have those years of experience behind you.
MWS: I do. People are now asking me, “How do I do it right?” Maybe that’s my role in this next decade, to model that. And hopefully, I can model it well. I’ve learned a few things. I’m not the new kid on the block. I make mistakes. I still don’t get it right every time, but I do think I’ve gotten wiser. I do think I know where the pitfalls are, and I can send a friendly warning to my comrades, “Bad choice. Good choice. Bad choice. Good choice.”

Michael W. Smith, CCM Magazine - image

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About The Author

Andrew Greer
Contributor

Andrew Greer is a multiple Dove Award-nominated singer/songwriter, respected author, and co-creator of the innovative Hymns for Hunger tour with Cindy Morgan, raising awareness and resources for hunger relief organizations in hundreds of cities across the country. On tour, Andrew has shared the stage with folks like Amy Grant, Brandon Heath and Andrew Peterson. His songs have been recorded by artists like Jaci Velasquez, Seth & Nirva and Nic Gonzales (of Salvador). And his first book – Transcending Mysteries – co-authored with Ginny Owens, was published by Thomas Nelson in 2015. Andrew is also host of CCM Magazine’s “Features on Film” series, featuring one-on-one conversations with some of music’s biggest artists. For more information visit: andrew-greer.com or hymnsforhunger.com.

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