CCM: Hymns have been a foundation for Selah from the beginning—you were among the first artists in modern Christian music to bring hymns back to the forefront. Why have hymns remained integral to the fabric of Selah and why should they be important to all believers?
TS: As a foundation of what we do, hopefully we are introducing these theological gems to a new generation. Hymns are great songs that draw so much from the truths of the Bible. When people internalize hymns, in many cases they are also internalizing the Word of God. They will never forget the theology found in hymns once they start singing them.
AH: Hymns communicate Truth so beautifully and eloquently. It is a badge of honor for me when teenagers and young people in their 20s and 30s tell us they wouldn’t have known a lot of hymns if they hadn’t listened to Selah’s music. I also am moved when an older person says, “My mother (or grandmother) used to sing that hymn around the house as she worked. Thank you for singing that tonight—it brought back really sweet memories of my childhood.” They usually have tears in their eyes when they share that with us, which I think is confirmation of how deeply hymns connect with many people. Hymns are a large part of the Church’s history and are a common point where many believers can connect.
AP: Most hymns were written from the author’s heart, and I think that’s why hymns have lasted—they talk about the struggle and strife believers will face in this world, along with the joyful things. They are honest, and people respond to honesty, even when it’s bittersweet.