So, it definitely caught people off guard. I know people weren’t expecting this based on the social media comments.

CCM: Did that surprise you, or did you know to expect it?
SC: I was surprised by it because I assumed people knew I was a Christian. Definitely over the last year or two, I’ve made blatant statements that I’m coming out with a worship project. I’ve given song updates. But it’s just social media. People don’t always pay attention. The world doesn’t revolve around me that much that everyone reads every statement I make. [Laughs] So it’s not like I was hiding this thing and then yelled, “Surprise! I’m a Christian! Who knew?” A simple Wikipedia search will tell people that I’m a pastor.

CCM: Given your depth of experience with Anberlin, how did you find that affecting your songwriting or musical approach with writing worship music?
SC: For me, worship music is a genre all to itself—I think it’s the Christian equivalent to punk rock. There are no rules. There’s no one sitting there asking you why you didn’t repeat the chorus twice after the bridge to close out the song. It’s very off-limits. You can listen to Passion or Hillsong or Bethel and see the rule is only to let it be about Jesus Christ and everything else is fair game. I appreciate that about worship music.

Stephen Christian, CCM Magazine - image
I think it’s definitely the next evolutionary step in Christian music. People want an experience. That’s why people take drugs and go to EDM shows, because they want that experience. There’s no greater experience than the Holy Spirit. If your passion, your heart, your conscience is all set on giving glory to the Holy Spirit, everything will fall into place. The Spirit will do His work. I think that’s why people are so drawn now to worship music as opposed to music that replaces the word “Jesus” with “baby,” which I think a lot of artists do.


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