Worship music for me isn’t difficult because, first off, I didn’t set out to sell a single record when I wrote these. I never had myself in mind. I never thought about how I could market this. It was out of the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks. There are literally songs about stories in my own life from struggles with God or from my quiet times about how I perceive God. “One More Moment” is about having an experience with the Holy Spirit. That’s what I can take from Anberlin. I understand the old adage that if you write for one person you reach a thousand, if you write for a thousand, you’ll reach no one. It’s all about the personal songwriting and that’s what I developed with Anberlin. I learned to write from my first-person experience. It was never about the catchy hook then, and it’s what I’m doing here now.

CCM: Were any of these songs ever tried out in your local congregation?
SC: Just two or three. The reason is simply that I’m not here to market myself. I don’t think all worship leaders understand the gravity of what they’re actually doing. The Bible says, “To whom much is given, much is required.” You are a conduit to the throne room of God. You will be judged in heaven accordingly. So when you sit there and say, “God, did you see how many records I sold? My Twitter account had so many followers.” God will say, “You completely missed me. You missed the mark. You have taken what was supposed to be pure and holy and desecrated it with your image, your god, your idol.”

It’s such a false throne. With worship music, it’s such a delicate balance. It took me a year and a half to be able to worship God as a worship director, because I was so fearful of entertaining. Entertaining is, for me, just second nature. I can get the crowd hyped. I can say, “Put your hands together.” I can do a karate kick on stage. [Laughs] You can make it happen if you want, but I never want to force the hand of the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to give someone a false impression of a move of the Holy Spirit because I fall to my knees. That to me is fake and false and you’re playing with fire.

That’s a heavy weight of responsibility, so I’m very delicate about bringing up a song that’s off of a Stephen Christian record. It’s not about me. I have to look at the greater good at what the congregation needs and where they are in life. What are my motives for playing the song? Do I really feel like it will minister or am I hoping to sell an extra six copies tonight at the bookstore?

Stephen Christian, CCM Magazine - image

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