What is the funniest thing one of your children has said regarding your songs/cd\’s?
Definitely when our youngest daughter, when she was about 4, was standing in line for her snack at church and she sang out, “waiting here for foooooood”, to the tune of “Waiting Here For You”. She’s a total crack up! Another funny one that our son said when he was in preschool.. he announced to his teachers that his mommy and daddy were “Watermarkin’ down at the Batman building”. The explanation of this is that Nathan and I used to be called “Watermark” and we were leading worship in downtown Nashville that day near the Bellsouth building…which the top of the building really does look like Batman’s “ears” and it’s affectionally known as “The Batman Building”.
Who\’s your favorite cartoon character?
It’s a CLOSE call between “Rhino” the Hamster in the movie Bolt and “Maximus” the horse in Tangled. Both of these characters completely MADE the movies they are in…
What books would you recommend to a female worship leader?
There is one by my friend Lex Buckley called “Rise Up & Sing” that I contributed a little bit too, along with Beth Redman and Kathryn Scott. It is full of very practical advice for women worship leaders and Lex’s heart for women leaders is so inspiring and encouraging. There’s also a study I’m doing right now called “Waking Up Grey” by Jennie Schut. It is all about awakening creativity in our lives and letting God heal places in us that might have been wounded in our creative process. So much amazing truth.
When did you know there was a call on your life to sing…and did it come loudly or a whisper?
I know this sounds weird but I always knew. I knew probably when I was 5 years old. My parents were SO influential in this. They literally trained me up in music. My mom would sit with me for hours and play the piano while I sang through songbook after songbook. Usually Sandi Patty or Amy Grant songbooks. : ) I had no idea until my adult years how this trained me in the way I would go and that I would never depart from it. I also remember my dad saying to me, “when you open your mouth to sing, sing to Jesus”. I just stuck with me. So, I guess it was a quiet whisper my whole life but I also recognize the influence that my parents had in training me in the call that they too saw on my life. They surrounded me with worship, music, other amazing people of God and just let me be made in the secret place. They never tried to exploit me…they just let the Lord call it forth in me to the fullest. They trained but somehow knew how to release me and let the Lord write my story…
what is your absolute favorite worship song, and why?
For years I have loved the song “The Heart of Worship” by Matt Redman. If I had to narrow it to one favorite, it would have to be this one. Part of the chorus says, “I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it, when it’s all about You”. I often need to make that present tense when I sing it… “I’m sorry Lord for the thing I MAKE it, when it’s all about you”. What I look for in a worship song is honesty plus reverence. Those two postures go hand in hand… We come as we are, He comes as He is. We draw near with humility and stand in awe…He comes near in all of His holiness and meets with us. It’s such a beautiful exchange. Jesus is the center of this exchange. His finished work on the cross and defeating the grave makes it possible for us today to approach a Holy God and humbly bring our all. Jesus makes our worship not only acceptable today, but pleasing like an offering…a gift. The bridge says, “I’ll bring you more than a song” … that sums up our worship…we bring our everything. Our response today to who He is and all He has done is that we come humbly, offering our lives.
Hello Christy! I just wondered how a Christian song-writer gets their start? I am clueless! I write a lot of worship music and would love to share it with others!
Hi Christy, I\’m a young artist serving in our local church and leading worship at women\’s retreats, youth retreats and other events … Can you tell me a little bit about your journey and how you connected with leaders, record labels and opportunities to earn a living with your gifting?
What advice would you give to young girls who aspire to be worship leaders?
I think these three kind of go together or at least I have the same answer for all three! : ) That is… bloom right where you are planted. There is no greater cause than to serve the local Body of Christ. There’s no better “stage” to serve on…I mean that. I know it’s easy for me to say because I have been doing this along time and have gotten to travel around the world to lead worship but that’s probably why I have come to such a conclusion… Yes, it is amazing to get to lead worldwide but there’s no greater joy to know that you are getting to pour into the people in your own community, that you walk life with. So, make a stir where you are…Volunteer to lead in your hometown…at your church, at local bible studies, wherever there is a need. Commit your heart fully to the Lord and aspire for Him to refine you and raise you up as He sees fit. It proves to be exhausting to try to “lift up your own cause”… be faithful and let Jesus lift you. After all, He took on the form of a servant first and foremost. He is our ultimate example for leadership. What I tell the girls here that I’m leading…”Jesus is worthy of complete Lordship of your life regardless if He ever allows you to be elevated by men”. The amazing thing is though…His word is true, He will lift you up! Often it’s different than you thought it would look like but better than you ever asked Him for. He will give you your voice and influence if you commit your life to Him. On a practical level…I started out very small and just asked God for the grace to be faithful in the small things. Little by little, He opened more and more doors and my songs and recordings have grown as the years went by. It has been a slow and steady build with small steps of faithfulness, by His grace. I will never recommend “knocking on doors” and trying to sell yourself to get the doors to open for you. The doors will open as you are faithful to let the songs that are coming out of you touch the people right around you. It will grow from there… I also really rely on the Lord to help me know the things I need to say “yes” to and the things I need to turn down. More isn’t always better. Sometimes more brings complete burnout in your life. I have learned to be thankful for what God has and hasn’t given me and that includes my career. I never want Him to take me wider than I can go deep… He knows my threshold and He IS my portion. Knowing that brings tons of rest to my heart because I believe that He will put me anywhere on the planet that He wants me!
How are you able to make \”worship\” worship when you have to sing the same songs over and over?
When leading/singing/worshipping do you ever get nervous or anxious? How do you put those thoughts and feelings at bay and truly facilitate worship without \”thinking\” about the actual notes, service/song order, etc? Hope that makes sense. Sometimes I feel that in thinking of what is coming next or my notes I am distracting myself from true worship? Thanks!
I have to be very intentional. Mostly, this happens through prayer. I very much believe in “intercessory worship”. This is anything from praying TO Him while I’m leading or asking Him to release things over the people that I’m leading…it’s being led by His Spirit while I lead and honestly “praying without ceasing” in my leadership. As soon as I catch my mind wondering or having anxious thoughts, I immediately begin to pray, asking God to help me worship in “Spirit and in Truth”. Sometimes you might even need to pause and have the people pause to just “breathe” in His presence and be still for a moment when you feel frantic. The people will respond if you take time to remember what you’re even doing! Deuteronomy 10:8 says, “At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister and to pronounce blessings in His name, as they still do today”. I remember this verse and take it with me in my heart when I lead. It helps me understand my place and my calling in leading. When I’ve sung the songs 100 times over, or I’m caught up in the order things should go, I remember that it’s about more than just delivering the songs. The Levites were the lead worshipers. It was their responsibility and calling to carry the ark of the covenant, which is God’s very presence, to stand before Him and minister – to Him and the people – and to pronounce blessings in His name. So more than anything, we should be about “being carriers of His presence” every day. When we lead, we lead to bless God and to pronounce blessings in His name. Honestly, we’re going to mess up at times and things aren’t going to go perfect, but what is it that we want to get right? The songs or carrying His very presence? We join in the song that is already being sung around the throne of God, day and night, “Holy is the Lord God almighty, who was and is and is to come”. So release yourself of the pressure to get it all right. You’re just getting to join in on something that’s already happening. Lead the people to the throne of grace then release them to God in the same breath because ultimately He is the only One who can do a lasting work in their lives during worship.
more questions and answers coming soon!