Chris Tomlin has been deemed the most-sung artist anywhere and is easily one of the most prolific songwriters in the country. In October, SoundExchange presented Tomlin with its Digital Radio Award for surpassing 1 billion song streams online, an honor never before given to a musician in the Christian music genre.
Tomlin just wrote his first children’s book, based on his hit “Good Good Father,” part of a new album, “Never Lose Sight,” which went on sale last month.
RNS interviewed Tomlin to get his feedback on his accolades and his views on contemporary Christian music. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
You just recently received the SoundExchange award for 1 billion streams. What does it mean for you to be listed next to Garth Brooks, Justin Timberlake and Pitbull, three hugely popular but not Christian-genre musicians?
To represent Christian music is powerful, because it says to me that this music as a whole is not some lesser music, but it’s obvious that there is a great desire for it, a great need for it, and that it’s being heard and that people want to hear and that’s what I love about this. I’m honored to represent the genre, really. I’ve been very floored by receiving this. I’m just grateful because I feel like this music is the music that gives hope to the world. It really gives a lot of hope and encouragement to people. What an amazing thing to represent.
You recently led a “Worship Night In America: An Evening Of Unity And Prayer For Our Country.” What role does worship music have during the general election?
Music is obviously way bigger than the election. This election, it will come and go, but the music is eternal. The worship of God is eternal. It is timeless; it is not style. St. Augustine was credited with saying this, that when you sing, you pray twice. There’s something powerful when the heart is connected with people, connected to God. I’ve always tried to write songs that give people a voice to worship God in a special way. That is a reason that we gather to worship God. It re-centers us on what this whole thing is about.
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SOURCE: Religion News Service