“We Shall Not Be Shaken,” Matt Redman’s newest album, was released right in the nick of time. The album was released during one of the most tumultuous, difficult economic times in our nation’s history. The album’s mantra focuses on the omniscient and comforting truth of God’s unshakeable character despite shifting and unsteady circumstances. Every song was a collaborative effort with guest writers including: Chris Tomlin, Matt Mayer, Jonas Myrin and wife Beth Redman. After getting up close and personal with Matt Redman, I realized he truly has a heart for worship.
Congratulations on the release of another album, “We Shall Not Be Shaken.” Is the message behind this album what it appears to be?
Yes, that’s exactly it. It seems like everything in our world right now is so fragile and is constantly shifting and changing. Take the economy for example. You see headlines all over the news about how unstable things are. I want to inject some hope and truth in people’s lives and let them know that our God is secure, unshakeable, and steadfast. They lyrics themselves come from Psalm 62: My soul finds rest in God alone. He is my fortress; I will never be shaken. God is a firm, sold foundation in our lives, and he is faithful to the end.
How long have you been playing music and how did you know you wanted to play music for a living?
I’ve been playing the guitar for about 20 years now. I started learning the guitar so I could play worship songs. Then I soon realized I could play in a church setting. I also discovered that through worship music, I could really help people voice their lives (i.e, their praise, prayer, adoration, requests and intercessions) to God. I just became fascinated by this and realized it was an amazing thing to be able to help people talk to God. I became interested in song writing too and noticed I could write really well. But it wasn’t about this. It was more about how I could help people respond to God and voice that in an honoring and meaningful way.
I always had a passion for worship music and leading people in worship, but I never realized I could do this full time. In England there were not a lot of churches who would employ people to lead worship music; however, my church soon put me on staff. It was amazing. It was an incredible opportunity to grow in my relationship with God, grow as a song writer, and grow in my music as a whole, and I’ve never looked back. I love how when I wake up in the morning I have a strong reassurance and sense of purpose about what I’m called to do.
How and when did you become a Christian?
I became a Christian at 10 years old in a Luis Palau rally in London. I have always grown up in church so I had a good concept of who God was. However, soon after hearing his gospel presentation, I thought to myself “yes, this is exactly what I wanted my life to be about.
I noticed you have authored several books. One in particular about leading worship. What advice would you give to a new minister of music who leads music for a congregation who lacks enthusiasm and is reluctant to sing anything other than traditional hymns?
Well, that’s really a tough spot to be in. I think you have to realize you can accomplish more in two years than you think you can. Also, don’t overestimate what you can do in two months and don’t underestimate what can happen in a couple of years. You have to get your pastoral hat on give it some time and lead people slowly and patiently. However, I think the best thing you can do is put a great big picture of God in front of people, because if they are really seeing Him in the lyrics or music it awakens God within their soul. I like to call it the awakening power of truth. There is something about giving people a true revelation of Jesus, and when you do that, the response takes care of itself.
I noticed you wrote several songs with your wife. Is this normally how you approach the song writing process?
Yes, sometimes that is how I approach it. We wrote Blessed be your name, Face Down, Let Go, and Let My Words Be Few. She is very helpful and I love having her input. She is very good at bringing fresh ideas. I’m very blessed to be married to someone like that who can not only tell me what is wrong with a song, but how to fix it. Every song on this new album is co-written. Sometimes we start with something half written, and then someone else has a great idea for the song and then it just goes from there. There is no real formula for it because every song starts differently.
How do you deal with being on the road without your family?
I try not to travel for very long to be honest. I try to be home as much as I am on the road. I sometimes take my kids with me and sometimes I take my wife with me. It’s a balance of being a dad and being a worship leader and traveling all over the place. It’s never really a simply balance, but I’d like to think I’m getting a bit better at it.
Would you ever be interested in recording songs other than worship music? What about contemporary or other music genres?
No, I don’t really think so. I think about worship music so much that I stay up really late at night with a lyric or a start to something I can’t get out of my mind. I don’t really have that passion for other music. I just like to write music where people come together and speak to God together. It’s an amazing thing when you see it happen, to be in a crowd of people and see how music brings people together.
I also saw on your website you are involved in starting new churches. What is your view on the megachurches and do you think that this movement hurts or helps Christianity as a whole?
I love to see lots of different churches and styles, and the reason is because at the end of the day, we are called to reach out to all different kinds of people. If that takes churches with high-end technology and really loud music or churches that are quieter, then that’s what it takes. I’ve seen and been a part of so many types of churches, and I haven’t really been to one where I didn’t learn anything—and I think that is the most important thing. Even in churches that have an extravagant and unusual sound and style, you can still learn something.
What is your favorite song of all of your albums and why?
Right now my favorite song is off of our newest album and is called, You Alone Can Rescue. One reason it has been my favorite is because I really enjoyed writing it. Secondly, it’s just been a blessing to watch how people reacted to it on tour. We have traveled all over the world to about seven different countries—Uganda, Ukraine, Germany, France, and Switzerland, to name a few. It’s been very encouraging just to see the response and the effect it has had on people. They just came together on that song and you could see it on their faces how much they connected to God. It was an amazing thing to see.
What would you be doing if you weren’t playing music for a living?
People have asked me that before, but I’m not really sure. When I was younger I used to want to write slogans for advertising companies or come up with little jingles for commercials. However, I ended up writing little jingles for God!