Matt Redman is one of our favourite worship leaders, and we've often featured his songs in this slot. But the well ran dry at his church a number of years ago, as Crosstalk explains:
Check the liner notes of almost any modern worship recording, and the name Matt Redman is likely to be among the songwriting credits. Artists and assemblies regularly perform “Let My Words Be Few” (Phillips, Craig & Dean), “Better Is One Day” (Rebecca St. James, Petra), and perhaps most of all, “The Heart of Worship” (Michael W. Smith, Sonic Flood, Passion), a beautifully simple, acoustic confessional ballad. Still, as prolific as these works make him, he says the story behind “The Heart of Worship” in particular is a personal reminder that, “I’m just a little songwriter—and a pretty foolish one at that!”
The song dates back to the late 1990s, born from a period of apathy within Matt’s home church, Soul Survivor, in Watford, England. Despite the country’s overall contribution to the current worship revival, Redman’s congregation was struggling to find meaning in its musical outpouring at the time.
“There was a dynamic missing, so the pastor did a pretty brave thing,” he recalls. “He decided to get rid of the sound system and band for a season, and we gathered together with just our voices. His point was that we’d lost our way in worship, and the way to get back to the heart would be to strip everything away.”
Reminding his church family to be producers in worship, not just consumers, the pastor, Mike Pilavachi, asked, “When you come through the doors on a Sunday, what are you bringing as your offering to God?”
Matt says the question initially led to some embarrassing silence, but eventually people broke into a cappella songs and heartfelt prayers, encountering God in a fresh way.
Today's song was the result of soul searching at Soul Survivor. It's a simple song, and one we've played and sung often; here 'tis:
Without Jesus, our faith is worth nothing. So it's just as well that Jesus is real, alive and longing for us to acknowledge Him. Have a blessed day!