Harnessing the power of music to spread God’s word - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Harnessing the power of music to spread God’s word

December 23rd, 2018 development
Harnessing the power of music to spread God’s word

By Eric Johnson, Guest Writer

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation: Psalm 95:1
Music is a powerful thing. It can stir the heart, lift the spirit and unify people and communities like few other forces on earth.
It’s not a new phenomenon. Throughout history, music has provided a powerful soundtrack to life’s most poignant moments. This is especially true in sharing Christ’s message.
As a worship leader at Compass Christian Church in Chandler for more than 15 years, and recording studio manager at Grand Canyon University’s Center for Worship Arts, I am continually amazed at the power of music to open hearts and wrap people in God’s warmth and love.
The Bible is full of passages about the importance of music in praising our Lord. From David’s inspired harp to Moses and the Israelites’ songs of thanksgiving, music is a consistent theme in scripture. It continues to play an integral role in worship today.
At GCU, we are training Worship Arts students to harness the power of music not only to excel in the classroom, but also to share the gospel. The students’ third – and arguably best – album, “Canyon Worship 2018,” is proof of that.
Produced in GCU’s state-of-the-art recording studio by two nationally acclaimed Christian recording artists, the album features original songs written and performed by students.
I relish their work. Many of the student artists are exceptionally talented performers while others have a God-given gift for songwriting. No matter what their background or skill level, all have found their purpose in spreading Christ’s message through music.
Giving these emerging artists a place to hone their skills is central to the mission of GCU’s Center for Worship Arts. The center was established four years ago and is distinct among performance-based programs, as it combines classes in both ministry and performance.
The idea is to help students not just create and lead great music, but prepare them to become worship leaders in churches and other faith-based settings throughout the world. Because at its heart, the Worship Arts program is about raising up servant leaders with the spiritual maturity and character to glorify God through music.
Leading this effort is no small task, yet the students inspire me every day. Their music moves me to tears and strengthens my own faith in God.
Today, 125 of GCU’s Worship Arts graduates are hard at work in churches in Arizona and across the country. They are realizing their dream of leading and teaching music. But even more important, they are inspiring action, calming troubled hearts and bringing people closer to God – all through the power of music.
– Eric Johnson is recording studio manager in Grand Canyon University’s Center for Worship Arts. Canyon Worship 2018 is $9.99 on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and Shazam, and in the Lope Shop and other locations on GCU’s west Phoenix campus