NASHVILLE, Tenn.—While working on songs for a new album, most songwriters don’t read the book of Revelation over and over again for inspiration.
But that’s exactly what singer/songwriter Phil Wickham did to prepare for the release of his third album, Heaven and Earth.
Over the last year, Wickham felt led to create a project that would take listeners on a musical journey through the Bible—starting with the first track, “Eden,” to the last track, “Heaven Song.”
“After listening to these songs, I hope that people will want to know more about the message they have just heard,” Wickham said.
“The first song on the album tells about sin coming into this world, and then the album progresses to telling about how Christ’s great love and sacrifice has made things right for those who ask him to be their Savior. My desire is that these songs are effective in leading people to Christ.”
During its first week of sales, the album claimed the No. 2 spot on the Christian/Gospel album chart on iTunes, and Wickham’s song, “Safe,” which features a duet with Bart Millard of MercyMe, topped the Christian/Gospel singles chart at No. 1.
But the accolades and achievements aren’t what motivate Wickham.
By sharing the gospel through music, he has been given many opportunities to share the plan of salvation at his concerts.
“My priority at concerts is to share the reality of the gospel, the importance of the cross and about the excitement and hope that we have in heaven. By the end of a concert, I hope that people are thinking about God’s grace, love and mercy, and I hope that they are also thinking about the sacrifice that has been given to us through Christ,” he said.
“My prayer is that people will want to follow Christ and to live a life that will honor him.
As a teenager, Wickham learned how to play the guitar from his father. After a few months of lessons, he started leading worship for his youth group at church.
“From there, doors started opening for me to play at different events and eventually led me to where I am today,” he said. “For a while, I was really hesitant to pursue music on a full-time basis because I knew it was a huge responsibility to lead people in worship and to write songs that would convey the right message. I didn’t want to mess it up, and I didn’t want to take things in my own hands.
“So, I spent a long time praying that my desires and musical abilities would always remain focused on the Lord and that these gifts would be used for his glory. That continues to be my prayer today, as I’ve found that one of the best ways of connecting with people is to share the truth of God’s word by putting it in a song.”