Though Redman moved back to the United Kingdom in August 2010, he returned to Atlanta earlier this year to record 10,000 Reasons with over 1,000 worship leaders from across the country during LIFT: A Worship Leader Collective, put on by Passion City Church and sixstepsrecords.
The live recording makes this album what it is: “There’s something that happens in the worshipping, singing church that you don’t find anywhere else on the face of the earth … I hope people end up hearing that on the album; it hopefully gives some life to the songs,” says Redman.
Redman co-wrote with many friends on this album including Jonas Myrin, Jason Ingram, Chris Tomlin, Matt Maher, Tim Wanstall and Jesse Reeves. Many of the songs were born in Brighton, England, a town where Redman and his family are serving as active parts of a congregation reaching out to those in that city.
Redman’s crossover experience with the American and British church has affected his songwriting, particularly now that he attends this Brighton church plant: “With a new church, you’re very mindful of the un-churched coming in,” explains the father of five. “You have to find ways to not water down your faith but to be lyrically as accessible as possible. That’s an endless challenge. It makes me always want to keep the cross front and center.”
Not all of the eleven songs on 10,000 Reasons were inspired in the Redmans’ new Brighton locale. “Never Once,” the first single from the new album, began in the Redmans’ Atlanta home, where he and his family lived for two years helping plant Passion City Church with friends Chris Tomlin and Louie and Shelley Giglio. Returning to Atlanta to see to their house still on the market, Redman found himself standing in his family’s now empty kitchen with guitar in hand. He was alone with no sound of children around, no furniture or wall-hangings, only the echo of guitar strings. Redman had time to think: “I looked over twenty plus years of being a Christian—so much battle and so much blessing. I just had a sense of the utter faithfulness of God.”
With as impressive a track record as one worship leader can have, writing songs that have earned numerous awards, publishing books, including his upcoming book Mirror Ball: Living Boldly and Shining Brightly for the Glory of God in stores July 1, and belonging to one of the most impacting worship movements this century, Redman has managed to keep himself out of it and place Christ in the center of it. After years of experience, the worship leader concluded, “You can have clever chord progressions. You can work hard at getting some sort of nice sounding lyrics, but at the end, I just want a song that connects people with God.”
Visit Matt’s website at www.mattredman.com.