What’s the difference between being a songwriter and a hymn writer? There’s no scientific difference in the two, but I tend to align myself with historical hymn writers of the Christian church. I try to follow those traditions.
I’m a child of the 21st century, and I encourage organically written music in churches. I use modern worship music. But I do feel there needs to be a voice which explains some of the more traditional values of hymn writing, of textual richness and depth, of a congregationally central music which all generations can sing. Those values are much more aligned to historic hymn writing than to modern worship music.
I’m a hymn writer and a steward of the hymns God has given me and the values God has given me. I didn’t create a modern hymn movement. I didn’t buy modern-hymn-movement-dot-com. We don’t make T-shirts, although that would be very profitable. But it wouldn’t help develop the songs. We don’t have our own line of crockery, because it doesn’t help churches sing the songs. CDs and songbooks do help. Touring and doing events, coupled with lunchtime lectures I do for pastors, I think helps develop the values and helps also wider kingdom goals.