Ever wonder how artists come up with the song lyrics they write? Matthew West said he takes his songwriting very seriously. So much so, that he goes to a very special place to write. When he’s not touring, he goes to a rented cabin.
“That’s where I write the songs, and very special things have come out of that time in the cabin. God has spoken to my heart in a powerful way.”
Listen to Matthew West’s music for very long and you’ll discover he’s a powerful storyteller; stories that come from those impacted by his music. Like, his most recent song, Grace Wins.
“Every night at our concert we sing that song, and I give an invitation to the gospel and many people for the first time are raising their hands saying that they want to be living proof that grace wins every time. The neat thing about this story is that it’s an ongoing story. There’s a young man right now who is in a Christian recovery program called Teen Challenge and his name is Robert. The reason and the way that he got there is because of the song Hello My Name Is. I was at a concert and I sang Hello My Name Is. I told the story of Jordan who inspired it, who went through a program called Teen Challenge to get help for his addiction. This young man wrote me a story when he got home from my concert and said I only came to your show because my mom asked me to. I never even heard your music before. He said, “I’m a drug addict and I heard that song you sang and I’m ready to get help can you help me.” Well, my dad who many of your listeners might know is in ministry. He’s been a preacher for 40 years. We got on the phone with this man Robert and he agreed to get help, and our ministry was able to place him in this Christian recovery program. The reason why I wrote these words is because he was hearing all these voices and he was starting to say oh no I don’t need help. So he reached out for help and then changed his mind, reached out for help and then changed his mind because he thought how could God love somebody like me? But all because another man named Jordan said Hello My Name is Jordan and I’m a child of the one true King, it caused a chain reaction, and now there’s another person’s life being rescued from the bonds of addiction. And that’s the proof! All of our lives can be living proof that God’s grace wins every time.”
Matthew’s songs have impacted many with their compelling lyrics, beginning with his first number one hit, The Motions. As a gifted singer and songwriter, you might think he’s living the dream instilled in him from an early age, but that’s not the case. At one time, Matthew’s driving passion was far from a number one hit on the Christian music charts, but many “hits” of a different kind. His passion was baseball!
“One of the things I’m thankful for are the dreams that didn’t come true because I found, like, me, wanting to be a baseball player and thinking I was gonna go pro. You know, sometimes doors have to close in our lives and we’re devastated by that, but then God uses that to lead us to where he really wanted us all along. So ironically these dreams that didn’t come true they’re not meant to devastate us. They’re meant to redirect us into the direction that God wants us to go. So I’m thankful for some of the opportunities that haven’t happened because they’ve led me to where I am today. And I’d say of all of that, I’m so thankful to be making music, hopefully, songs that matter, that are more than just entertainment, but that are songs that have poured into people’s hearts through the message of the song.”
So, how has Matthew West been able to stay the course and pursue God’s plan for his life, to proclaim his passion for Christ through his music? Matthew would say it was the strength of his grandmother!
“She raised ten children and she had nine boys and one girl and for a good part of their childhood my grandpa wasn’t saved. And so she was the one who would lead every one of those children to church every Sunday. She was the one who prayed for her husband to quit drinking and come to know the Lord, and she was the one that saw my grandpa through, and he got saved, and then they all started going to church. And she’s the reason that my dad asked Jesus into his heart, and then went onto Bible college and became the preacher who then gave birth to me and has raised me to be who I am today. So Grandma West is somebody who always holds a special place in my heart.”