How Steven Curtis Chapman Finds Power in ‘Still’
Celebrating God’s Enduring Faithfulness
There’s a tranquil kind of wisdom that often comes with age and experience, a grace that turns hindsight into a 20/20 vision of God’s relentless faithfulness. For Steven Curtis Chapman, a journey spanning more than three decades in Christian music, this wisdom has taken root in the powerful idea of “stillness.” We had the privilege of hearing from Steven in an intimate conversation on Family Life Radio, and what he shared inspires Christ followers navigating their own valleys and mountaintops.
Talking about his first album, Steven says, “35 years ago, I wrote my first batch of songs and made a record. And when I say, record, some of you are not even sure what that means; some of you know exactly what I mean. We’re talking about an album, a record a vinyl disc.”
Steven says he’s seen so much change over the years. “As I began to think about my story – what is amazing is, this word still is such a powerful word for me because it it carries so much weight with it. If I said to my wife, 37 years ago, ‘I love you.’ But when I say, ‘I love you still. I love you now, 37 years later,’ there’s infinitely more depth and weight to that because of that word still.”
“I love you still,” amplifies the power of love through the lens of time.
His Unchanging Goodness
It’s similar to how God’s love for us is described in the Bible—unchanging, consistent and eternal. As Hebrews 13:8 reminds us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (NLT). So when Stephen speaks about the constant presence of God in his life, it’s like he’s putting into words the same timeless truths that many of us know deep down.
“I was thinking about that even related to just this amazing gift that I’ve had, 35 years of getting to enjoy and be a part of sharing my music with people,” Steven shared, “And I thought, What perspective would I be able to share here, 35 years later? So, I just started writing this song about the journey.”
Steven believes God said, “Trust me. I’m gonna take you on a journey.”
“And it has been an adventure,” Steven continues. “It’s been mountains and has been valleys, and yet, here I sit 35 years later from the beginning of my musical journey and even many more years later of my faith journey – that was probably more like 50 years ago when that journey began – and now say, ‘God is still faithful. I still see His goodness.’”
Authenticity is Key
One could argue that, with so many awards and so much recognition, it’s easy for Steven to sing praises. But he puts such an emphasis on authentic worship. “I am still wanting to sing about His goodness and His faithfulness as much now as ever. I’m not just doing it because it’s just what I do. There is joy in it. There’s purpose in it and it is because God, I realize you know, His his grace is amazing still,” he says.
His worship comes from a place of genuine experience and relationship with God.
“His love is unchanging still,” Steven says.
“He is God with us and God for us, and I understand all of that in a much deeper way. So, to have an opportunity to sing a song that says, I still believe all those same things, and I was singing from the very first note, and even more deeply because of the journey that I have been on.”
The Wonder in Creativity
“Music as a whole has this amazing sort of power to get someplace in us that just the spoken word alone maybe can’t do,” Steven shares.
You may be surprised to hear Steven say, “The process of of writing songs has always been a bit of a mystery to me. It’s just something about the creative process … that says, ‘I was made for something more.’”
His words echo a belief that many artists and creatives share: that the act of creating can itself be a form of worship. When we create, we emulate the Creator. As Steven put it, “God invites us into the creation process.”
Writing and the “So What” Test
Steven revealed his songwriting process, emphasizing the “so what test,” a term he learned from his mentor, Bill Gaither. “‘Does this really need to be said and matter enough that I would really can imagine myself on the other side of this song hearing it going,’Yeah, that encourages me; I needed that,’” Steven continues.
In our faith journeys, whether we are writers, musicians or simply Christ-followers looking to make an impact, we should always ask, “So what?” Is what we’re doing truly making a difference?
Steven Curtis Chapman’s legacy in Christian music is astounding, but what’s more captivating is the wisdom he shares from a life walked hand-in-hand with God. His insights aren’t just his own personal revelations; they’re spiritual touchstones we can all hold onto as we navigate the winding, and often challenging, roads of our faith journeys.
It’s one thing to say that God is good or that His grace is amazing, but to say those things still, after decades of life’s tempests and trials? That’s the sort of faith we all aspire to have. Like Steven, may we all find ourselves, years down the line in our walks with God, still standing in awe of His enduring faithfulness.
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