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What's in a song? Songs have the power to to transcend language, culture, and generations. They can provide the soundtrack to a love story or heal a broken heart. They elevate words into something extraordinary. And in their most divine expression, songs can draw us into the very presence of God. For Paul Baloche such songs are simply the result of a lifestyle of worship.
"Following Christ is much more than music," says Paul. "Music is the byproduct of living for Christ."
This lifestyle has produced some of the most renowned worship songs of our time, and made Paul one of the preeminent songwriters of this generation. From playing small venues in New Jersey in the 90's, to his current role as the worship leader at Community Christian Fellowship in Lindale, Texas, Paul's journey of faith is marked by extraordinary music. Songs that serve as signposts on our own journey. Songs that glorify God and encourage believers. Songs that edify the body of Christ.
Paul's passion for the church is evident in his approach to writing, inspiring songs that move beyond personal praise to become worldwide anthems.
Building community… "I think one of our responsibilities in writing worship songs is to be conscious that we are trying to create a sense of community," he notes. "We are trying to use songs as a vehicle and a tool to bring people together and sing our prayers collectively to God."
Paul's heart for community has inspired some of today's most powerful songs of worship, including "Open the Eyes of My Heart" (ranked fourth in CCLI’s Top 25), the radio favorite "Hosanna," which he co-wrote with Brenton Brown and "Above All," a Dove award winner for Inspirational Song of the Year that he co-wrote with Lenny LeBlanc.
Integrity Music celebrates the rich legacy of Paul's music in The Writer's Collection, an anthology that highlights his most cherished songs. The release also features an updated take on Paul's classic, "Open the Eyes of My Heart," produced by Grammy Award-winner Ed Cash. From timeless songs of worship to modern-day standards, The Writer's Collection showcases the very best of Paul Baloche.
In addition to his own work, Paul has co-written with a wide range of artists such as Michael W. Smith, Brenton Brown, and Lincoln Brewster . But though Paul often creates music for different genres and styles, he maintains a straightforward approach to writing.
"I try to keep it simple, yet interesting—simple and inspiring," he says of his songwriting. "You don't want to teach the whole Bible in one song, you can't do that. I try to take one aspect of God's character perhaps, and really focus on that and try to bring it to light."
Now 25 years into his journey in worship, Paul continues to be one of today's most prolific songwriters. Friend and fellow writer Michael W. Smith tapped Paul to co-write the title track and first single from Smith's live worship release, New Hallelujah.
Paul is a member of CompassionArt, a unique songwriting collective committed to social justice. Conceived by Martin Smith of Delirous?, CompassionArt features a veritable who's-who of contemporary Christian and worship artists including Darlene Zschech, Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Israel Houghton. All proceeds from the group's songs and recordings are pledged to aiding those living in extreme poverty.
Paul is also passionate about encouraging and training those who lead worship. Through his web site www.leadworship.com, Paul offers a wealth of resources for equipping the worship leaders of today and tomorrow. Paul also serves with Seminars4Worship where he trains and mentors worship leaders, songwriters, and musicians.
Paul's contemporaries readily recognize his vital contributions to the worldwide worship community.
"Paul continues to amaze me with his ability to write songs that connect with so many people and give voice to the cries of the heart," shares fellow songwriter and Dove Award winner Don Moen. "As a worship leader, he understands the need for songs that embrace sound doctrine and universal themes, songs that transcend generations and cultures."
Pastor and bestselling author Rick Warren adds, "Paul Baloche has the hand of God on his songwriting and worship leading. His music is a great gift to the body of Christ."
Paul realizes that songs are secondary to a lifestyle of community and praise. "We need each other. We need to worship," says Paul. "The essence of life is a relationship with God and a relationship with others. I think writing songs and trying to be creative with God's word, to sing out your prayers spontaneously is a great spiritual exercise. And if a good song comes out of it, that's a bonus."
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