Paul Baloche: A Glorious Journey

by | Oct 29, 2009 | Culture

balocheAs believers, we all have signposts for our journey of faith—the day we encounter our Savior, the challenges that uncover our deep need for Him, the moments we experience God’s faithfulness.

For Paul Baloche, this spiritual journey is marked by songs—music that has moved from personal touchstones to collective signposts for millions of believers. Intimate prayers that have become global anthems.

“Songwriting is a big part of my spiritual life,” Baloche shares. “It helps me go deeper with God. It helps me fix my mind on Jesus, to set my mind on things above. It keeps my own heart fresh and alive, for myself, my family and the church.”

“When I’m writing songs,” Baloche says, “I think, ‘Will this help the church worship God? Will this help people connect with Him?’ I want to make music that they can believe in.”

And the church has responded. Baloche is one of the most acclaimed worship artists and songwriters of our time. Winner of two Dove Awards, he has penned radio hits such as “Because of Your Love,” “Hosanna (Praise Is Rising),” “All the Earth Will Sing Your Praises” and “Our God Saves,” and written top-ranking CCLI songs and modern-day classics including “Above All,” “Open the Eyes of My Heart,” “Offering” and “Your Name.” In short, Baloche writes songs that the church worldwide sings. His songs have been translated into Spanish, Korean, French, Portuguese and more. It’s a calling he doesn’t take lightly.

“When I’m writing worship songs,” Baloche notes, “I realize that I’m putting words into the mouths of God’s people. I’m giving them a vocabulary to sing back to God. And when they sing those words, hopefully it will act as a catalyst in their hearts, so something will happen in them. Because when we sing something, it goes down deep into our soul.”

Nowhere is Baloche’s love for the church more apparent than at his own local congregation, Community Fellowship in Lindale, Texas, where he is celebrating 20 years as worship pastor. His dedication to his own church is a testament to his faithfulness and commitment to community—local and global.

Marking Baloche’s landmark journey in music and ministry is Glorious, an all-new collection of songs that reflects his heart and his passion for the church. As with all his recordings, Glorious encouraged Baloche to examine the road so far.

“It’s an excuse and a reason to force my heart to go deeper, to reach down and say, ‘What do I believe now? What’s going on in my heart for real?’ I don’t want to just say words and phrases. So when I sing it, I believe it.”

The result is Baloche’s trademark blend of music, ministry and message, all interwoven with a unifying passion to draw people closer to the Savior.

Glorious is about the adventure of being led by a living, active God,” Baloche says. “It’s about looking beyond the cross, to look behind the mystery, to see the risen Savior; for us to live in the new covenant idea that Jesus Christ is alive in us. Instead of only looking back 2,000 years, we see the risen Christ now. Learning to be led by His Spirit, guided by His Spirit and to discern the language of His Spirit.”

The songs highlight Baloche’s ability to transform personal revelations into universal truths that resonate with every believer. The record’s title track suggests another anthem for the church, a song that looks back to one of Baloche’s most memorable musical signposts, “Open the Eyes of My Heart.”

Baloche recalls: “My pastor told me that ‘Glorious’ feels like an answer to ‘Open the Eyes of My Heart.’ That original cry of my own heart. ‘Glorious’ paints a picture of seeing Jesus for who He is, as the risen Christ and the living God.”

The album’s first single, “Just to Be With You,” offers a different, though no less profound, view of our God and our reliance on Him.

“‘Just to Be With You’ is simply about intimacy with God,” Baloche says. “With all of the stuff in this world that overwhelms us, no matter what happens, all I want is to be with [Him] as I’m walking through this life.”

“Shaken,” a powerful track written by Baloche’s wife, Rita, acknowledges the uncertain times we live in while sharing the solace found by resting in God no matter what life brings our way.

“Life is going to shake us,” Baloche says. “Storms are going to come. The only thing that’s going to remain is what we’ve invested in God … sinking our roots down deep into God’s Spirit.”

Filled with songs of hope, praise and adoration, Glorious affirms Baloche’s legacy as one of today’s premiere worship artists and songwriters. But he desires to give more than music to the church. Through Leadworship.com and a variety of resource materials that he developed, Baloche is committed to encouraging and equipping the next generation of worship leaders.

“I wanted to create a site where people could get ideas and resources, to address the need to create community and journey in churches. Instead of making Sunday morning worship a concert, I’m interested in making Sunday morning the un-concert. Through music, we want to help people connect with God and make an environment where it’s easier to do that.”

Twenty years of music ministry, 23 years of marriage (and three children), 11worship recordings including Glorious, a new French language CD, an album recorded in South Korea, numerous well-loved songs: All are signposts on a remarkable journey.

As Baloche reflects on the road so far, he remains committed as ever to what matters most.

“I’m just trying to press into God, to keep my own heart right, and to encourage and help the church worship.”

Click here to purchase Glorious.

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