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January 9, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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We got to talk with Phil Wickham about his new album, Children of God, his upcoming appearance at Calvary’s New Year’s Eve Celebration, and what the holidays look like in the Wickham home.
Here’s what Phil shared with us:
Could you talk about the vision behind your new album, Children of God?
To talk about the vision, we have to rewind a bit. I lost my voice a few years back due to vocal cord polyps. After surgery and the risk of not being able to sing professionally again, I felt lost. I even questioned who I was without my voice. Through that season, the Lord kept reminding me that I am more than my voice, my successes, and even my failures—I’m who He says I am. The biggest part of my identity is in Jesus; I am a child of God. We are all part of the family of God. Fast forward about a year, the surgery had been successful and my voice was back. God was speaking the truth of His love and His acceptance of me so deeply that songs were pouring out of me. So many songs of gratitude, thankfulness, and excitement for what God is doing in my life and in the global church, and that’s when I decided to title it Children of God.
What was your heart behind the sound of the album?
We asked ourselves, “If we could sing these songs in a stadium full of people, singing out in worship with power and authority and excitement, what would they sound like?” So the band, producers, and everyone went into the studio knowing we wanted it to be big, exciting, and full of joy and gratitude. We’re so proud with how it came out, and it’s been so amazing taking these songs around the country and the world, proclaiming the goodness of God.
What’s your favorite song off the album and why?
There’s a few that have stood out to me, but one that I’ve been loving to lead is called, “Star Maker.” When my five-year-old was just three, I was reading her a book with interesting names for God and instead of Creator it said, “Star Maker.” My daughter said, “Jesus doesn’t make stars, daddy. That’s crazy!” And I laughed and said, “You know, it is crazy, but Jesus did. He formed the whole earth, the stars and the sky, He really did.” And I saw this wonder in her eyes as she realized for the first time how powerful and incredible God really is. I thought to myself, “I want to be in that place of childlike wonder.” Later that night I realized, “Hey, that’s a great name for a song.” So I sat down and wrote it that evening calling it, “Star Maker.” Every time I play that song live I envision my eldest daughter in my mind, so it’s my favorite song to play—and we’ll be playing it at the New Year’s Eve Celebration at Calvary for sure!
When asked if he’d be playing other songs from the new album, Phil gave a shout out to all our readers!
It’s been a while since we’ve been to Fort Lauderdale and we’re so excited to come and celebrate with you guys. We have a bunch of new songs from the album that we’ll be playing, so if you plan on coming make sure to grab the record so that you know all the songs and can sing along with us.
With Christmas and New Year’s right around the corner, what are some things you’ve been dreaming of and praying about for you and your family?
Well, my wife is pregnant with our fourth baby! It’s crazy because six years ago we had none! But we’re so thankful and we’re pumped to meet him. Later in the year I’ll be on tour with Chris Tomlin and several other friends for the Worship Night in America Tour, which I can’t wait for. A few other things are in the works as well. The band and I want to do a live worship record soon, and we’re excited to start working on some new music!
Do you have any Christmas traditions as a family?
We’re still figuring out our traditions as a family, but now that the girls are a little bit older we got to pick out presents this year for their mom and baby sister. Then we went home and got to wrap them together. We’re just starting our traditions, but it’s been really fun!
What is your favorite Christmas memory?
My favorite family Christmas memories seem to be happening in the last few years as we’ve had children. But you know, one of my favorites has been packing into the car and driving really slow as we sit in the trunk of the car, blaring Christmas music, getting cozy, looking at all the lights . . . and we go every night. It’s always the same Christmas manger, the same lights, but it’s like every time is the first time for the kids because they’re so excited!
After lots of laughs, getting to know Phil and his family, and understanding the inspiration that made him write “Children of God,” we’re more than excited to meet him in person at this year’s New Year’s Eve Celebration! If you get a chance before December 31, grab his record online here and get ready to sing together in worship. Want more details about Calvary’s New Year’s Celebration? Visit our Facebook page for more details!