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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Needham shares music, personal story with Prattville churchcomment (0)

October 14, 2010

By Chris Mills


Soul music.

That’s how Jimmy Needham, of Katy, Texas, described his music for a crowd at First Baptist Church, Prattville, in Autauga Baptist Association, recently.

Needham’s style is influenced by artists like Lauren Hill, Jason Mraz and Keith Green. Not only would one find his style a little different, but also his lyrics different from mainstream contemporary Christian music (CCM).

“What I do musically and lyrically is very different from a lot of popular CCM,” Needham told a crowd of about 250. “I believe, though, that there is a place in the body (of Christ) for all sorts of different genres.

“A lot of worship music is vertical — focused on worshipping God and meant to be congregational,” he continued. “However, my stuff is more horizontal. It’s talking to people about the things of God, things that I’ve learned.”

Needham grew up in a non-Christian home and became addicted to pornography at age nine. It was his sophomore year of high school that he opened up to a friend about his addiction and his friend led him to a relationship with Christ.

Recently Needham and his wife, Kelly, found out they were pregnant again after three miscarriages.

“Had she not had three miscarriages, we wouldn’t have been alarmed,” he said. “Many first-time mothers have a miscarriage. God used those babies to alarm us enough to see if there was a medical issue, and, there was. God is good sometimes to pull back the curtain to show us some of His storyboard.”

Through all of this, Needham has learned a lot.

“I went to college to be a teacher, now I feel like I’m a teacher through song,” he said, noting he places a great emphasis on his lyrics being theologically sound.

“I’m learning more and more that music is the most persuasive language in the world,” he said. “People don’t memorize sermons, they memorize song lyrics. That’s so dangerous. I can’t have them singing something heretical. Singing true things and making the gospel memorable in song is effecting change in the listeners.”

His latest album, “Nightlights,” addresses pride that eats at the Christian culture. Lyrics from two tracks on the album refer to Christians as nightlights when compared to Christ.

“God is the one who ought to be worshipped, not me. Most artists, most people struggle with that,” Needham said.

“The question that I’ve pondered lately is, ‘What does it look like to be about the promotion of Jesus even at the expense of my own notoriety?’” he asked. “God is big and glorious and wonderfully more attractive than we are, so why do we spend so much time thinking about how we can make our names great?”

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