Music with a mission
(matthew West)


You might recognize Matthew as that familiar voice on the radio, singing the awesome songs "Hello, My Name Is," "Do Something," and "Forgiveness."

His voice and ministry has touched many lives over the years, and we had the blessed opportunity to chat with him for a bit.



COB: “Would you mind sharing a bit of your testimony? When did you come to know Christ, and what was going on in your life to bring you to that point?”


Matthew: “I grew up in church, the son of a preacher.  I accepted Christ at the age of 13 when I prayed with my mom during a Billy Graham crusade on television.  That was a very real moment in my life when I knew God was calling me.  But for much of my childhood I treated my faith more like a family commitment, not a personal journey.  My time at college was another defining season where God called me into a more personal and deeper friendship with him.”


COB: “When did God finally lead you into the music ministry? Was it a mind-bomb moment, or did it come through a slow series of hints?”


Matthew: “Ironically, it was around the same time that I really began digging in to my relationship with Christ in college that His calling on my life began to find clarity.  I used to dream of being a baseball player growing up, but that dream didn't come true and I found out that sometimes we need our dreams to fall through so that we can get to the better dream that God has in store for us.  It was during my four years studying music in college that my dreams of music and songwriting came to life.”


COB: “How did your dream for your life in your teenage years differ from the life you are currently living? Are there any similarities?”


Matthew: “One thing has always remained the same.  I'm a very motivated person.  I was in high-school and I am now.  In high school, I wanted to be the captain of the football and baseball team.  So, I worked until that's exactly what I was.  In my professional life, I've wanted to be a great songwriter and so I work and I work and hope to achieve that as well.  But the challenge in my type of personality is remembering to slow down and make my time with God the most important thing every day.  That has always been the struggle for a motivated person like myself.”


COB: “What are some of the biggest challenges of your ministry? What are your favorite parts?”


Matthew: “Challenges:  The travel is exhausting and really takes a lot out of you.  I don't get to be at church as much as I'd like.  I mean, I'm at church, but I'm usually the one speaking or singing, I don't often get the chance just to attend church and worship.  It's also very hard if I ever have to travel away from my wife and daughters.  That's the hardest part.

“Favorite parts:  We decided to homeschool our daughters so we wouldn't have to be apart!  So, now I get to see the world with my favorite people in the world - my family.  Also, I have a great band of guys that travel with me.  It's so fun to make music every night with them.”


COB: “How does it feel to know that your life and music has touched so many people?”


Matthew: “It's humbling.  I just hope the same can be said about my daily life off the stage that is said about the music I make on the stage.”


COB: “It's common for people to worship the servant and not the God of the servant... How do you deal with graciously taking thanks for your music, but not taking the glory away from God?”


Matthew: “I think we are always capable of missing the point. Of missing the fact that every good gift comes from God.  But for the most part people share with me how God used a song on the radio or a concert they attended to bring them closer to HIM, not ME.  I'm thankful for that, and never want to get in the way of what God has to say to people. That is why I take the songwriting so seriously.”


COB: “What advice would you give to young people who feel like God is calling them into Music?”


Matthew: “My friend Mark Hall says "Bloom where you are planted."  Great advice! Ask God to show you how he wants to use your love for music right now, and then do that next thing.”


COB: “A big part of your ministry is simply listening to people's stories. What gave you the idea to use that for your music?”


Matthew: “I lost my voice for several months and had to have surgery on my vocal chords.  During that season when I was forced to be silent I felt like God was doing something special.  I felt like He showed me that He wasn't done using my voice, but that He wanted to use my voice to help give a voice to others.  That idea is what led me to invite people to tell their stories.  It's been an amazing journey.”


COB: “Who is your biggest inspiration?”


Matthew: “My faith in Christ is the single greatest driving force in my life and in my music.”


COB: “Silly question: If you could star in any movie, what character would you play and why?”

Matthew: “I would star in a baseball movie so I could at least see my old dream come true for a day...”