Since Chris Tomlin's music has so clearly—and globally—become such an integral part of church worship today, we asked his colleagues and fans to let us know how his songs have affected them.
We heard first from several international worship leaders who sang on the "world edition" of Tomlin's song, "How Great Is Our God," for his new hits collection. We also heard from regular fans around the world. Here are some of their replies:
"I have been really blessed by 'How Great Is Our God.' I do a lot of mission work in third-world nations and restricted nations, and I have seen how God has used this song in particular. It is so beautiful to hear different tongues worship to this song; it's a reminder of what heaven is going to look like with every tribe, nation, and tongue singing the greatness of our King. I love the simplicity of this song, and it stays fresh and lively every time I sing it in worship." (Dilip Kurian, India)
"I heard 'How Great Is Our God' for the first time during my teenage years. My eyes were closed and I tried to imagine how great and powerful our God is, and I realized I was lacking words to describe all the depth, width, and wholeness of his love. The lyrics and melody help me to focus on God alone and encourage me to put all my attention to the One I live for every day. The song became my personal hymn and my declaration." (Roma Kasevich, Ukraine)
"When I have faced the challenges and hardships that this life has brought my way, when I have been discouraged and faint of heart, this song has been a powerful reminder of the greatness of our God, and it causes me to stand and it encourages me to continue." (Fernandinho, Brazil)
"Chris's song has become an anthem for Christians and churches the world over, and I've sung this heavenly anthem in many parts of our beautiful land. I am truly honored to be included as a part of this global recording. Listening to the many different languages proclaiming the greatness of our God in this track, one can't help but worship and stand in awe." (Sidney Mohede, Indonesia)
"For 11 years I was a single mom. It was the hardest but most rewarding thing I have ever done. I worked two jobs and struggled to pay the bills. But if I was upset, down, depressed, broke, or on top of the world, I would sing 'How Great Is Our God.' When I hear that song, I feel like crying and shouting out how great he really is. I always knew that God had great plans for me, but when you're in the middle of hard times it is easy to forget. I got married a year and a half ago to a wonderful Christian man, and at our wedding, we sang five worship songs, most by Chris Tomlin, and the last one was 'How Great Is Our God.'" (Amy Heck)
"About two years ago, God gave 'I Will Rise,' one of Chris's songs, to my son, Justin, who had just been given the news that there was nothing else the doctors could do for his cancer. A pastor friend was on the way to our house to pray with Justin, and heard this song on the radio for the first time. When he got to the house, he had us pull it up online to play for Justin. We all began to cry as the song touched our hearts, and from that moment on, Justin had us play it over and over again. He sang along as best as he could; the cancer had spread to his lungs and it was hard for him to breathe. On January 26, 2010, Justin's 22nd birthday, some friends of ours shared our story with Chris and asked if he would mind calling Justin for his birthday; Chris graciously said yes. He was so humble and kind. Just three weeks later, Justin lost his battle with cancer. We asked Chris to sing the song for Justin's funeral, but he was unavailable. So we had a friend sing the song for us because in our minds, the song was written just for Justin. We have peace in knowing that Justin is resting in the arms of Jesus now, and each time we hear the song, we think of our incredible son and how he has 'no more sorrow and no more pain'!" (Jane John)