Shawn Thomas’s praisable and worshipable CD “Voice of Worship” has singable songs that are perfectly crafted for inspirational settings. Yep, even a songbook! It’s kindda possible to hear his voice singing upward, through the ceiling and out into the ethers. Without question, this is music designed to inspire worshipers to express faith through contemplation, clapping, and singing along.
Hey Shawn -- Welcome to Unashamed Faith Cafe!
Describe the path that led to production and release of Voice of Worship?
I kind of had the idea to do another praise and worship CD for a couple of years. More and more, the churches I visit seem to be interested in not just separate concerts, but sharing in music during their regular worship services. I found myself needing more songs that congregations could sing along with, and that we could do together in worship.
What inspired the title of your CD Voice of Worship?
The idea is that the song lyrics are taken directly from scripture – which means it’s not my words or my voice, but quotes from the Bible. It takes my voice out of it and brings the focus back to the true “voice of worship”.
Listening to your CD “Voice of Worship”- I noticed it is based on Scriptural words instead of your own words. Can you explain why you chose this path and what it means to you?
It’s not really a new idea or anything – there are a lot of Christian artists and songs that use scripture – but in this case, it helped deflect any distraction from the message of God’s grace and love. There’ve been a few times in recent years (I think because of opinions I’ve expressed or other songs I’ve written), that attention got drawn away from that central message of inclusive love. Using scripture was a great way to refocus that attention on God.
What is your reaction listening to the playback of Living Sacrifice? What do you enjoy the most about this song and why?
“Living Sacrifice” is a song about giving to God what is already God’s – that everything that we are is God’s, and therefore we should strive to be an offering back to God in everything we do and all that we are. I do enjoy listening to this track with just the simple intro and verse of only piano and guitar and then the build-up of harmonies and instruments into the bridge. It makes it exciting to sing with church congregations because their voices build up as well as they sing.
This song is based on
(Romans 12:1-2. 1 Cor. 6:19-20. 1 Chron. 29:10-13)
How and in what ways has the bonus track "The Christ in You" become such a personal anthem for you over the years?
I think this is the 3rd recorded version of the song I’ve released – the first in 2008 as the original arrangement, the second in 2009 as a club-remix, and then this version as an acoustic arrangement. It just seemed appropriate to include it as a bonus track since it was on the first praise and worship CD I had released, and since it has sort of become for me a foundational statement. It’s still the song that I say that if someone only got to hear one song from me, I hope it would be “The Christ in You.”
What triggered spiritual changes in your life to dig so deep in scripture for this album?
Not sure there’ve been any major changes, but of course we all continue to grow and develop in our walk with God, and so I hope as I continue to write and record that each song can be a reflection of that walk.
Your most memorable performance(s) to date, (surrounding this album) and why?
The CD hasn’t been out very long, but I have had the opportunity to sing “Lifted Up” with 3 different choir or praise team groups. I’ve enjoyed that a lot and it has been an affirmation to me that the songs can work in worship services and with congregational singing.
Share a bit about the experience of performing live. Some people really enjoy performing live; others get stage nerves/butterflies each time. How is that experience for you?
I guess I’m most nervous after a project has just been released because all the music is still new in my head as far as memorization of both lyrics and music. Rote memory has always been a challenge for me, so it takes several weeks and sometime a few months for me to get comfortable with all the new songs so that I’m completely relaxed and not thinking, “Oh God! What’s the next word?”
For a moment, let’s completely take Shawn out of the CD and you’re hearing Voice of Worship as if it was brand new to you. What feelings vibes or thoughts would you get from the CD?
Hmmm, I’m not sure I even know how to do that. But my hope is that these are songs that people can have experiences of both personal and corporate times of worship. I also hope that the scripture-based lyric helps bring us closer to the Word and our understanding of how God can speak to us.
How has your faith sustained you first personally and secondly musically?
One of my greatest joys is that I’ve been able to express my faith in music. I love it! I love God, and I love to sing and play music. Seems like a natural combination.
Please give a shout out to all who matter most and let folks know where they can get a copy of your CD.
Well of course, we all matter – that’s the best part. :) The CD is available at www.shawnthomasonline.com and in all digital outlets.
Thank you for the opportunity! Shawn
Thank you Shawn! - Arizzona host of Unashamed Faith Cafe