Between the Liner Notes
Steven Curtis Chapman: Be in the Moment
By Jennifer E. Jones
If you were to pass him on a street in Nashville, TN, as I did last April, you’d have to be a big-time Christian music fan to do a double-take. On the outside, Steven Curtis Chapman is just a regular, t-shirt-and-jeans kind of guy. However, if you get a chance to talk with him, you’ll find this ordinary man has an extraordinary passion for God, his family and his ministry.
In addition to a wildly successful music career, adoption has become a major part of Chapman’s life. He and his wife, Mary Beth, not only adopted three children from China, but also started Shaohannah's Hope – an organization dedicated to the care and placement of orphans. Now, he’s doing even more with Change for Orphans.
Chapman explains that this new project encourages his concert-goers to collect change from their home in addition to raising funds at work or school. Then the money is pulled together each night of the tour. Then a family from that community that has applied for a grant to adopt a child will receive the money on stage. He says, “In that night, [we are] literally changing the life of an orphan.”
Chapman has seen the ripple effect that adoption has. Change for Orphans makes it easier for the families and hopefully inspires others to do the same.
“Anywhere that happens, God just moves in a whole new way,” he says. “The favor of God flows out over that community when they start to care about the things that He cares so passionately about.”
Chapman is currently on the road with Bethany Dillon and Sanctus Real. As a veteran both in the studio and on stage, he works hard to give his concerts a personal touch.
“I make it as much as I can an evening sitting in the living room with a good friend, hearing stories about life and where is God showing up. If it’s just the music, they can buy the CD. I want the live concert to be something really unique -- a worship experience and God coming in this moment. It’s a party; it’s a celebration.”
Music is officially a family affair for the Chapmans. His sons, Caleb and Will, are now part of his band. Will (16) is the drummer, and Caleb (17) is on guitar and background vocals. The young yet accomplished musicians are adding a youthful element to Chapman’s show and his sound as they also perform on his new album as well.
“They understand dad is the boss,” he says, laughing. “Just the ministry of us working together – just the fact that we’re standing on stage together – says something about what God is doing. It’s not about us; this is what God can do in a family.”
While Chapman adores having his sons by his side, he admits that working with family has its ups and downs.
“It’s not without battle wounds or tears, or me blowing it and being too hard on them or them blowing it and getting frustrated with each other,” Chapman says. “We work through that, and we continue to show up with grace, forgiveness and sticktoitiveness. It's really been a blessing.”
Family is just one of many themes on Chapman’s latest record, This Moment. He takes his listeners through priceless parts of the human experience. He gets global as he walks the streets of London on “Yours”, yet acknowledges the quiet strength he sees everyday with his wife on “One Heartbeat At a Time”. Seeing God as both the creator of the universe and the gentle comforter still amazes this music legend.
“I will miss Him looking for the big epiphany,” he explains. “God says, ‘No, I’m right here in this moment wherever you are. Find me. I’m revealing myself. I’m not hiding. You’re just not being still and knowing that I’m God.’
“It’s in the bathtub when I’m trying to give my little girls a bath. I’m getting irritated, because I want them to go to bed. I finally get them to bed, and God whispered, ‘Remember Emily, the now senior in college who you don’t get these moments with any more? Don’t miss them. I’m trying to teach you something. Be patient; be quiet. And just laugh with your little girls while you’ve got these moments.’ [From that] all the way to standing in front of 60,000 Christians worshiping at the Global Day of Prayer in Hong Kong with my two sons. God says, ‘I’m in every one of these moments.’”
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