Posted by Phil Loose on 16 October 2015

"I can give you 10,000 Reasons why this is a great idea..." and other such jokes were flowing through the office as discussions ensued about crafting a songbook for one of the world's most established, prolific and respected worship leaders. 

20 years of song writing brought back great memories for us, as we thought back over our own journey with Matt from his early days of Soul Survivor up to the present, joining him in Abbey Road Studio 1 at the recording of "Unbroken Praise". Songs that had guided us in our youth and travelled with us through our lifetime reminded us of moments where God had spoken to us at the most important times of our lives; when we were broken and hurt, or full of joy and hope, and we needed a song to express our praise to God.

But this also presented a dilemma to us.....from around our team came the words 'and he wrote this one too! And this.....and this....wow. We'd forgotten that one, it's an amazing song....' There are not many songwriters who have written this amount of songs packed full of substance, that connect us to God in as deep a way as this. We had wanted to have a songbook of 100 songs, but there were more, much more - and all of them with memories - so we needed help.

We called Matt.

Matt worked with us to select these songs, to find the '100 songs' that he felt were right to go in the book and to be presented to you today. Some songs on our initial list were removed and other songs were added. We all wanted to present the songs that were right for the church today and which would resource and equip you and your worship teams.

We worked with our friend; designer Kieran Metcalfe, on the cover ideas. We went through a few and then hit on the one you see presented before you today. We all thought the presentation of the song titles that made up Matt's name worked really well. But we didn't want to just deliver a songbook and as ever asked the question as to what else we could bring that would make this a great resource on its own. The team met and the ideas flowed, should we have QR codes, what about links to iTunes and we have all these great blogs from Matt on WeAreWorship. in the end we settled on adding blogs from WeAreWorship, alongside images of the albums that the songs are on. We dropped in some information on books we thought would equip worship leaders and we also added some song devotionals from Matt for his newest songs. But we needed more and then the final two elements came into our thoughts; what about digital sheet music and what about Matt writing an introduction for the book?

The 100 songs were all going to be full piano sheet music to begin with, but when we looked at this, the cost of the book would have been too high to make, so we needed to innovate this a little. Lead sheets are a great 'middle ground' for churches. You get the top line tune and lyric with the guitar chords. it's enough for guitarists to use, and the piano players can at least check that everyone is singing the correct tune! But we wanted the option for purchasers to have the full sheet music. Our idea was simple; to integrate it with a code in the back of the book that would allow you to download the sheet music digitally. Then the final part was a little more tricky, we wanted Matt to write the foreword. Now, let's be transparent here.....it wasn't tricky for Matt to write, but it was a little awkward as we (well, 'I' actually) had left it a little late to ask him! We had a couple of days to go until the print deadline. Everything else had been signed off, from the cover to the photos to the songs. Publishers had been spoken to and licenses all agreed. But I'd left it just a tad late on the final part of the jigsaw.....

So I made the call. "Matt, any chance you could write the foreword.....by tomorrow....please???'

The one small fly in the ointment was that this was Wednesday. Matt was in the UK right now but was about to fly to the USA, where on Friday, he was leading worship at Madison Square Garden in New York City, so this was quite a big ask. 

Quick as a flash Matt responded, "sure, no problem, I'll write it on the plane."

We're grateful he wrote the foreword, but even more so for all Matt's songs that over the years have enabled us to put into words the cry of our hearts during our times of sung worship.

 

"And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near, and my time has come
    Still my soul will sing Your praise unending     
Ten thousand years and then forevermore!"

Matt Redman & Jonas Myrin

Copyright © 2011 Thankyou Music/Said And Done Music & Jonas Myrin/SHOUT! Publishing 

 

 Check out this video and see the songbook.

Copy/Paste this EXCLUSIVE Offer Code MATTSBKWAW with our friends at IntegrityDirect and SAVE £2 off the RRP!

 

 

100 Songs From Matt Redman is published by Integrity Music Europe and is available now.

 

 

Listen to all the songs on Spotify here:-

 

 

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