An Artist that Moves Me

I’m a musician. I live in music city. I’ve been here for nearly 4 years. I’ve been to tons of performances. Only count 4 of those performances have stuck with me. One was the 2nd to last show that Nickel Creek played on their final tour as a band. They are brilliant musicians and the fact that I saw them play one of their final performances as a group made and already gorgeous experience all the more epic.

The other three concerts were John Mark McMillan. Twice at a little church called the Anchor Fellowship and once this past Tuesday at 12th and Porter downtown Nashville.
Photo Credit my friend and fellow Franklin Vineyard Worship Leader, Mark Young.

I’ve been listening to John Mark since my sister-in-law casually put on the album Songs inside the Sound of Breaking Down during a road trips out west with the Michael clan in 2005. All that I thought I knew about worship and songwriting went right out the 15 passenger window when I heard JM shout/sing “Son of David, Don’t Pass me by. Cause I am naked. I’m poor and I’m Blind!” in his song “Closer” I couldn't stop listening to the album.

In 2007 John Mark played at the Call in Nashville. He told the story of how he wrote the song “How He Loves Us”. The story is intense. And powerful. I wasn’t there in 2007 as it was the day after my wedding, but I’ve seen the raw and gritty video of his performance and was deeply touched. Here's a "clip" (it's 10 mins. long but doesn't have the whole song)

About a year later my sister-in-law sent me a link to a video and said “you have to watch this.” Work was slow that day so I clicked the link. Turns out it was the same song “How He Loves Us” but sung by a girl named Kim Walker. By the end of the song I was sitting at my desk at work weeping (silently…which is pretty awkward... and another story altogether.) overwhelmed at what I had just heard. Rocked to my core I realized what true encounter with Jesus in worship was for the first time that day.

There is massive anointing on this song…and on this girl.

Since Kim recorded the song, John Mark has sky rocketed. He has put out another amazing album, The Medicine, and is working on a 4th to be released later this year. He is signed to Integrity Music. David Crowder has recorded “How He Loves Us” and the deeply poetic and emotional song with so much truth is sung in most churches today.

The concert on Tuesday was awesome. I’m a little disappointed that he didn’t have his new album available during his tour (so main stream of him to wait till after the tour to release it), but the bits he played during the show proved that it will not disappoint.

John Mark is not the greatest singer in the world, but i've decided thats part of what I like about him. He writes the truth of Jesus mixed with the ugly and gross parts of life that Christians often try and hide and in doing so, has opened up a whole new revelation of Grace mixed with passion. He has changed the way my generation worships and i freaking love it.

What music is moving you today?


  1. yessss. just discovered john mark mcmillion. LOVE LOVE.

  2. I was downstairs reading my Bible the other day and Emily was upstairs reading her Bible. She had music playing and I was not really paying attention to it... until "How He Loves Us" came on. The Spirit seemed to swirl about the room and I began to weep. It is a powerful song.

  3. I have added him to my albums to be downloaded list!

  4. How He Loves Us is such a powerful song. It's amazing how singing such a great truth can effect you.

  5. Just watched that video. Wow! What a powerful story. I was crying by the end too!

  6. ah, i love john mark mcmillan! and he is SO good live :)