As part of the worship team at one of the fastest growing churches in the country, Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama, Matthew Reed became accustomed to playing before thousands of people. “In 2004, I moved to Nashville to make a name for myself as a producer,” he explains. The big break proved elusive. “I was away from the support of my family, friends, and home church. It ended up being a time of loneliness and selfish ambition.” During this season, Matthew attended a conference in South Florida that eventually opened his eyes, explaining, “I realized my longing was to be a part of a community of believers that would spur me on in my faith. God revealed that I wasn’t to be making a name for myself but for Him. I wasn’t supposed to be advancing myself but His kingdom.”
Matthew soon moved to South Florida to help support the launch of The Harbour Church in Pompano. “About two years ago, I started a business which ultimately failed. I was challenged to seek God during this trial and how I was to provide physically for my family. In turn, it allowed me to set aside time to challenge myself to write a song a day. I recorded some demos, and I began to think about releasing a worship CD,” he shares.
“The best thing someone has said about my songs is in a text I got recently. I had sent some songs to a friend and he texted me back saying, ‘I have one of your songs stuck in my head and I keep finding myself worshipping’. There is nothing better than to think that my music is inviting people to join the eternal song of ‘Holy, Holy, Holy,’ where heaven meets the earth.”
Matthew’s desire to bridge the eternal and the practical inspired a unique project. “You can download the single Here Is Your King for free or as a ‘Donate What You Want’ from the website www.onehope.net. When you make a donation, each dollar will provide three children with a Bible. I feel like our generation focuses a lot on social justice- digging wells, providing shoes or vaccines. If we only focus on the physical, we are forgetting an integral part of our faith, which is where a person will spend eternity. A twelve year old child in Swaziland has the decision to either sleep with the bus driver to get a ride to school or to walk six kilometers. If she hasn’t had the opportunity to hear God’s truth for her life, she may choose the ride. Social justice + spiritual justice = an agent of change. Every child deserves the opportunity to receive God’s word,” states Matthew.
Matthew’s goal for his latest EP, Come and Drink, is fairly straight forward. “I want to redefine the lines between worship songs meant to be sung corporately and those that capture the stories of our everyday lives. There has been a shift recently as we no longer rely on three or four guys in Nashville to write the latest worship songs. We are seeing worship leaders within local churches writing songs for their own community,” he adds.
Matthew is releasing his debut EP, Come and Drink,on iTunes, May 31. If you are interested in booking him for your church or event please contact him at: [email protected]
For more information on OneHope and to download Matthew’s single, visit www.onehope.net/freesong