Christian recording artist Justin Warren has traveled and played music full-time for the past six years. Over the years, Justin has toured and opened for some amazing artists. Not to mention lead worship for different conferences. At the end of September, Justin celebrated his 15th anniversary of marriage with his wife, Laura. The couple lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with their two boys, Luke and Liam. I spoke to Justin about his journey to Christ, his life as an artist, and his new single, “All Things Well.”
Tell us your testimony. How did you first know Jesus was real?
I was blessed and fortunate to be raised in a Christian home. My dad was a pastor for much of my childhood. So, I grew up hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ. At the age of seven, I remember being in my room and realizing my need for Jesus to be my personal Lord and Savior. Jesus became more than just someone I heard my dad preach about. He revealed Himself to me in a real way, and I surrendered my life to Him.
What led to your calling to write Christian music?
I first felt the calling to Christian music as a sixth grader at my church's summer camp. At that time, I just wanted to play drums, but I felt the Lord calling me to Christian music. It wasn’t until I was a junior in high school that I picked up a guitar and began to sing. I’ll never forget, shortly after, going to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert. The opening artists on that tour were Casting Crowns and Chris Tomlin. I walked out of that concert with a heart to write songs about Jesus and give people hope. I’ve been trying to do that ever since.
What’s one of the biggest lessons Christ has taught you in your life?
That His grace is enough. Early on in my adult life, I had a prodigal son moment where I rebelled against God. I failed my wife, my family, and my friends. I was so caught up in what I thought was best for me that I was willing to walk away from the very thing God had called me to do. Praise God that when I was in that place, He didn’t leave me there. He came running after me. He restored my marriage, and He has graciously given me a ministry where I get to travel and share with people who are in dark and difficult places that Jesus is greater, and His grace is enough.
You're a worship leader as well as a singer/songwriter? How do you balance leading worship at camps, conferences, and retreats with writing music, touring, and so on?
Writing music is something I love to do. I try to make it a discipline in my life. I always want to work on becoming a better songwriter. Being out on the road leading worship at events or being out on tour often helps bring inspiration to my songwriting. God may use a sermon I hear, or a person’s story to inspire song ideas.
Congratulations on your recent signing to Radiate Music, by the way.
Thank you so much. I’m honored to be a part of the Radiate Music family and I’m thrilled to work with record producer and songwriter Ian Eskelin.
Talk about your new single, “All Things Well.” Tell us the theme and inspiration behind it.
I started writing “All Things Well” during a difficult season. My friend’s father was diagnosed with cancer. We prayed and prayed for healing, but, ultimately, the Lord’s plan was to take him to glory. The song was originally filled with asking God a lot of questions. I struggled writing the song for a long time because I knew at the end of all the questions, I wanted to end the chorus by somehow expressing that even though our prayers weren’t answered as we had hoped that God is still good, and we can trust Him.
After a couple of months of wrestling with this song, my dad sent me a sermon to listen to. The pastor's main scripture was Mark 7:37: “And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.’” He talked about how we may not understand why certain things happen on this side of eternity, but one day our faith will be made in sight. And we’ll be able to see in full that God does do all things well. I knew immediately that was what I had been looking for to finish my song.
I played the song for Ian and songwriter JJ Weeks during a songwriting session. We took it, and the three of us re-crafted it into a song that I’m so excited to share with the world. In good times and hard times, we can praise and trust Him. He does all things well.
What’s next? Are any new albums, EPs, singles, or tours on the horizon?
We’re out on tour with contemporary artist Cade Thompson on the Bigger Story Tour. As for new music, we plan to release an EP at the start of 2023. We can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
How can we pray for you?
In this new season and chapter, my prayer is that God would be glorified. If you would please pray that with me, I would greatly appreciate it. Please pray for our new song and safety on the road. Also, please pray for our families as my bandmates and I are away from them. Thank you for the prayers, and thank you for having me for this interview. God bless you.
Paul Phillips is a Canadian journalist with over 15 years of experience writing and editing digital and print content. He specializes in health, fitness, nutrition, and travel. He loves music, movies, and, of course, living for Jesus.
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