Wickham Ready To Encourage at IGNITE

August 3, 2015 | | GNJ News, Next Generation Ministries

Phil Wickham was just trying to find his way as a young teenager when he got an unexpected word of encouragement. Wickham now uses his talent as a Christian music artist to encourage others.
Wickham will be sharing his talents with Greater New Jersey on Oct. 2-4 as he will be the worship leader for the IGNITE Youth Conference in Wildwood that weekend. The worship journey for Wickham started when his dad, a pastor, overheard him practicing a song he had written and told him they would use it in church.
“I was 13 or 14 and too young to realize what it even meant when he said that,” Wickham said. “I wasn’t really writing with the goal of getting these songs sung in churches. I just loved to write. It was satisfying to me to just write songs and put melodies with them. For my dad to say that, I thought, well, maybe I will try to write another one.”
Wickham has been writing ever since and is working on a new album that he hopes will be released later this fall. The title of that album for the moment, Wickham says, is Children of God, though he admits that could change.
Wickham also admits that after having surgery on his vocal chords last year, he is just happy to be able to sing and record again.
“It was scary and hard because I had to be silent for six weeks,” said Wickham of his recovery time after surgery. “I don’t want that to happen again, but it started me on a deeper journey. It reminded me that Jesus really does love me and that if I really believe it there is joy and hope and peace and no fear.”
Wickham said during his silent time he experienced the same type of doubts that many youths, and people, go through each day.
“I had to think about what is my true identity,” he said. “I’ve always been known as Phil Wickham the singer. I realized through God speaking to me that we are so much more than just what we do. I had a few weeks of fear and anxiety and not knowing how I was going to provide for my family.”
Eventually, Wickham said, he had to make a choice of which voice his was going to believe.
“The only power Satan has against us is to lie to us,” he said. “It’s our decision, our choice, if we want to trust God or believe those lies. If we are believing the lies of the enemy, then we are believing the opposite of our identity in Christ.”
While Wickham, now 31, has been a believer since a young age, he hasn’t forgotten about many of the places he has played during his professional journey.
“I started leading worship in home fellowships and youth groups and then eventually got a chance to lead worship in big churches,” said Wickham, whose current hit heard on Christian radio is called “This Is Amazing Grace.” “It’s just been trying to figure out where I could go and where God can direct me.”
When it comes to leading worship, Wickham knows it can’t be about him, but about assisting the audience into having a Godly experience.
“As worship leaders, it’s always a battle to get as little of us as possible involved,” he said. “The more we step back and let the truth echo in people’s hearts, that’s when I feel like people can remember who God is and remember what he has promised.”
And he says, no matter the age group, that idea doesn’t change.
“The age difference has mattered less and less to me over the years,” he said. “Young people have just as big of a capacity to worship God as anybody. The big thing is to not treat them like young people, but threat them like they are a bunch of hearts and to treat them like they want God in their life.”