When singer/songwriter Jimmy Needham was in high school, he couldn’t get enough of the blues. Blues music, that is. While he was never able to pinpoint exactly what about the blues “stirred him up,” he was always drawn to singers with a little soul in their voices.
Of course, he didn’t know it at the time, but his love of the blues would soon make its way into his own music. But rather than a response to heartbreak or social injustice-- common themes of mainstream blues music-- the soul that resonates in Jimmy Needham ’s vocals comes from what he’s most passionate about: his relationship with Jesus and sharing the Gospel with anyone who’s willing to hear.
“When you get saved, you can’t help but write about what really gets you going. And for me, that just happened to be the Lord,” Needham says. “When it comes down to it, whoever says music isn’t spiritual is either lying to you or doesn’t understand music—because it’s so affecting.”
Although he didn’t combine his passion for music with his new found faith until late into high school, it didn’t take long for Jimmy Needham to see what direction his life and music were headed. “Even then I could see the Lord shaping my music ministry into just that—a ministry. When I’d sing, I’d feel like I was getting to teach. The songs the Lord was giving to me had more of an admonishing tone to them,” Needham explains. “I really don’t feel that I had much of a say in it because I know this journey hasn’t been my doing.”
From Jimmy Needham:
"I was rescued as a sophomore in high school. My first breath was on a Monday. My friend told me about the liberty from sin he had tasted. That evening in my room I turned from my wrongness and to sweet Jesus. Freedom ensued shortly after.
As a toddler, I would belt out oldies tunes my parents listened to on the radio. Guitar was secondary. I never anticipated or planned for the instrument and the voice to meet but then again, I never anticipate anything the LORD does. Their first date was my high school talent show. The response was surprising. What made the night greater was that I had covered a Christian song. Knowing that I had the ability to bring glory to my King and really enjoy the music I played as well got me excited!
The Christian life is freedom and joy, even in the midst of trials. I am slowly realizing this. I find the most joy in knowing Jesus more and letting others know about him. My heart for this music ministry is two fold: that those who do not know Jesus would be shown very plainly the gospel of grace. With all compassion and conviction my heart is inclined to reach the lost. My second mission is this: that my generation who are professing believers would no longer be luke-warm. There is a phenomenon of supernatural apathy and a lack of vigor from a majority of American believers. We have bought into Satans lie that God just wants us to be happy. So we seek only to please ourselves, never looking to the lost with a broken heart, praying but never acting. This cannot be the Lords will. My music serves as an open invitation for Christians to become real, passionate, and zealous for the Gospel, which is the power of God for salvation. For the time being, one avenue by which I get to serve my King is music. And I'm going to continue down this path until the LORD calls me to something else or stops giving me songs. "
The goal I am pressing toward is to make Jesus Christ famous while I am here on earth. I'll be going home soon enough so by the LORD's grace I will continue to abide. Only what is done for Christ will last. All to Jesus, forever!
Listen to Jimmy Needham Here
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