Did you have any idea "Shout to the Lord" would be so popular?
Not at all. I was actually embarrassed the first time I played it for the worship pastor at Hillsong Church; I made him stand with his back to me on the other side of the room! I'd play four bars and say, "I don't know if this is any good. Change whatever you need to."
But he liked it, and the first time we sang it at church, people were on their feet singing along before we'd even gotten the words on the screen. It took off from there.
I can't take any credit for its impact. God decided to put his blessing on this song.
Why do you think people respond so strongly?
They seem to like its simple melody and bold lyrics. The line "nothing compares to the promise I have in you" was something I clung to when our circumstances seemed so bleak. I think that rings true with anyone going through tough times.
It seems as though you've had your share of tough times.
Yes, though God is so faithful. My mum and dad split up when I was 13. Though my parents didn't get along with each other, they never lost their devotion to us kids. While that was great, it also led to a messy battle. During custody proceedings, the judge even said to my parents, "I wish you two could work it out because I've never seen two people so committed to their kids." My siblings and I grew up apart from each other (I lived with my father).
Where was your family spiritually at the time of the divorce?
We'd attended church for years, but stopped going about this time. My parents' divorce was the first one in our church, and no one knew how to respond. People took sides, and some said very hurtful things. Looking back, I know they weren't bad people, they just didn't know how to handle divorce. None of us did.1