thinking out loud

…things that are on my mind, heart, and soul

Compassion Art

Martin Smith is one of my favorite musicians, songwriters, and worship leaders. Along with his mates in Delirious, over the last 15 years they have created some amazing music. The band is winding down their work together in 2009, but Martin Smith has released catalyzed a project that has tremendous potential to bring real help and hope to people in real need.

The project is called Compassion Art and they describe themselves as follows: “CompassionArt is a charity that joins the dots between art and poverty. It raises money to help breathe life into the poorest communities, restoring hope and igniting justice.”

Smith describes the journey of Compassion Art:

“As a song writer and a person with a microphone I made a promise to try and do something about it. What better than to call on my friends and do something together. To be people that can make a change rather than just singing about it. So the dream was born to gather some of the best-known writers in the gospel/Christian music scene and spend the week writing songs that could impact these issues on a long-term basis.

So after many phone calls, the team was assembled, Michael W. Smith, Darlene Zschech, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, Paul Baloche, Israel Houghton, Graham Kendrick, Steven Curtis-Chapman, Andy Park, Stu Garrard, Martin Smith.

So, with so many songwriters gathering it felt like we needed a new structure to compliment and carry this dream. The usual way of doing things is for a publisher to own the songs and then distribute them to the writers. Although there’s nothing wrong with this it felt like we needed a more radical approach to maximising all the income from these songs as the intention of the writers is to give every cent away. Also a lot of the publishers and managers were excited about being involved too and making a contribution.

So CompassionArt was born, a charity dedicated to seeing works of art generate income for the poorest of the poor. So these songs that will be written in Scotland in January will be owned by the charity meaning that every penny will come to it and the trust will own these copyrights forever. The publishers, the managers, the agents and the writers have waived all their rights to see something historic happen, the music business coming together for something great, something that is about something greater than any individual could achieve. So January 7th-11th 2008 we will be in Scotland, 13 people giving something of themselves for a big cause. We hope we will write some of the great songs together, watch this space, watch the future.”

There is some great music on this collection and the movement of the Spirit at times is palpable. One of the very cool things about the project is that all the songwriters received songwriter credits for each song in the collection. Two of my favorites right now are “King of Wonders” and “Friend of the Poor.”

Listening to these songs the past couple of days has stirred my heart and rekindled a passion for our sisters and brothers in Africa. I shared an idea to encourage locals pastors in Guraghe with a VP at World Vision and on Friday I will be in Chicago and have the opportunity to recconnect with Tim, a pastor with whom I traveled to Ethiopia in November 2007. I love how God knows what we need at just the right time.

Get a taste of Compassion Art here and may our hearts break with the things that break the heart of God.

Stay connected…


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3 Responses

  1. says:

    Terry this is beautiful. I think the culmination of really good art is when the artist(s) just lets it go like this, no strings attached. I can’t wait to listen.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Have a look at for songs in response to God’s heart for justice.

  3. terry says:

    thanks for the lead on heart, life, voice music. some great music. i am a big fan of micah challenge as well

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have the peace that passes understanding at the heart of yourself, but do not be at peace with the world. for the world is more malleable than we think and we must wrestle it from fools. (bono)
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