Featuring in our worship 23rd January is Chris Tomlins How Great is our God.
In a Songfacts interview with Chris Tomlin, he talked about writing this song. Said Tomlin: “I wrote that song when I was living in Austin, Texas. I remember sitting on my sofa in my little apartment. And Psalm 104 was the psalm I was looking at. It said, ‘You our lord are very great. You’re clothed with splendor and majesty, wrap yourself with light as with a garment’ – through those opening verses and just describing a little bit of God, the glory of majesty, that little chorus came out. I started singing the chorus and, man, I had no idea, I thought the chorus was just a little simple thing and it was. And I had no idea it would become such a song in the church, and a song that finds its way in so many different cultures, different languages. It’s so transferrable, so accessible. I had no idea that it would ever become that.
I remember I had the song, I thought it was finished. I didn’t have a bridge to the song, and I met Ed Cash who produced that record it was on. First time meeting him and talking to him about maybe producing my new record. And I remember he picks his guitar up and says, ‘This ‘How Great is Our God’ song, I think it’s pretty good, but it’s not finished.’ And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? Who do you think you are?’ And I remember him grabbing his guitar. I believe it was something about, ‘What if you do something like this?’ And I remember he just started singing, ‘You’re the name above all names, you are worthy of our praise.’ And it’s really good, but when you open up and let somebody else sneak in, it just makes it better. So that’s when we knew it was taking it to another level.”
One of Tomlin’s most popular songs, this won the awards for Song of the Year and Worship Song of the Year at the Dove Awards in 2006. The song has appeared on numerous compilation albums and was the title track to a live album recorded at the Passion Conference in 2005.
This song is often sung together with the hymn “How Great Thou Art.” Tomlin told Songfacts, “That song has such staying power. That song has been through many generations now of the church and it’s really cool when you hear those two together, they’re saying the same thing.”