ARLINGTON—“God with Us” is to be released on multiple online music streaming platforms nationwide Dec. 6 by Tate Springs Baptist Church as a worship song for Christmas.
It’s actually the fourth song written by the church, but the first one to be released to a national audience. All four have been written during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have a few gifted writers in our church who either know how to pen lyrics or hear a melody. In February we wrote a song for Easter 2020,” Jason Nichols, worship minister, told the TEXAN. “We didn’t broadcast this to the church [immediately], and releasing that first song—called ‘Once for All’—was a huge encouragement to the body, especially during a pandemic.
“Since then, we have introduced two other songs to the congregation, and we have a team that meets regularly to share ideas and workshop potential songs,” Nichols continued. “This has spurred a lot of excitement in our church. We believe this shows God is still breathing his life-giving breath upon Tate Springs, to be used to make his kingdom known.”
Throughout its 130-year history, Tate Springs has had a thriving musical presence. It added Nichols, an opera singer and contemporary Christian vocalist, to lead the congregation in worship beginning in 2018.
“I inherited a ministry that desires to use their musical and technological gifts to glorify God,” Nichols said. “While I have driven things in a much more modern fashion, we still use our choir, orchestra, and utilize hymns every week.”
The church’s creative arts ministries also include a praise team, drama team, and a full media production team.
Despite more than a decade in worship ministry, including touring for five years while earning an undergraduate degree in worship leadership and a master’s degree in vocal performance, Nichols had never written a song before this
The impetus for writing the song came along when their Easter program needed a soul-stirring finish. Discussion led to a scriptural search, and Romans 6:10 jumped out at Nichols. “‘Once for All’ became the title. The worship minister said. “It’s become one of our favorite songs.”
A contemporary worship song, “Once for All” speaks of Christ coming to earth, covering mankind’s sins by his death, and breaking the power of death by his resurrection.
In May, “Untraceable” was penned by Nick Engstrom, a worship leader in Tate Springs’ young adult ministry, The Spring. It’s an upbeat song based on Romans 11:33-36. Nichols said of the song, “God calls us to come and know the depths of him, to give him glory.”
One month later, in June, “Mountains Move,” based on Psalm 46, was written and introduced by Nichols.
“The song’s message reminds that our hope is in the God who makes the mountains move, to be still and know that he is God (Psalm 46:10). And in the stillness, worship me,” Nichols said of God. “Surrender your fight, your concerns, your anxieties, and worship me, and let God do what only God can do. It’s an active surrender, not passive.”
Nichols was inspired to write the words for the Christmas single “God with Us” in the early spring, drawing from John 1:5, and the song was built up from there to go to recording and now for release.
“This verse reminds us that Christ has always been from the beginning, and that his existence has been to glorify God and redeem God’s people for the glory of God’s kingdom,” Nichols said. “By coming to earth, Christ put on full display God’s redemptive plan, that we could be redeemed by his sacrifice on the cross.
“That’s where the lyrics came from, that ‘the light shone in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it,’” the worship minister continued. “Christmas began at Creation. The redemption story began when God created the heavens and the earth. From the beginning, God had a plan.
“This single explicitly speaks of this, and highlights that a year like 2020 could be the same cultural landscape that Jesus was born into, that God hasn’t been surprised by any of this,” Nichols said. “With this song we want to encourage Christians to praise God, regardless of circumstance, and praise him for sending us his son.”
One of the ways Tate Springs ministers to church families is by providing opportunities for members to serve the Lord through their giftedness, such as through the church’s worship ministry, Pastor Jared Wellman told the TEXAN.
“I believe we are living in a new normal for creativity in the church,” Wellman said. “It’s becoming easier for churches to produce their own ‘content,’ so to speak, to glorify God, and I’ve been personally blessed by the music our worship ministry is creating with Jason at its helm.”
Tate Springs will continue to produce original worship songs, Nichols said. “God with Us” will be available Dec. 6 on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and other music streaming platforms, under Tate Springs Worship.