From a very young age, music was a game changer. Born and raised in the small, friendly town of Pearl River, Louisiana, John Finch discovered his love for worship and Christian unity early on. For over five years, he has led congregations in worship across the United States. In addition to touring, John Finch is a dedicated songwriter and frequently collaborates with other artists. To this day, his goal as a worship leader, artist, and songwriter is to pursue the heart of God with passion and authenticity.
In 2017, Finch released his debut album titled Wildfire, written over the course of several years. In this season, he discovered in a new way the heart of God in the simplicity of worship, which led to freedom, healing and purpose.
“Wildfire” was one of the last songs written for the record and soon after became the title of the project. “It was one of those God moments that hit you out of nowhere. I had the melody of the chorus and the words ‘it's burning, burning, burning’ playing over and over in my head and I thought, well what's burning? And I immediately went to the word of God,” says Finch. Deuteronomy 4:24 reads, "For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” We are children of a jealous God whose heart is burning with love for us. The bridge of the song says, “Uncontrollable, oh so beautiful, Your love consumes me. It’s unstoppable, oh so powerful, Your love consumes me.” These words describe the burning love that God has for each of His children. It all comes back to love. The crazy, uncontrollable, beautiful, unstoppable, all-powerful love of God that is burning within us and that continually burns for us.
The record opens with “Walk By Faith,” a song that underlines the struggle we all share from time to time: having faith and trusting that God will lead us down the right path. “The future is a mystery; forever will you lead me.” Many of us have a hard time with the idea of having faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”. Faith is believing in what we cannot see. St. Thomas Aquinas puts it beautifully, “Faith does not quench desire, but inflames it.” God’s plan for us is so immeasurably good. With faith the size of a mustard seed, the Lord unites our wills to His. Through all of our doubt and questioning, God continually leads us because He knows that we cannot lead ourselves. Even in the uncertainty of the journey, we can be certain that God has it all under control. We are His children; He is our Father. God walks with us on this journey giving us difficult tasks, but never tasks that are too great that we cannot handle; He never abandons us on our journey throughout life and will never lead us where His grace cannot sustain us.
“Peace Be Still” takes us back to Finch’s younger years, where he battled fear and anxiety in the night. “There is one Name that can tame the raging seas of my heart.” Saying the name of Jesus is enough to ward off anything trying to steal peace and stillness of the heart and mind. To call upon Jesus’ Name is to invoke His presence and His power, and to invite Him to come and save. Simply saying His name is enough. It’s the name that makes Satan fall down on his knees and tremble. Finch says, “Growing up, I was afraid of the night; not so much of the dark, but of the night time. I had a lot of anxiety, some of which I still struggle with to this day. Something that I will hold on to forever were the words that my mom would tell me to pray when I was anxious or afraid: ‘Peace be still in the name of Jesus.’” The bridge of the song is an image of what Finch experienced as a child. In the darkness of the night, he knew that morning would come and he would be able to feel the warmth of the sun on his face. A beautiful image for all of us to relate to: being in some sort of darkness and waiting with such faith for the warmth of the Father’s love to come and bring intense, solid peace. Finch says, “It is my desire for this song to be a source of hope and a reminder that we are not alone in the struggle and burden of anxiety.”
Finch has contemplated the meaning of “Simplicity.” He defined it as “The clarity and understandability that we are loved by God.” Finch says, “If everything we had was taken away from us; our possessions, our knowledge, our life and our world, more than anything, the love of the Father would be enough for us.” When we live in simplicity, we have time to love; not only time to love others, but ourselves and the Lord. To understand that, we must slow down. It’s easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of life and forget to focus on what God is doing in our lives. Finch says, “This song is about taking a minute to slow down and breathe.” It is impossible to hear the Lord speak in our lives if we are always so caught up in ourselves and in what the world is so desperately trying to offer us. The Father’s love is so perfect and it’s everlasting. Chaos and noise will get us nowhere. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Don’t let the enemy steal the peace that comes with simplicity. The Lord wants to give us so much more than we could ever imagine.
Through heartfelt piano melodies, John Finch has a desire to prepare a place for people to meet God in the intimacy of worship and write songs that lead people to encounter the redemptive freedom that is found in Christ. Wildfire is about a love that gives us life. Finch says, “It’s a love I desire to know but that doesn't stop in me, rather it pour out from within my soul.”