Matt Gilman has been leading worship since he was fourteen years old, having grown up in ministry with his father, a Lutheran pastor. In 2002, when Matt was a senior in high school, he arrived at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOP-KC) thinking he was just attending a conference about music, his favorite subject. "As soon as I walked into the building I knew this was different. It was not at all what I was expecting. God began to shake me to the core as He opened up a whole new understanding of worship with the Word of God. I knew right away this is what I was made for," Matt explains, "Something was awakened in my spirit and I knew I had to have more."
He returned to join the onething™ Internship, a six-month program for single young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, which is designed to be a season of consecration unto the Lord. Matt says the internship, which included up to 24 hours a week in the prayer room, was like a new world opening up to him, "the Lord would meet me there. I was searching out the heart of God and giving myself to concentration...The best part is that I was joined with a community of young people who were going after God with the same wholehearted abandonment."
Matt's musical creativity stems from one source, but comes in a variety of ways. He says that many times when leading in the Prayer Room certain lyrics or a melody will just come to him, providing the basis for a new song, but other times he's had to sit for hours to write them. He believes it's crucial for songwriters to have time set aside in their schedule to simply sit with their instrument and their Bible, and just sing the Word of the Lord back to Him. But sometimes, it's just as easy as sleep, "The Lord may reveal a melody in a prophetic dream and I'll wake up singing it. That's what happened with my song 'Closer'. The first line was given to me in a dream and I sat down at the piano to play it, and the rest of the song just flowed."
Matt is motivated by a desire to see people grasp the reality of who God is, and believes this is crucial in order for them to continue in the faith. "It's imperative that this generation become fascinated by God. I want my music to provoke my generation to be fascinated by God. I want them to know His beauty."