win a copy of Chris Tomlin’s new album: Burning Lights

there’s no denying a couple things about chris tomlin:

  1. the dude can sing. like, he can sing in a way that sounds effortless and inviting
  2. the dude can write songs that make you want to sing along. really, we all (church peeps, that is) know so many of his songs, it’s nuts. whether your an uber-fan or not, you know his songs, because they’re clearly singable, and are therefore ubiquitously present in modern american church life.

i have very fond memories of my middle years at YS — the years from just before yac left us to just after, the “good years”. and one of the memories of that period for me is that i became friends with david crowder and chris tomlin (and all the guys in both bands). those were some years of amazing worship at the NYWC, when we had both of those bands in every city, for a few years in a row. i have a very clear memory of one of the last times chris was with us at a YS convention. he had just released a new album (that week, i think), and no one knew the songs on it yet. but one of the songs (i don’t remember what song it was — i just remember how powerful this moment was for me) was so freaking gorgeous; and once he’d taught it to us, 3500 youth workers took to it like pizza, and started singing it so loudly and passionately. i remember chris stepping back away from the mic, just staring at that ballroom full of open-throated worshippers. chris wasn’t even leading anymore; he was just along for the ride. really, i think it was one of the most powerful times of worship i’ve ever experienced.


while i’ve stayed friends (and in contact) with crowder, i’ve lost touch with chris. so i was glad that his record company still asked me if i’d like to hear his new album, Burning Lights (as they did with many people, from what i see in the blogosphere — i’m not suggesting this had anything to do with formerly hanging out with him!). i listened to it non-stop yesterday (for about 8 hours, at least). and, man, those two “no denying” things at the top of this post? they are just as true as ever. clearly.

funny thing is: we’re already singing a couple of these songs in my church, and i just didn’t know they were chris’s songs!

my favorite track (got me choked up a couple times yesterday) is the gorgeous Shepherd Boy, which i’m guessing will get less mileage than some of the songs on the album, even though it caries the album title. but dang:

i’m no hero of the faith
i’m not as strong as i once thought i was
i’m just a shepherd boy
singing to a choir of burning lights
i’m just singing
singing over you
come and lay your troubles down
’cause love is breakin’ through

and the melody — even if there were no lyrics! gah.

ok — here’s the cool thing. like other bloggers, EMI is allowing me to give out five copies of the new album (which releases on january 8). and i’m going to give them away in my own way, darn it!

so: first five people to share a tomlin memory from an old YS convention. yeah. that’s the ticket. who’s in?


ok, these stories were awesome. in fact, part of me wishes i’d said i would choose winners from the stories. but i said “the first five.” there’s another part of me that’s glad i wrote that, as i don’t have to pick.

so, the five winners are:
chris lynch
Chris Oakes
and Jeni

Joe Thompson, if i were you i’d be wondering why i wasn’t the 5th winner. well, Jeni responded via email to the post (which she receives via email subscription), then added it as a comment a little later. so, since i didn’t say she couldn’t comment that way, i gotsta call her the 5th winner.

congrats to you five! and thanks, the rest of you, for sharing such great memories. i hope tomlin sees these!

18 thoughts on “win a copy of Chris Tomlin’s new album: Burning Lights”

  1. My favorite Tomlin memory was him leading “Blessed Be Your Name” in the days just after Yac’s death. I wasn’t sure what to expect with NYWC coming so quickly, but Tomlin lead us in a sacred moment of remembrance and worship. One my favorite NYWC memories as well…

  2. I recall as you did marko singing at the top of my lungs to how can I keep from singing. As the song builds to the climax of all the times we are to “sing” Ihad no expression except to sing staring at the heavens, eyes filled with tears. One of the most powerful worship moments of my life.

  3. Oh man..I remember being at the YS convention (I think Pittsburgh, but not sure) and hearing Chris Tomlin. I remember that year I actually bumped into him in the hallway. Literrally bumped into him and I was like “I’m so sor…..oh!!” He apologized and said it was his fault and I shook his hand and just thanked him for his ministry. He was clearly in a hurry but had no problem talking to me for a few minutes about my passion for youth. He encouraged me to follow my passions but also keep a bigger passion for God. It was awesome!! His music has always been amazing!

  4. YS Convention in St. Louis 2000. First time we had heard Chris live, and my wife and I weRe blown away. We became instant fans of Indescribable and The Happy Song. Chris also sang Undignified and crazy dude in front of us in the session decided it was his time to dance like David in the aisle – AWESOME! Thanks for the chance to win!

  5. While worship leading is not my primary role in my ministry, I participate in it a lot and so I understand a lot of the dynamics that are involved beyond creating a good sound from talented musicians. My first year at YS was the last year Tomlin and Crowder did YS. I can’t remember if it was Pittsburgh or Charlotte but what I do remember is the way Chris went from being CHRIS TOMLIN (Christian music super star) to Chris Tomlin just another worshiper with the rest of us. I’ve always been a big fan and that moment kind of solidified it for me. From then on I’ve been a Tomlin-nut! A buddy of mine says that I must have a man-crush on him cause I’m constantly wanting to work in Your Grace Is Enough…which is for me, one of the best songs, lyrically and musically.
    I’d love to have his newest one!

  6. He came to our church on the Passion Experience tour in 2001, a few weeks after 9/11.
    He taught the song ‘enough’ which has this amazing confession …
    ‘all of you is more than enough for all of me’

    i remember that making my 16 year old heart explode with passion and joy.

  7. Yeah – I’ll NEVER forget the conference where Phyllis Tickle shared her heart and history of the faith and then Chris led us out. I ran to the bathroom and could not contain the emotions that the combination of her message and his song “His Grace Is Enough” was. God burned light into my life that day. The emotions still come raging up from my toes as I write this! What incredible gifts He has given us in Phyllis, Chris AND YOU, Marko!!! Than you all for your service!!!

  8. I first attended a YS convention in 2005 in Sacramento with my wife. We were all of one month married and I had no clue what to expect. I knew of Tomlin, looked forward to worshiping with him, but as we walked into the ball room, Chris and band were playing some old 80’s classics and just having plain fun. I immediately knew we wouldn’t be playing “church with youth workers” that weekend, but instead would have the most fun, re-energizing times of my life. It set the stage for a really life changing convention for me. Oh, and the worship was off the hook, immediately ushering us into the presence of a very present God.

  9. I remember signing up to win an autographed guitar at his table… When I signed up I told the guy I was with, “I’m going to win this guitar.” The conference ending and I had forgotten about the guitar. I was leaving the last general session and my phone rang. I almost didn’t answer it, but when I did I was told I had WON!!! What a beautiful surprise… A guitar autographed by Chris Tomlin… or… uh… wait! That was Lincoln Brewster. Sorry.

  10. I am with Ryan. I was at the Nashville YS after Yac passed away and I remember Tic and Karla laid hands on you and entrusted you with YS. Tomlin lead Blessed be the Name of the Lord and moved me to tears. That was the first time I had heard that song and the way he did it was so poignant.

    There was also the time I saw Chris in a hallway at YS and wanted to go meet him and then realized I didn’t know what I would say to him, “good worship” so I chickened out to preserve my cool points.

  11. Tomlin was leading at NYWC after Crowder had headed out. (Not sure what year, that seemed like standard operating procedure for several years there)

    About halfway through, the band kept winding down to just Chris & his guitar. The last song was an old hymn. The band backed out & left the stage. Chris quit playing & just sang. Then he quit singing and left the stage while we all kept going.

    I’m a little choked up just remembering it.

  12. It was at the YS convention in Charlotte in 2004. I got into an elevator and on the next stop, Chris Tomlin and the Giglio’s appeared and got into the elevator with me. All I said was “hey”. A few floors later, they were off. I was shocked at how short Chris Tomlin was.

  13. Myself and Ian Bullard, another store volunteer, were hanging out in the Anaheim green room. Mainly we were there to steal peanut m&m’s. We were always advised to give the artists and presenters their space so they could decompress. No one else was in the room so Ian starting playing on the piano a few worship songs. I joyful noised along! Within a few minutes, Chris Tomlin and Michael W. Smith came in chatting. They moved towards us and the piano. I asked if we should vacate the area and Chris said “no.” Michael then asked Ian if he would keep playing. These two musical superstars then joined us in singing! After a couple more songs suggested by Chris and Michael, I realized that the whole room was praising GOD. I had to leave, but Ian stayed to help them work out a piece of a duet they were doing for main stage. It was an amazing moment of worship that was from the heart!

  14. I stood in front of the bass speaker hearing more of the bass player, than of tomlin at the youth convention in Nashville and still found it awesome.

  15. Standing outside the hotel in Sacramento YS 2005, if my memory is right about the year. Chris asked me and my buddy if were going to the airport. We said we were and asked if we wanted to share the ride with him in the hotel Town Car. Yes, please! He saved us time and money. He was great, asked us about our ministries and he was very humble.

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