This is the third interview in a series entitled An ‘Entrusted’ Life. This series serves to introduce you to Christians who display faithful stewardship amid an entitlement culture (Our first two interviews featured authors Jaquelle Crowe and Claudine Broussard).This third interview features Jonathan and Emily Martin. They are a “travel-sized” couple who is passionate about God’s Word. They travel along with their two kiddos sharing songs full of God’s Word with various groups across the country with their ministry called “the Word in Worship.” Their heart is to write songs and devotions for those who dare to believe that God’s Word is beautiful, powerful, life-giving, and helpful.
Jonathan and Emily, the Lord has clearly blessed you with the musical talent and the avenue to minister to others through songwriting and singing. How did you both come to recognize how the Lord had gifted you?
Martins: We’ve both been singing from an early age – it was various influencers (parents, teachers, etc.) in our lives that noticed gifts and talents and then encouraged us toward them when we were younger so that we could continue to grow and develop in those areas.
How does understanding all of life as a stewardship from God play a role in your ministry?
Martins: The mindset of stewardship has been key for us in how we think about our ministry and music. We didn’t give ourselves the ability to sing or write – we’ve developed those gifts over time, but we believe that God, our Creator, is the one who gave us these gifts – and we believe that He gave them to us for a reason. He gave them to us for a specific role He would have us play in His Kingdom and for His purposes. Our job is simply to be faithful with what He’s given to us and to trust Him with the rest. As we’ve tried to steward the gifts as we know how in each season, we’ve seen Him continue to be faithful in leading and giving direction on how to use the gifts and life that He has given us.
As the Lord has entrusted you with the opportunities to serve others through music, what does ministry life look like for the Martin family?
Martins: We travel a lot! Haha. But we honestly love the travel – God has just wired our family that way. Even our kids! We seriously see little ways that God has specifically designed them to fit with the calling He has for our lives. A lot of folks ask and wonder how we possibly could do this with kids – and we just kinda shrug and smile at the faithfulness and provision of God. Obviously, that all could change at any moment – but we just try to take it day by day. Stewarding well what we’ve been given today. We love not only getting to share our songs and God’s Word in various venues – but ministry life also looks like a lot of writing, creating videos, and finding ways to continue to connect with those we meet at our events.
You share the phrase “the Word in Worship” sums up your passion in what you do. Could you explain why this phrase states so well your music and ministry?
Martins: We’re just passionate about God’s Word and we write songs for those who dare to believe that His Word is beautiful, powerful, life-giving, and helpful. We can so often wrongly start to think that God’s Word is dull and boring – but it’s not! As artists and songwriters, we just love taking what God is teaching us in His Word and then putting it into song. Songs help us remember things. Songs also are like a new canvas for understanding – allowing us to infuse emotion behind the words. Where just words might not hit home – maybe words set the right melody might stir hearts! That’s our hope and prayer as we share our songs. God’s Word is powerful without us – we just want to faithfully share what we’ve been given in ways that He has equipped us to best share. We also just really love worship – not just musical worship, but whole-life worship, and we feel that the Word really helps us to understand WHAT worship is. Lastly, we truly believe and have seen for YEARS that framing our times of singing with the Word is powerfully effective. It’s like a one-two punch. 🙂 So often, our singing seems disconnected from the Word we’re hearing – but we really believe in narrative and themes in our worship services – not just singing for the sake of singing. All of these passions are what fuel the heart of our ministry.
As you write and record your songs, is there one particular song you would consider your favorite? Why?
Martins (Jonathan): Ooh! This is a hard question! I would say that my current favorite is a new song that we’ve written called “Trust In Him”. It’s on a project that is releasing this May (2018) – it’s my current favorite because it’s simple and a reminder to rest in God alone, which is something I need to constantly remember.
If somebody would be interested in finding out about, connecting, or supporting the ministry of Jonathan and Emily Martin, where would they go?
Martins: Our website is a great way to connect with us and our ministry. You can visit it at www.thewordinworship.com.