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Intersection of Life and Faith

Kim Hill

  • 1999 2 Feb
  • COMMENTS
Kim Hill
"To whom much is given, much is required. I know that I'm going to be in front of over 100,000 women leading worship. Not that we can ever be perfect and have it all together, but I want to be as clean a vessel as I can be for Him to just pour Himself through."





by Brenda Williams for the Music Channel at crosswalk.com

There are two sides to being {{Kim Hill}}.

On one hand, she talks about how "weird" it is to have entered the ranks of seasoned Christian music artists; on the other hand, it's a role that's really comfortable. Kind of like breaking in a new pair of shoes.

"I was at a thing recently that EMI (her record label) did where {{Steven Curtis Chapman}}, {{Steve Green}} and I were being referred to as these 'veteran' artists and it made me feel really weird," she confesses. But she thinks a second and adds, "I guess when you look at it, we are ten years or more ahead of everyone else, and I want to be able to share my experiences with them."

Fresh out of college, Hill burst onto the Christian music scene in 1987 and says she made a lot of mistakes as a 21-year-old. Now in her thirties, she's riding the second wave of her CCM career, and the two sides of Kim Hill were never more evident. Starting with ==The Fire Again== in 1997 and continuing with the release of her latest album, ==Arms of Mercy==, she has combined her contemporary sound with a heart of worship.

"For the longest time in my life, those worlds had been kind of separated, but I think the Lord has been showing me, 'Kim, I want to integrate all these parts of you and all these worlds into one. If you sing out of a heart of worship you can basically sing almost anything."

Hill admits that ==Arms of Mercy==, recorded in Sussex, England, is her most enjoyable project to date. She says it's also the easiest project she's ever made, chalking it up to experience and a new perspective. "The best analogy I can give is feeling almost like you're a senior in high school; you know how everything works, you know how it goes and you can enjoy it...you're not worrying about where you are on the totem pole or what people think so much." Hill says she's determined to share some of that experience with the "freshmen" of Christian music.

Although it's disconcerting to meet up with a new artist who says they grew up with her music, she says it's all a part of her "Big Sister" ministry. "I've had a chance to get one-on-one with them and go have coffee, and I've told them, 'Ask me anything you wanna ask me. I'll be honest with you and I'll tell you anything if it will help you to avoid mistakes I've made.'"

The industry has changed over the years since Hill's debut, with systems and procedures becoming more and more highly sophisticated. Hill feels that some of the changes are for the good, with many artists now being better prepared to serve, as well as concert promotion and actual shows being handled more professionally.

Diplomatic as ever, she points out the temptation to get caught up in number one records or the latest SoundScan figures on album sales. "That's the difference and the distinction with Christian music," she says. "The value is not based on if you have a number one song or not. The value is based on if you have a ministry that you're doing as unto the Lord and He's prospering that and it's successful in His eyes, not successful in the world's eyes."

God has brought ministry back into sharp focus for this seasoned performer. Never one to strategize, Hill says her new role as a worship leader for Focus On The Family's "Renewing the Heart" Women's Conferences simply dropped into her lap. "I didn't have a clue what I was getting into and it has turned into being the most incredible thing I've ever done," she says. "I would have never charted this out to try and do this, but it feels like a real natural thing for me."

The conferences kick off in April with a tour of eight major cities, with each one expected to fill arenas of about 20,000 women who are seeking to renew their relationship with Christ. Hill counts herself among them. "About seventy-percent of the women that come are my age and have a couple of kids and are struggling with the same things I'm struggling with-how to be a wife and a mom and a friend and a daughter and a sister."

Those struggles have come to a head in the last year. Hill candidly talks about going through difficult times with her husband and her family. With the help of her pastor, a counselor and some good friends, she says the Lord has been dealing with those issues. She adds that this hard season has been invaluable. "To whom much is given, much is required," she explains. "I know that I'm going to be in front of over 100,000 women leading worship. Not that we can ever be perfect and have it all together, but I want to be as clean a vessel as I can be for Him to just pour Himself through."

One of her favorite songs on the ==Arms of Mercy== project was included because of its personal impact during those hard times. "You Are Still Holy" was written and sung by her friend Rita Springer during a worship conference at The Vineyard in California last year. Hearing it for the first time, Hill says God broke through her despair. "I just wept and was reminded of His character and His faithfulness, and that regardless of my circumstances, regardless of how things are, He is still holy and He is still sovereign and He has not left me," she says. "I really left there that weekend a different person, so that song has really deep personal meaning for me."

Now she sings the song at "Renewing the Heart" conferences, hoping it will have the same healing effect for women who are hurting in their own ways.

In the past twelve years, Hill has launched three musical careers, traveled across the country and around the globe, raised a family, grappled with personal hardships and settled into that "veteran" status that so few Christian artists attain.

Looking back over the years, she views it as a luxury that she's been able to have another opportunity for her music to hear an audience. Not to mention the opportunity she has to continually grow and learn more about how God would like to work through her life.

"I treasure the fact that I got to come back and start over again, and that I was given a clean slate," she says. "I think the reality is the fact that we learn as we go. There's no way I could come into Christian music as a 21-year-old knowing what I've learned the hard way. I think that's just part of life."

There are two sides to {{Kim Hill}}. As a young women herself, she's been handed a pair of shoes that she never imagined would fit. It's a pair of shoes that are normally worn by the mentors -- the older, wiser women. But as she sees the window of opportunity that has opened for her to be a voice of encouragement and direction to the younger generation of artists around her, she's finding a place of comfort and grace within those shoes.

The new shoes fit, and she's wearing them well.