Singer-songwriter and worship leader Josh Baldwin of Bethel Music is back on tour for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns began and revealed that his worship has changed after realizing his identity was wrapped up in leading others.
Baldwin is part of the Hymn of Heaven Tour with CCM artist Phil Wickham. But prior to the tour, the Bethel worship leader, like many other performers, had to take a break from the road due to lockdown mandates. During the break, Baldwin and his family moved from California, where Bethel church is located in Redding, to Tennessee.
"We go to a church here, locally, but I'm still very much at Bethel. I think I led there (Bethel) five times this past year. But those were really the only times I led worship other than traveling here and there,” Baldwin told The Christian Post in an interview that can be watched below.
Baldwin faithfully attended a local church in Tennessee when he wasn't leading worship at Bethel or touring.
“I didn't lead worship at my local church here in Tennessee, and it was the first time that I have gone to a church and not been either the worship pastor or one of the worship leaders since I was a teenager; since I started leading worship,” he said.
"It was weird, and it didn't feel awesome,” said Baldwin, who grew up as a pastor's kid. “But then, I also realized, I think I was supposed to have this time off. And I think I also started to realize, I think maybe my identity is probably wrapped up so much in this is what I'm doing that I don't even know how to just go be at church with my family and just worship and not be one of the leaders."
He ultimately found himself thankful to have that season off because it enabled him to connect with God in a different way.
Before returning to the stage, the musician told CP that he was concerned he might've forgotten how to lead others in worship and had shared those fears with his wife.
"It feels weird. I feel I've had so much of a break that am I going to still be good at this?” Baldwin said. “I had all those doubts, which is so funny. I did have those funny questions in my head, and it wasn't the case.”
But now, as he leads worship on the Hymn of Heaven Tour, Baldwin said: “I think there's a freshness that's come out of it, and just a different perspective and a gratefulness of 'Wow, I'm so grateful that I still get to do this and that we still get to come together and worship together.'”
"The Lord calls back on your history with Him, and my history with leading from since I was a kid, and that never leaves. It doesn't go away just because you took a bit of a break. But I definitely had those questions and a little bit of doubt, but they were swallowed up quickly.”
Baldwin is now embracing his time on the road with a fresh perspective. For more information about the tour, visit Baldwin’s website.
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: email@example.com She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic