If you’ve ever heard Paul’s songs or been in a context where Paul has lead worship, then you won’t have failed to notice the consuming passion to know God that characterises his songwriting.
Whilst this passion and exuberant celebration of songs like Fire, Here I am, Unashamed and Because of You carry an authority and integrity that can only come from having been in that place, songs like Cover me, I need You now, When deep calls to deep and Kiss the River show that Paul is also not shy to tackle issues of pain and suffering in the context of worship.
Terry Virgo, leader of Newfrontiers, writes: “As a man in touch with the Holy Spirit, Paul Oakley is wonderfully gifted to draw people into the presence of God. His love for the Lord is expressed through the great songs that he has written. I, for one, love singing them, not only at big events but also when I am alone with the Lord.” Paul's song Jesus Lover of my soul has now gone literally all around the globe & been covered by various worship artists as well as translated into many other languages.
“The main focus of my writing comes from my walk with God. I’ve seen God and I don’t want to write about anything else. Like Isaiah I felt like I've had a radical encounter with God and ''I'm ruined, I'm undone!" When you've seen God what else is there to write about? He is everything! He's awesome and He's jealous for His glory in every aspect of our lives. So whatever I go through, I walk through it with Him & I hope that comes out in the songs. Music, as well as being a precious gift from God, is for Him as well. There’s almost a sense in which music itself is more complete when it’s to Him & for Him. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for entertainment or performance songs because it all points to a Creator & brings glory to God. I want God at the centre of what I'm saying & writing because He’s totally changed my life.”
Whilst some songwriters are renowned for a particular favourite theme, Paul’s songs seem to take you to every point of the compass. Declaration, reverence, awe, revival & grace are just a few of the subjects Paul touches in his songwriting. For a comprehensive list of themes in a helpful resource reference format, see the ‘resources’ page. ' Paul is passionate about what he does. He is the genuine article and that shines through in both his songwriting and worship leading.' 'I love working with him!'
Paul’s songwriting and worship leading have been described on more than one occasion as a ‘journey into God’ and Paul has also found this to be true for him throughout the songwriting process.“Certainly the cds have been a bit like a ‘journey into God’ for me. Even some individual songs, like "In this stillness" & "One Thing" have been like a mini adventure into the person and nature of God himself.” Paul Oakley is a songwriter and worship leader that I have enjoyed for some time now. We play many of his songs on CSN and get lots of response from his music. Paul is a well-established leader in today’s Christian Music – I always watch to see what he’s doing. Don Mills – CSN International Radio, USA
Paul’s influence as a ‘well-established leader’ in Christian Music, has come as something of a surprise to him and was never something he anticipated in his early stages of his new life as a Christian. His britpop/new wave background left him wondering if he had anything to bring to the mainstream worship ministry. Infact, evangelism became the main focus of his writing for the first few years, using his first band as a vehicle for the gospel.
“Paul Oakley’s music and ministry has an organic authority that extends beyond the cultural parameters of church worship. He grew up in a rebel British punk culture. Gave up his musical quests at his radical conversion. Spent years trying to conform to conservative church culture and lose his Brit-pop influences, but found the grace of God, challenging him to embrace the music of his generation.” Malcolm Du Plessis (EMI, USA)
His international profile continues to grow. This last year has seen Paul travel to Canada, South Africa, Holland, Germany, Scotland and Northern Ireland and more recently, invitations have opened up for Paul to travel to Brazil, the States, Portugal and Germany & Holland again this year. Although he travels a lot, Paul and his family are very committed to Church of Christ The King - their home church in Brighton (UK) - where he regularly leads the 1,000 strong congregation in worship alongside Dave Fellingham, Stuart Townend, Matt Redman, Phatfish and Kate Simmonds.
If you love to celebrate God’s grace & all that Jesus has accomplished for us, yet you’re not satisfied just to stay where you are - you're hungry for more of God, then Paul’s songs will always resonate with your spirit.
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