“God of This City” – story behind the song

Most of you know that I’m a huge fan of music, and especially worship music.

By far, the majority of my favorite music comes from Passion (did you know that David Crowder, Charlie Hall, and Chris Tomlin are all on the Passion record label?). I have never, ever in my life been disappointed with a new release from the Passion guys. Under the leadership of Louie Giglio, God just has his hands all over it.

So a couple of weeks ago, Chris Tomlin’s newest album, “Hello Love” was released, and K-Love played the whole album with Chris in the studio, along with Shelly Giglio. It was really cool driving in to work and hearing the new music, and also the stories behind them. One of the songs, which is also the title track from the last Passion compilation CD, “God of This City”, has an awesome story. I already loved the song, and I had heard that it wasn’t written by Tomlin, but a band he heard called “Blue Tree”, but since I’ve heard the story, it has become 10 times more refreshing and encouraging to me.

I did a quick google search and found that the folks at “Extending the Kingdom” already have it written out, so I copied part of it from this post.

Check it out (this is the band talking about the day they wrote the song while on a missions trip in Thailand):

“There was a bar called The Climax Bar – on a street that’s about 10 metres wide, it’s a kilometre long and it’s filled with everything you can physically imagine. And I promise you, as a red-blooded male, to keep your head in the right place you’ve got to look down at the ground and walk down that street and pray because it is just so in your face. People hit you with menus about everything, flashing lights, just everything you can imagine goes on in that place. You see kids as young as eight, nine, 10, just selling themselves, you know?! You see 60-year-old guys walking down the street with two 13 or 14-year-old girls. Forget about the Christian thing, you just get raging! You properly get raging when you see that happening, you know?!”

. . . We got the chance to play in this bar, a two-hour worship set in this bar. I don’t think the people in the bar spoke a word of English but we basically got to go in. The deal was that we play and we bring a following of people with us; so we’re there, set up, really good gear! So we all set up and there was like 20 Christians all standing in front of us, and the deal was we play, they buy lots of drinks, alright? I don’t think the place has ever sold so much Coke in its whole life in one night!

And we got to play for two hours. And just the way the band set up, we like using loops, and at one point I just started singing out. I started singing “Greater Things”, something along those lines, almost prophesying over the city. And without going into the band dynamics, slowly this groove emerged from this thing. And long story short; we walked out of that Climax Bar with pretty much a nailed song, as strange as that sounds. Then we were on the way home.

We were all. . .it was that tumbleweed silence, you know? It was like, ‘What actually just happened in that time?!’ It was one of the most powerful worship experiences we’ve ever had. I actually remember looking out, and you’re looking down a wee alleyway, into the street, and it was just 50 or 60 probably British tourists and they’re just sitting there listening going, ‘What is this all about?’ Coming from The Climax Bar which is pretty much a strip club. Just, here we are singing about Jesus in the middle of this. . . It was one of the most random experiences but it was a God thing, God was there.”


  1. That’s a cool story, I heard part of that on K-Love but I missed most of it, thanks for the catch-up.

    By the way the post before this, the Josh Wilson video…for some reason your blog wouldn’t let me comment on that but…that video looks familiar :p

    Actually Josh Wilson played at the Fort Caswell Retreat for Providence a few months ago…hes REALLY talented…and he did that version of Amazing Grace live….it was also amazing.

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