Matthew Lunders returns with a reflective blend of indie-folk rock with his latest song (handpicked by Homegrown Worship) entitled "The Roadmap." Taking it down a notch, the song will creep under your skin with a message of taking up your cross to follow Jesus to the ends of the earth, gradually building to an understated-yet-powerful crescendo led by a gang of vocals declaring our intent to walk after the master.
Lunders talks about the story behind "The Roadmap:"
My church is named Damascus Road because of the story found in Acts 9. A man travelling on that road had an encounter with Jesus, which temporarily blinded his physical eyes but opened the eyes of his heart to the truth. That man was transformed, and his life changed direction towards a very different destination.
As our team planted a church, our hope was that the many people traveling through our city would have similar encounters with Jesus that would lead to illumination, transformation, and new destinations. We called that our Roadmap.
Ever since primary school, when my mother came to help my geography class using amusing methods to memorize countries and their capitals, I knew about the power of story and music as mnemonic devices (Thanks, Mom!). But it took me years before the idea hit me to put our Roadmap into lyrics and melody to help our congregation remember and personalize it. I sheepishly introduced the song at a band practice, and it quickly became a church favorite after we started playing it that next Sunday.
The Roadmap was the lightbulb moment for me in just how important songs by the congregation for the congregation can truly be. And that's part of what I love about the heart of Homegrown Worship.
Matthew was exposed to Jesus and to performing music almost as soon as he had memories, but neither really clicked for him until the age of 15. After finally saying "Yes" to Jesus at a church youth meeting, he started picking up his older brother's acoustic guitar to strum worship songs at home. He soon upgraded to his own electric guitar - with no amplifier - so he could play as loud as he wanted without bothering anyone in the house. Before long, Matthew started putting new music to Psalms, and eventually writing his own lyrics.
God has taken both Matthew and his music a long way since he sat as a teenager in his bedroom with an old-school tape recorder, trying to get his songs on cassettes. His missions travels in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia have all influenced his approach to congregational music. For the last decade, Matthew has been working on church staff in the Netherlands. His focus in songwriting is crafting tunes that connect with God's vision for the local church.
Along with having support from his church family, Matthew also gets great encouragement from his wife and two boys.