Making something new

Matt Swanton picked up the sheet music resting on a stand and instantly smiled. He could see the notes 'dancing' on the page, with musical harmonies breaking through, even gaps for soloists. He pondered that at one time, the page was blank, just like the moment in the Book of Genesis when there was nothing until God made it all.

For Matt, creating is one reflection of God’s character: “Because God made everything to reflect His glory, we as His image bearers can reflect His glory when we create, too. Whether it’s a new song birthed in a living room, a million brush strokes that go into a painting, or putting together a string of beads to make a necklace. It’s the story we tell when we make something new.”

Working in Arts ministry, Matt works at the intersection of discipleship, creativity and community. He has seen the impact of creating and retelling stories through music. “A few years ago, I worked on a recording project with a team of North African Christian refugees to write and record the first worship songs in their local dialect. Hearing the recordings for the first time, they leapt out of their seats. They were so grateful to finally sing to God and excited by how people in their country might more clearly contemplate Jesus using their own language,” he said.

Music is how Matt expresses and lives out his faith. It was playing with others that initially led Matt into ministry. As a teenager, several musicians in his church discipled and coached him to play alongside them during worship services. “Their generosity left a huge mark on me,” he said. “Later on, I attended a Christian convention in Melbourne where I heard OM’s founder, George Verwer, wearing an oversized world map jacket, talking about OM’s ship ministry and the need for more people to go and share the gospel in Western Europe.

“Here am I, send me!’ felt like the only appropriate response.”

God saw fit to send Matt to the Logos Hope, where he met his wife, Dutch-born Femke, and then to Belgium in Western Europe. For over ten years, he served with OM in Belgium, overseeing creative ministries and many other roles using the arts to communicate the gospel nationwide.

Matt’s musical journey, which led him halfway across the world, has brought him back to Melbourne with Inspiro Arts Alliance, OM’s global creative ministries network. He now manages projects that empower believers from different cultures to use their indigenous art forms and storytelling to worship and witness.

It’s Matt’s vision to see the gospel comprehended and celebrated in all tribes, tongues and nations. “The arts connect with people’s hearts in ways nothing else can. It’s a powerful gift God uses to make broken things new, restoring us to His image.”

Get OM Stories & Updates

"*" indicates required fields

Name*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

You may also like...

Sign up for OM E-News

"*" indicates required fields

Name*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.