Chris Tomlin Talks Upcoming Album, Striving for 'A Place of Oneness & Unity'

Cameron Powell
Chris Tomlin

Chris Tomlin is "getting close to being finished" with his next album -- the Christian star's 12th overall and follow-up to 2016's Never Lose Sight, the GMA Dove Awards' Album of the Year.

"I'm always trying to write songs that really connect people with God, give voice to connect them with the Lord," Tomlin, who hopes to have the album out this fall, tells Billboard about his new music. "I've never strayed from that. It's not about show or entertainment; I love when people have a good time, but the greatest thing about it for me is those moments when people really feel like they're connecting with the lord and can express their gratitude to God. I've always tried to write songs in that way."

Tomlin released one of those, "Resurrection Power," earlier this year, hitting the top 10 of the Christian Songs and Christian Airplay charts. As the title indicates, it's a song that stays on Tomlin's stated mission.

"It gets back to the foundations of everything and reminds us of the foundation of our faith, which is that you've been made alive," Tomlin explains. "I felt like we needed to sing and we needed to be reminded of this. Scripture says we're brought from death to life by...the resurrecting power of God. That's an addiction-breaking power, a marriage-saving power. I don't wake up every morning thinking ‘I’ve got the resurrection power of God' when my feet hit the ground, but this is what's true to me."

The new album will join a train of seven No. 1 Christian Albums chart entries since 2006, a run that Tomlin doesn't take for granted. "I can't believe 20 years down the road it's better than it's ever been," he says. "I feel like the tours keep growing, and I think there’s a few of my songs that have gone past me as an artist. They're not really attached to me anymore; they're people's songs to God, and the songs become part of the fabric of the church. That's special when a song does that, and I'm grateful for it. I've never forgotten it's really about the song, and how does the song affect somebody."

Tomlin adds that his music is also preaching a kind of unity, which he feels is needed -- and being well-received -- right now.

"Obviously our nation feels more than a bit divided and we feel more polarized than ever," he says. "Every little thing turns into some kind of argument and everybody takes their side. If one place ought to be a place of oneness and unity, I believe that is the church. Jesus' last prayer of the scriptures is praying to his father that 'your people be one.' That's what people want, all over. That's what we needed to strive to achieve."