Matt Gilman is a worship leader whose ministry is motivated by a desire for one thing: to see people grasp the reality of the unmatched beauty of God. “It’s imperative that this generation becomes fascinated with who God is. I want my music to provoke this generation to search out the knowledge of God.”
A worship artist and Minnesota native, he has been a musician since he was 8 years old. He began leading worship at the age of fourteen, having grown up in a ministry with his father, a Lutheran pastor. In 2002, as a senior in high school, he arrived at the International House of Prayer of Kansas City thinking he was just attending a conference about music. “As soon as I walked into the building, I knew this was different. It was not at all what I was expecting. God began to shake me to the core as He opened up a whole new understanding of worship with the Word of God. I knew right away this is what I was made for,” Matt explains. “Something was awakened in my spirit and I knew I had to have more.”
Immediately after high school, he moved to Kansas City to join the full-time staff at the International House of Prayer. He has traveled all across the United States, as well as internationally to the nations of Brazil, South Korea, England, Germany, Canada, Mexico and Israel, bringing the messages of the majesty of God and intimacy with Jesus.
His musical creativity stems from one source, but comes in a variety of ways. He says many times when leading in the prayer room, certain lyrics or a melody will just come to him, providing the basis for a new song; but other times he’s had to sit for hours to write them. He believes it’s crucial for songwriters to have time set aside in their schedule to simply sit with their instrument and their Bible, and just sing the Word of the Lord back to Him. Sometimes, it’s as easy as sleeping: “The Lord may reveal a melody in a prophetic dream and I’ll wake up singing it. That’s what happened with my song ‘Closer.’ The first line was given to me in a dream; I sat down at the piano to play it, and the rest of the song just flowed.”
He is motivated by a desire to see people grasp the reality of who God is, and believes this is crucial in order for them to continue in the faith. “It’s imperative that this generation becomes fascinated with who God is. I want my music to provoke my generation to search out the attributes of God—for example, His awesome beauty, radiant glory, boundless mercy—and grow in the knowledge and love of God all their days.”
After serving for ten years as a worship leader in the prayer room at the International House of Prayer, Matt took up a position with Orlando House of Prayer in 2013, serving alongside his father-in-law. He lives with his wife, Alexia, and their twin boys, Isaac and Caden, in Orlando.