Kristian Stanfill Biography
Last updated: 01/27/2011
Worship leader Kristian Stanfill is emerging as one of this generation's most compelling singer/songwriters. A writer of rare insight and vulnerability, he has the unique ability to build bridges over boundary lines that separate the hurting from the Healer. Consequently, the songs on ATTENTION, his sixstepsrecords debut, create an atmosphere of worshipful unity in this too often fragmented world.
"A great worship leader must first be a great follower," Kristian asserts. "In order to lead people in worship you must first know how to listen to and follow the Holy Spirit. That is something I've been learning over the past few years, just by observing how people respond to what God is doing at any given moment."
And as a worship leader at Alpharetta, Georgia's North Point Community Church, Kristian knows first hand the ability of worship to usher in God's redemptive power.
"I've had the opportunity to lead worship at North Point for more than seven years," Kristian says. "There are some amazing worship leaders there, and just to have the opportunity to observe the way they lead people into the presence of God has been like attending seminary. I started in the High School department and gradually kept growing, observing and learning how to hear the leading of the Holy Spirit. I've been leading worship in the main church for four or five years now. It has been an incredible place for me to learn how to be in front of people and how to lead them in worship."
Kristian's fearless insight and ear for authenticity infuse his songs with a visceral resonance that connects with listeners on multiple levels. That authenticity compelled Louie Giglio, founder of the Passion Movement, to invite Kristian to lead worship for a community group at Passion '05 in Nashville. It was an opportunity Kristian felt he had been preparing for his entire life.
"Before I was ever involved with Passion or sixstepsrecords, I was a college student attending Passion events," Kristian recalls. "I loved Louie and his teaching, and I loved Chris Tomlin and his songs. I was a part of that generation. When I was in high school I had a mentor who asked me, 'If you could do anything, what would it be?' Without hesitation I said, 'I would want to lead worship at Passion events.' When Louie invited me to come to Nashville and be one of the worship leaders at Passion '05, I happily agreed. It is amazing to think that when I was 16 years old all of this was just a dream."
Kristian continued his relationship with Passion, leading worship at Passion '06, Passion Regionals USA in 2008, and on last year's first-ever Passion World Tour. His worship songs have appeared on numerous Passion CDs including Passion: Everything Glorious CD and DVD (2006), The Best of Passion (So Far) (2007), and Passion: God of This City (2008). When he signed with sixstepsrecords for his debut project, ATTENTION, Kristian became the label's first new artist since it's inception in 2000.
Joining the label home of well-known worship artists Chris Tomlin, David Crowder*Band, Charlie Hall, and Matt Redman is heady stuff, but rather than fostering pride it merely served to reinforce Kristian's conviction that worship of a holy God is serious business.
"When you deal with the sacred, as intimate and corporate as worship is, there has to be some fear involved," Kristian confesses. "You have to approach it with a good sense of awe, and wonder. As a worship leader you are carrying a message that is amazing, awe-inspiring, life-changing, and transformative. It's a big message and you want to do it right."
To produce an album that captured Kristian's unique approach to worship, the label enlisted noted producer Matt Goldman (Underoath, Copeland). Marked by the same multi-layered, no-boundaries song crafting that make Kristian's live performances unforgettable, ATTENTION offers a stunning, eleven-song collection of fist pumping rock worship anthems, shimmering pop ballads, and reverential hymns.
Their collaboration resulted in songs such as the thumping, militant call to worship, "Kingdom," and the pop-flavored, energetic song, "Faithful." Nontraditional worship aria "Wake Up" combines Kristian's compelling storytelling ability with his signature pop sensibilities. Cuts like "Go" and "Lead Us On" are joyous, encouraging exhortations, while the hymns "Glowing" and "Beautiful Jesus" are presented with awe and reverence.
As fresh as his music is, it's the lyrical depth of Kristian's songs, delivered with heartfelt conviction, that captures the listener's heart. And it's his ability to connect with his audience, to lead them to worship God with reverence and authenticity that evokes respect from peers and fans alike.
"There is a growing obsession in our country with pop culture, Hollywood, fashion, and body image that are set by the world," Kristian declares. "I wanted to write songs that would take people's ATTENTION off of the stuff of this world and point them back to the cross. I want to inspire wonder and awe again in people's hearts when they think about the cross. That message is eternal. That message is life changing. That message is the heart of this CD."