Worship leader Tim Hughes was inspired to write a song about Christ’s humility.
By Lindsay Terry
Light of the world,
You stepped down
At 27, Tim Hughes has already reached great heights as a singer/songwriter and worship leader. His songs are sung worldwide in praise-and-worship gatherings and in church services. And Tim’s signature song, “Here I Am to Worship,” has been recorded by numerous artists.
Hughes, a citizen of England, grew up in a small town just outside London. “Since my dad was a pastor, I grew up in church,” he says. “I always kind of believed in God, but when I was 11 years old, I went to a conference and had the opportunity to observe people who were very passionate about singing. It dawned on me that they weren’t singing about someone or something, but they were singing to Someone. That really challenged me. I gave my life to Christ and my relationship with God changed from ‘knowing’ Him in my head to ‘knowing’ Him in my heart.”
Tim wrote “Here I Am to Worship” while a student at Sheffield University, where he worked with a young-adult ministry called Soul Survivor.
“During that time I had been thinking and meditating on the cross,” he says. “I began to concentrate on Philippians 2 —about Christ’s humility and how He became obedient to the point of death on a cross. I was challenged with the wonder of His sacrifice for us.”
It was then that the initial inspiration for the song came. The verses flowed freely. But when Tim tried to write a chorus that would be an appropriate response to the verses, he felt stuck.
About six months later, as he sat in his room worshiping, he thought of the verses again and decided to finish the song. “I began to ask, How are we going to respond to Christ’s great sacrifice on the cross? Do we bow down? Do we scream out? Sometimes we don’t know how to respond, even though we desperately want to.” The answer finally came to him in words that spoke matter-of-factly about the act of worship itself: “Here I am to worship. Here I am to bow down. Here I am to say that You’re my God.”
It took him six months before he felt comfortable using the song in a public setting. But it caught on immediately.
Tim, who now travels around the world with the Soul Survivor ministry, recorded the song on his 2001 debut album, Here I Am to Worship, and it went on to win a 2003 Dove Award.
Lyrics by Tim Hughes, © 2001 Thankyou Music (ASCAP/PRS). Lindsay Terry is the author of The Sacrifice of Praise (Integrity).
Copyright © 2006 by the author or Christianity Today International/Today’s Christian magazine.
July/August 2006, Vol. 44, No. 4, page 11