October 2011 – “I’m done with powerless religion. No more living in deception.” Those words encapsulate not only one song on his new album, As For Me and My House, they also succinctly summarize the life John Waller tries to live every day.
Waller was raised in the pews of his local church in Georgia but it wasn’t until a Disciple Now weekend that he began to understand what it meant to repent and live in Christ. He said he finally realized “it wasn’t about praying a mysterious prayer and then living how you want to live. I truly repented and began my walk with Jesus.”
After his salvation experience, Waller began listening to Christian music. It wasn’t long before he began singing anywhere God opened a door. He said, “One time I was paid $35 and that started me on the road that I’ve been on for 20 years.”
Making it for self
For many of his 20 years in ministry, the songwriter/singer pursued his own definition of success. But what he found was that he had turned his tool of worship and ministry into an idol.
“For so many years, I ached with a desire to ‘make it,’” he said. “My definition of success was so skewed for so long. The only thing I focused on was getting a record deal. After 17 years, I finally got that and found that it wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be. So my new definition of success was a Grammy or having a gold record. I didn’t admit that deep down, I simply wanted those accolades. I felt like if I achieved them, I would feel better about myself as a person. I would feel as if I had accomplished something worthwhile.
“But God has redefined my understanding of success. He started with the song ‘While I’m Waiting.’ That song is a global song, but it didn’t give me a gold record or a number one hit. But I have seen success in people, for example, the woman who prayed for her husband to come back to the Lord for years and she used that song as her theme. When he died in a plane crash, that song took on a whole new meaning for her. My success is now defined by eternal fruit, rather than something hanging on my wall.”
After removing the biggest idol in Waller’s life, God began to lead him to record a new album, one crafted by a heart that was transparent and in passionate pursuit of Jesus. He started with John’s family and gave him a vision to minister to every family that listens to his music.
Ministering to families
Part of his music is aimed at husbands and fathers. He said, “God showed me that you have to deal with the hidden sins. If you think you can have a hidden sin and not bring your family to some form of destruction, you are wrong. Any hidden sin allows the enemy to come in and plunder your life, your family and your children. That’s what the album’s title song, ‘As for Me and My House,’ is all about.
“And to wives and mothers, I pray you are honored through this album. I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing without my wife. She is what keeps me stable. I am creative and all over the map. She stays steady. She is the Proverbs 31 wife. The song ‘The Marriage Prayer’ deals with that. I pray to hear her heart, and that she will love Jesus more than anything. I pray to strengthen, cherish and serve her so she can bring God glory in her life. I pray, inside and outside of that song, that I will love Jesus more than I love her so she can be loved the way she needs to be loved.”
More than anything else, Waller has become honest and transparent. He said, “The truth is, I’m not a very intellectual person. I’m not a good business guy. I’m truthfully not good at anything except depending on the Lord. I’ve gotten to be good at that because I have to. I am not the most talented guy and I know that, but I believe God has called us all to be a functioning part of the Body of Christ. He empowers and anoints us to do what He has called us to do. If anyone likes this music it is because of the Lord and the Lord only, because there is no way I could do any of this on my own.”