“Music has a way of disarming the nonbeliever because it is enjoyable and fun,” says Don Moen. “Most cultures, generations and churches can agree that God is worthy of praise. But in the practical sense, we need to put worship into action and help those who need it.”
From an early age, Moen had two great passions: music and God’s Word. He merged both talents into a mobile ministry that has taken him on a 40-year journey through every continent except Antarctica. Though he has many demanding projects, Moen is a musician with a gift for melody and a desire to share it.
A LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP
To Moen, worship is about more than just singing—it’s a lifestyle. “There is something wonderful about coming together and singing songs. Music is the universal language and worship brings unity.”
Moen has written over 100 songs and produced 11 volumes of the Hosanna! Music series. He received the Dove Award for his work on the musical God With Us and has performed with musicians like Chris Tomlin, Twila Paris, Sara Groves and Paul Baloche.
Moen gave up his 20-year tenure as a music executive at Integrity Media to form The Don Moen Company. He also launched a nonprofit organization, Don Moen and Friends, with a mission to bring hope and comfort to impoverished people across the globe. “Because of the touring I have done, I have friends all over the world who are ready to help.” His nonprofit has recently partnered with Food for the Poor to raise funds to build houses in Haiti.
Moen grew up in Two Harbors, Minnesota, where his mother—the church piano player—instilled in him a love for God and music. By age 12, he had accepted Christ as his savior and was becoming a gifted violinist. Moen developed his musical abilities and was eventually awarded with a music scholarship.
During his junior year at Oral Roberts University, Moen met Terry Law, founder of Living Sound—a contemporary Christian music group. Law invited Moen to audition for an upcoming overseas tour. “I told my Dad the tour would only be for a short while, and 10 years later I finally got off the bus,” Moen says. During that time, he was responsible for most of the group’s musical arrangements and productions.
Moen traveled with Living Sound to Europe, Asia and South America. “We went all over the world doing missionary evangelism. I did three concerts a day and almost 1,000 concerts a year.”
He also traveled extensively in what was then the Soviet bloc, using music as a cover to help underground churches spread the good news. While in Soviet Russia, Moen saw firsthand what the personal cost of discipleship can be. “Those years were scary at times—but I was impacted by the commitment of young people in countries where taking a stand could mean going to prison. We take our freedom of religion here in America so lightly.”
REACHING THE UNDERGROUND
Moen traveled to Vietnam—a country that does not look kindly on evangelizing: “The Party shut down our crusades in Hanoi and sent busloads of people back to their villages.” However, the underground churches there have a passion and determination to serve God, which Moen finds inspiring. “I think we forget how hungry people are. So many people are just waiting for someone to say, ‘I have some good news for you.’ ”
Get your copy of Don Moen’s daily devotional, My Heart for His Glory: Celebrating His Presence, at Vyrso.com/MoenHeart
People are so hungry and ready to accept Christ. I see it all the time.
While Moen appreciates disciplined habits, his life is too hectic for a strict routine. “I have read through the Bible several times, but usually I’ll meditate for hours on a passage and ask God to bring a revelation to me,” he says.
“Jesus is the living Word; the Bible is the written Word. Somehow we put a little less power in the written Word when we shouldn’t. These words contain the power to accomplish what they are talking about. The Bible says God’s Word will not return void but will accomplish the purpose for which it was said.”
Moen encourages believers to study the Bible with others and ask questions. “God is not afraid of our honest questions. If you walk out of your Bible study one week without the answer, that’s okay. Next week you may figure it out. We are never going to understand God completely. You can read the same Scripture 1,000 times and say, ‘I never saw that before.’ That is how awesome and mysterious God is.”
FILLING THE VACUUM
Moen often sees people trying to augment the Bible’s message by making it “cool” or “acceptable.” However, he believes there is real power in telling someone, “Do you know that God sent His only Son to die on the cross for us?” He trusts that when we present that message, all of heaven supports it. “I think the Holy Spirit helps us and convicts [the] person [who hears these words]. People are so hungry and ready to accept Christ. I see it all the time.”
Throughout his travels, Moen continually witnesses the thirst for God’s grace. He paraphrases C.S. Lewis: “Inside everyone is a God-shaped vacuum that only God Himself can fill. People try to fill this vacuum with everything but the gospel. As Christians, we need to give people the opportunity to know God’s Word.”