Christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman is bringing just his guitar with him when he performs Oct. 15 at the Wagon Wheel Theatre. Photo provided.
Christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman is bringing just his guitar with him when he performs Oct. 15 at the Wagon Wheel Theatre. Photo provided.
Steven Curtis Chapman, 54, has won more awards than any single recording artist in Christian music history, but after three decades of success he’s still growing in his walk with the Lord.

“To be honest with that, I’m still on the journey. I’m aware of my need for God,” Chapman said Wednesday morning from his Franklin, Tenn., home.

He said some people would think that a man of his age who has been in the Christian music business for 30 years would have it all figured out.

“The older I get, the more I realize I don’t know and the more I need to learn,” he said, adding that he’s thankful for God and all that He’s given him.

Chapman went to college as a pre-med major to get a “real job,” as his dad would say, but God had other plans. There’s a verse in the Bible that Chapman likes to loosely translate to, “We make our plans, but God directs us in our steps.”

“I need to keep remembering that. It’s a new season of life, even at this point. In my relationship with God, I try to trust Him more at this point and be more faithful in Him,” Chapman said.

He will bring music and stories from his personal journey to Wagon Wheel Theatre at 4 and 7 p.m. Oct. 15 as part of his tour. It will feature just Chapman with an acoustic guitar. A portion of the proceeds will go to Fellowship Missions, the Warsaw homeless shelter.

In his book “Between Heaven & the Real World, My Story,” written with Ken Abraham and released in March, Chapman shares details of his personal journey, his family life and stories behind some of his biggest hit songs. He reveals stories about his 32-year marriage to Mary Beth and their family.

Chapman said he loves being home with his family in Franklin. While he said his wife would argue he hasn’t slowed down at all, Chapman said when he looks at the number of concerts he does a year, “I would say less, but I’m still plenty busy doing what I love.”

One change to his career is how he’s touring. His daughter is a high school senior so Chapman wants to be at every football game she’s cheering at. Friday nights are big concert nights, but that’s also a big football night.

“I’ve been able to make those kind of decisions I wouldn’t have been able to make 20 to 30 years ago,” he said.

Over the years, Chapman said he’s had opportunities to tour with some great bands and had some big concert productions. While the concerts have never been like U2’s, he said he’s been a part of having the first moving lights on stage at a time when very few musical artists did that. Now those lights are common.

For his current tour, he’s stripping that all down to just him and his guitar.

“This season I’m just remembering the journey, telling stories and taking people with me,” he said.

By keeping it so simple, he said he can tell his stories and jokes. He’s done solo concerts over the years, but they were never like this tour.

While his book got him thinking about doing a tour where he sang and told stories about his personal journey, he said he didn’t sit down three or four years ago and decide to do the book and tour together. He said the tour was a natural offshoot from writing and releasing the book.

“This tour made sense as a follow-up to the book as a way to tell my stories,” Chapman said.

Without a band, he also said he’ll have more freedom to pick songs for each concert. With a band, there’s a setlist that the band has to learn, but he won’t have to worry about that on this tour.

Of course, there will be several songs he’ll sing because it would be “crazy” to do a SCC?concert and not do them, he said. He compared it to a James Taylor concert where Taylor didn’t sing “Fire & Rain.” Some of Chapman’s songs he said he’s likely to sing are “I Will Be Here” and “Cinderella.” “Songs that are key moments in other people’s journeys, I’ll definitely play out,” he said.

The last full-length album Chapman put out was “Worship and Believe” in 2016. Chapman said with the book and tour this year, he’s not working on another album.

“I feel new music is coming, but I don’t have any immediate plans to record a new album anytime soon,” he said, though he still writes music when he’s inspired. That inspiration can come from anywhere, including world events.

Recently, he’s written songs and sang them on his YouTube channel so they can be delivered more immediately to people. During the presidential election in 2016, he said he addressed his thoughts on the topic through his videos.

He said he’s also inspired by daily life, his relationship with God, the Bible, personal dealings, friends and family.

“Creativity blows in and you don’t see it coming a lot of times,” Chapman said.

He has received five Grammys, 58 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, an American Music Award, 48 No. 1 singles, and has more than 11 million albums sold and eight RIAA-certified gold or platinum albums to his credit, according to his website.

“Those obviously are a great encouragement. People always ask if that ever gets old when you receive your 40th or 45th Dove Award. No matter what you do ... it doesn’t get old to get acknowledgement for something you’ve done well. I’m so grateful for all those awards,” he said.

But the best award he said he’s received is when people tell him that his music has helped them.

“Those are the things that are the greatest things by far,”?he said.