Chris Tomlin has won a Grammy, three Billboard Music Awards and 21 Dove Awards, but the highly accomplished Christian singer told The Church Boys podcast that he originally never intended to become a popular Christian musician and, instead, was once studying to be a doctor.
"It wasn't something I was seeking," he said of his now-robust Christian music career.
Tomlin, who recently released a new Christmas album titled, "Adore," discussed his early years as a college student who was hoping to enter into the medical field, and the path that inevitably led him to become a professional performer.
"I was going to school to be a doctor," he said. "I wanted to be in sports medicine."
At the time, Tomlin said that his songs were blowing up, spreading from church to church. There was no record label and no marketing, but, regardless, his performances and song-making — which were restricted at that time to weekends — were gaining in popularity.
Listen to Tomlin explain how he believes God completely altered his path below:
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"It was really pure. There was no marketing. It was just God doing it, grassroots, the spirit of God," Tomlin said. "Songs started taking on a life of their own."
It was then that the singer said that he found himself at "a real crossroads," as he had to make a decision: whether to attend graduate school and pursue a medical degree or continue on a path toward music-making — something that seemed difficult for him to imagine at the time.
But it was a comment that a friend made that helped lead Tomlin in the right direction.
After the singer explained that he was struggling and truly wanted to pursue a medical career, Tomlin's friend said, "It's always interesting that we have our own plan when we don't feel like God can come through."
From there, the singer said that he "didn't hear another word," as he realized what God's plan was for his life.
"That was like the voice of God speaking to me," he said.
Tomlin expressed his continued passion to encourage others in music, and described how he first came in contact with Pastor Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
Giglio is the founder of the Passion Conferences — gatherings that include tens of thousands of Christian youths; Tomlin has been a part of these events each year since their inception.
Read more about Giglio here and hear him discuss Tomlin and Passion below: