Singer, songwriter and producer Billy Dorsey uses music to put people in a place of worship. But on November 20, Dorsey released a single with a second mission: to support translation of the Bible into more than 1,800 languages without access to Scripture.
Proceeds from Dorsey’s single, “Your Word”—a duet with singer-songwriter Cindy Cruse Ratcliff—will fund United Bible Societies’ Bible translation projects, which equip people in unreached communities to encounter the Good News of Jesus Christ. Dorsey produced the song in partnership with United Bible Societies, a global network of Bible Societies working in more than 200 countries and territories.
Dorsey also worked with Latin Grammy award-winning artist Marcos Witt to produce a Spanish recording of the song, Sefora Nelson, four-time German Billboard #1 album charting (German), André Valadão 15 million album selling member of Diante do Trono for Brazil, Thierry Ostrini (France), Lidia Genta (Italy), Darina Kochanzhi (Ukraine), Israel Roytman (Israel), and Stream of Praise (China), along with other musicians.
The single will be available on iTunes, Amazon Prime Music and Google Play.
To dig deeper, American Bible Society spoke with Dorsey about the vision and inspiration behind “Your Word,” which speaks about his past as a homeless man and more.
Q: What motivated you to support the cause of Bible translation?
A: When I talked to United Bible Societies about the 1,800-plus languages without a Bible, [the conversation] stuck with me. My parents are pastors, so from my earliest days of reading, I can remember flipping through a picture Bible my grandma gave me. Today, the Bible gives me the power and the answers to push through difficult circumstances. I just keep thinking, what would it mean for someone else to have that? Millions of people around the world don’t have the answers and the power to fight when dealing with spiritual battles and struggles. I see an opportunity to share the Word of God with these people.
Q: Why do you believe in United Bible Society’s work around the world?
A: Sometimes, in the Christian church, we can get too focused on building a local church in local communities. But organizations like United Bible Societies and American Bible Society have set their eyes on the walls outside the local church. I think these organizations fulfill the Great Commission better than anyone.
Q: How do you hope listeners will respond to, and act on, your song?
A: I hope people will respond by hearing the heart of God in the lyrics. I want to put listeners in a place of worship, where they can appreciate Jesus for the sacrifices he made for us. And I hope listeners will act by telling people about it. I obviously want to bless people around the world who need access to the Bible. But also I want to allow people to engage in conversation about Jesus.
Q: In the chorus, you sing, “Through your Word, my chains are finally broken.” What does this line mean to you personally?
A: Fifteen years ago, I was homeless. I fought against my record label, lost everything and ended up living on the street. I was too prideful to go home a failure, so I stayed put.
I think God allows us to go through things like this to purge us of our greatest struggles. I suffered a lot. But the Word of God enabled me to be free of that experience. Now, he has charged me to write a song that will bless people from around the world. Faith has lifted me out of circumstances a lot of people I know haven’t broken out of. So I see my life is a testimony, where I can write songs that give people hope.
Q: What role has the Bible played in your testimony?
A: Two Scriptures mean the world to me: Ecclesiastes 9:11 and Matthew 24:19. Because of the adversity I have faced in my life, I’ve learned that it’s not how to start—it’s how you finish. With God’s Word, I believe I have the power to overcome anything I’ve had to face or will face. I don’t know if, without the Word of God, I would have had the strength to stay away from drugs and alcohol when I lived on the street. Instead I turned to Jesus. Those Scriptures grabbed me, spoke to my heart and served as my solace and my strength. I’m now dedicated to sharing his love with all who will listen.
Q: In the middle of your song, you read the words of John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Why this verse?
A: I wanted to make sure everyone had the sense that I’m not just talking about the physical sense of the Bible. God is the way, truth and life. Jesus is everything—and his sacrifice he made for us is everything. This Scripture highlights who he is, who he was and who he will always be in our lives.
Q: What overarching message do you want to leave with your listeners?
A: We all face different challenges. We all face different situations. We are all either going through something, just coming out of something or about to go into something. But we already have victory because Jesus of what Jesus did, no matter what we face. Jesus already went before us—and we are made free through his sacrifice for us.
Download “Your Word” today on iTunes, Amazon Prime Music or Google Play. Proceeds support Bible translation projects around the world.