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With her long-awaited fifth album, Change the World, things are no different. On the surface, the title seems like a catchphrase—a slogan that celebrities, activists, and even presidential hopefuls have adopted. For Munizzi, though, the statement is a solemn battle cry, a clarion call for the church to rise up and make a difference.The music and ministry of Martha Munizzi have always been defined by powerful, life-affirming declarations. Whether she’s bidding worshippers to say the name of Jesus, reminding congregations that the best is yet to come, or rallying believers to take the limits off what God can do in their lives, Munizzi is always speaking a prophetic word.
“We’re not saved to stay in this church,” Munizzi says with resolve. “We were saved and blessed and encouraged and set free to go and make somebody else free. If we say we’re Christians, our hearts should burn for those who are helpless.”
For someone like Munizzi, who has continually spoken the language of worship, salvation, and freedom to those with ears to hear, this stance marks a significant paradigm shift. She is no longer concerned with merely singing to and about God, but she also wants to empower the church to be God to those around them—to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the least of these.
It’s a message that Munizzi heard loud and clear when she was, of all places, at a graduation ceremony for her church’s ministry school. One of the officiating pastors was commending the new graduates on their achievements, when, fittingly, he told them to use their degrees to go and change the world.
At that very moment, the unexpected happened: God immediately gave Munizzi a melody for a new song—a new revelation He wanted her to carry forward in her own ministry.
“I was searching frantically for something to record the melody,” she recalls. “I ended up recording it quietly into my phone. I said, ‘OK, God, you just downloaded something major to me.’ I didn’t think of producers or marketing. I just knew it’d be the title of the new album.
That epiphany ushered in a new creative season in the life of Munizzi, but the motivations this time were unlike anything she’d experienced before. “I just really felt a burden for the church and the people that we minister to,” she says.
In a move that Munizzi says was entirely God-ordained, she and relief organization World Vision crossed paths and forged a unique partnership to raise awareness for the Dalits—the lowest members of India’s highly fragmented caste system. According to Hindu tradition, these “untouchables”—who roughly make up 25 percent of the Indian population—belong at the bottom of the social hierarchy and, as a result, live in dire poverty and extreme conditions.
“When God gave me the song, I didn’t know anything about India,” Munizzi admits. “I hadn’t talked to World Vision. I only said, ‘God, this has to be something more than just a phrase.’” Today, Munizzi couldn’t be more excited about the cause she’s decided to champion, and how Christ is at the forefront of all the details.
“The Dalit people themselves are rising up,” she says. “The Hindu religion tells them they can’t change, that they can’t reposition themselves. For years they’ve been saying, ‘We can’t be anything but the lowest thing in the scale.’ So they’re taking a more realistic approach and converting to Christianity. They’re saying, ‘We can be free.’”
With that renewed sense of purpose and mission, Munizzi set out to make Change the World. In many ways, the album is a homecoming of sorts for the Stellar-winning singer: a return to independence, her home church, and working alongside old friends.
Recorded live at the Gathering Place Worship Center in Orlando, Florida,Change the World was recorded in collaboration with GRAMMY®-winning producers Israel Houghton and Aaron W. Lindsey—the same team who spearheaded Munizzi’s breakthrough recording, The Best Is Yet to Come.
The album also finds the worship leader going back to recording exclusively as an independent artist, something Munizzi says she and her husband Dan were made for.
“It just made more sense to scale it down and do it all ourselves,” she says. “We have learned that we’re both hands-on people. He loves to be a part of all of those decisions. We really enjoy it. We love to do it. It’s definitely a lot more stressful, but we’re doing it.”
“I am extremely proud of what Martha and Dan have accomplished as a team and what we have been able to accomplish together,” Houghton says of the Munizzis’ expanding kingdom work. “Several years ago we said the best was yet to come, and with the release of Change the World, I believe that it has.”
Indeed, Change the World is as explosive and engaging as anything Munizzi has recorded in the past. Through songs like the infectious first single “Invincible God” and the hit-in-the-making “Dance,” the worshipper desires to see congregants across generational and ethnic traditions embrace her new calling.
“The message of the songs is the bigness of God, the love of God, how the love of God changes the world,” Munizzi says. “It’s very vertical worship.”
Much like her now-classics “Because of Who You Are,” “God Is Here,” and “Glorious,” tunes like the fiery, rock-inflected title track, the breezy, beach-ready “More Than Enough,” and the impassioned “Wrap Me in Your Arms” (a duet with Houghton), demonstrate Munizzi’s breadth as a music minister, as well as her vision to see churches unite under one common goal—a calling to seek and save the lost through the power of God’s love.
“That’s the whole heart of the album, love,” Munizzi says. “That’s what changes the world. Love is an action word. That’s how he changes us. That’s how God actively works through us. There’s no better conqueror than reaching out and helping somebody else.”