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Darrell Evans: The Full Inteview

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Darrell Evans: The Full Inteview
Contributor Two Contributor Two

 

 

A new project…a new day…

This project has songs of celebration, high praise, intimacy and encouragement.  These are expressed in a few different musical styles that tie into each other very effectively.  The impetus(I had to look this word up) behind the songs on "Awesome God is He” was to provide various spiritual springboards for the church in general to remember the greatness of God in praise while connecting with His grace for the individual worshipper.  I was driven by the themes of the authority, strength, and faithfulness of God and inspired by the Fatherhood, nearness, and redemptive, loving nature of God.  I focused on Jesus’ Name and was careful to include over 15 different references to the names of God on this project.

 

Awesome…revisited

I grew up with ‘awesome’ as a commonly used adjective that rarely described something of greatness.  It was synonymous with the word, ‘cool’.  I felt that there was room for a new song in the church that expresses why God is awesome.  3 verses, the chorus, and the end tag in “Awesome God is He” convey what I think about God’s awesomeness.  Existing in the Holy Trinity, bringing about the worlds with His voice, salvation of mankind, His unending reign over His creation, and His good news spread through the praises of the redeemed.  Other songs like, “A Mighty Fortress,” “You Could Never be Praised Enough” and “Unto the King” carry on the idea of the greatness of God and His goodness to us.  He lives in unapproachable light and yet has pursued relationship with us through Jesus Christ.  I am in awe of a God Who holds the worlds in His hands and yet makes His Father heart approachable by sending Jesus to walk among His own creation.  He is above all others yet has pursued us to redeem, restore, and have intimate relationship with mankind.  That is awesome!

 

The words we speak… 

Words mean things.  I’ve always felt that Sting was an amazing songwriter whose lyrics are almost untouchable.  But I am encouraged that the same words that are available to him are available to me.  I am not afraid to use words like, “fragrance” and “intoxicating” if they can illustrate the ideas that I feel need to be expressed within the context of Christian theology and our relationship with the Lord.  After the Bible, the thesaurus is my greatest resource when writing a song.  Sometimes, it’s difficult to get away from phrases that are common but my desire is to be uncommon whenever possible.  I’ll write a simply worded phrase first and think on it for a while until I can come up with a less used way of expressing that idea.  The other challenge is singability.  But sometimes a word that seems to be unsingable, like, “extravagant” can find a way to work.  I’m not afraid to try.  If I can sing it, I’ll test it on the road to see if it works for others.   Other times, the simplest, most used wording is appropriate and then a fresh melody and musical arrangement is the key to a song being fresh and new.   The greatest truth is that all creativity and ministry flows out of a true and ongoing relationship with Jesus.  If I’m just trying to write a catchy lyric or melody, in the end, that’s all it will be.  If it comes from acknowledging God’s presence in my life and my outspoken desire to respond to Him, it will be honest and compelling to others.  My goal is to help people see Jesus clearer and the hope that is in Him.  If using uncommon words or phrases will help accomplish this, then that’s what I will go after.  Words mean things.

 

Benefits needed…

The apostle Paul wrote, “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in/from your heart to the Lord...”  Eph. 5:19.  Most of my early Christian life and ministry was focused on what is now commonly known as ‘vertical’ worship.  I have grown to see the great value of the ‘speak to one another’ type of expression.  High praise is a powerful expression to those who do not yet know the Lord and is also the kind of worship that occurs in heaven.  There is great effectiveness in a song that proclaims the character, works, and Lordship of Jesus.  I have come to realize that God does not need our praise/worship.  He’s doing fine.  He is self-sufficient and has no ego problem.  We are the ones who are needy.  We need to praise and doing so helps us come into an agreement or an ‘amen’ with God and His purposes on the earth.  We are made to worship so that we can enjoy the freedom that comes from a close relationship with Jesus.   A desire has grown in me to write songs that will help bridge the ideas together of proclaiming praise and the call to intimate relationship with the Lord; to find the intimacy hidden in praise.  I see many churches using music to entertain or warm up a crowd.  Trust for the Holy Spirit seems to be lost.  My prayer is that my songs and ministry on the road will encourage the church to not be afraid to humbly and honestly connect with the Lord.  He is worthy of our attention, affection, and creative expressions.  We are in need of His benefits.

 

Home is where ALL the kids are… 

My home life is a great adventure.  Charity and I have 4 kids and one on the way.  Each one is unique.  I am delighted that each of my children has their own kind of funny, their own kind of smart, their own kind of creativity, their own kind of love for people and for God.  They put on shows for us with music, dance and humor.  They love to sing to Jesus.  They are sensitive to people around them.  I’m just learning to receive the grace to parent each of them well.  I am on the road some during each year but mostly I am at home.  I love being a part of their everyday lives.  My wife and I are close and enjoy just being in the same room together; it doesn’t matter what we’re doing.  While I love traveling in ministry, I am grateful to be at home more than I’m away.

 

The lessons of life…

Personally, I am doing great and enjoying life more than ever.  At the height of my career, some 14 or 15 years ago, I was struggling with a gambling addiction.  A great contradiction, I know.  People would wait in line for hours to get into a service/concert, I would lead worship and God would graciously touch many.  Then at home, I was struggling.  I was singing about freedom not because I fully walked in it but because I desperately needed it.  There’s a long story here but the point of it is I have been healthy for 11 years or so and everything that I lost through my failings has been more than restored to me.  That’s redeeming grace.  I need Jesus the Savior as much today as I did when I first knelt at the altar 32 years ago.  The truth and depth of grace from which I live now flows through my ministry to others as well.  When I was at the end of my rope, I couldn’t see how things could get to a place of just ‘ok’ but now life is sweeter than ever.

 

Write what you know…

This project is a true reflection of my relationship with the Lord.  It is also musically honest.  It is how I sound live whether acoustically or with a full band.  It’s my favorite recording yet but I’m sure you’d expect every artist to say that about every project they’ve ever done.  But still, It’s my favorite.  I am confident in the songs, in the sounds, and in the heart conveyed.  It starts out strong and gets deeper as you go.  I am ministering in over 40 cities this fall and hope to hit 60 or more next year in the U.S. with these new songs.  You can keep up with where I’ll be by going to darrellevans.com tour page or Darrell Evans musician/band on facebook.  How can it get better than loving Jesus, playing guitar, and serving people?  I don’t know.


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Caroline Lusk

Caroline Lusk

Caroline Lusk is editor of CCM Magazine.

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