Nothing about Children 18:3 is average or boring— except maybe the small farm town in Minnesota where they live. No offense to their home town; I too hail from a small Minnesota farm town, but I have never made artistic, cutting-edge music or done things the way Children 18:3 do.

These three Hostetter siblings are special. They all grew up playing music together—David (vocals/guitar), Lee Marie (vocals/bass) and Seth (drums)—listening to everything from Rancid and MxPx to Joy Electric and The Beatles. When Jay Swartzendruber (editor of this illustrious publication) and I first saw them perform, we both looked at each other and smiled. We knew we were seeing the kind of natural artistic ability and raw talent few bands posses; this band is bursting with energy and passion. I was on the phone to my friend at Tooth & Nail Records before the sustain from the last chord of the show faded, saying, “You’ve got to hear this band!”

As you talk with them, you realize their vision and integrity are amazing, something very rare in this genre. David, the oldest of the three, is the main songwriter. His knowledge of the Bible and ability to quote Scripture is the first thing that stands out, and he manages to intertwine that with his passion for art and music. Yet, his lyrics often have desperation as a theme, which he explains saying, “Happy, sappy lyrics just don’t seem real to me. If people really believed what they were saying in songs, the world would be a better place. I’m trying to be real.”

After asking him what he hopes fans will take away from the shows and the music, he half jokingly questions back with, “That we’re cool?” I laugh, and he clarifies what is most important to them: “Trying to figure out how to love thy Lord your God with all your strength, and then love your neighbor as thyself; then you’ll probably start to see the kingdom of God. I think that needs to be a relevant part of all that we do.” Amen.

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