Internally, one of our members also dealt with depression and that really colored our year in many ways. For him, there’s a lot of stock in the music and how it was being received. That’s all well and good when everyone is reviewing you perfectly. You don’t even notice that you have a problem or that you’re too invested, but when things become slightly more negative and you take that to heart, you begin to look at everyone else around you and compare. Journeying through that depression and coming to the other side, we’ve realized we’re blessed beyond all measure. We’ve been given so much. That was a real journey as well.
CCM: Was there an impetus or a specific instance when you knew you wanted to dig deep to get to this next step?
CL: A major turning point for me was in the middle of all of this whirlwind work, I found myself exhausted and beat up before the start of one of our worship nights. I was sitting in the dressing room and praying and my question for God in that time was, “Is there really any point? What am I doing here? Why me?” It was all in the sense of, “If I’m carrying anything important, what is it? Am I just making more noise or music, or do we have a message?” I felt very clearly in that moment that God spoke the idea, “You’re here to announce good news. The Spirit of the Lord is on you to proclaim good news for the captives.” That was really the beginning of the journey for the rest of the lyrics.
That was Jesus’ mission statement in Luke 4. He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me to proclaim good news.” It’s also the mission of the church in such dark times. Where there is fake news or tragic news or bad news and it’s all coming at you on your phone as soon as you pick it up, you have to rediscover how to be a church that doesn’t just join in that narrative and become negative ourselves. We actually have to speak light and hope. We’d already begun writing some of the songs for the album, but that became the concept that we all got excited about and wanted to get behind.
CL: As a band, we came around this idea that we didn’t want to say anything fluffy. At this stage in our careers, it’s so inconvenient to tour. It’s so impractical and costly on our family lives that if we aren’t preaching the real gospel, if we aren’t leading people to Jesus in a meaningful and tangible way, it’s really not worth it. This album gathers around the idea that we just want to preach the old-fashioned gospel. In a weird way, because we’ve gotten so lost at times, the old-fashioned gospel sounds a little bit new again.
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