Thursday, April 3, 2014

Behind Casting Crowns Music

Stories Behind Casting Crown Music

I have a playlist on my iPod that I put on in the car on our half-hour ride to church on Sunday--standard favorites such as "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" and other hymns that draw us into a worship mode. It seems every generation has its music and as a senior citizen I have not kept up with Christian rock music to any great extent. It doesn't catch my attention on the radio.

Then there is  the Christian group
Casting Crowns
A year ago we enjoyed them at Plant City, Florida's Strawberry Festival as reported HERE. The Strawberry Queen herself told the audience to enjoy the worship, not the concert. People in the audience were indeed worshipping and singing their songs as they led the concert.  I do have two of their CDs and have downloaded other songs into my iTunes library. Why I also have a Casting Crowns playlist to listen to in the car. What lead singer/songwriter Mark Hall said in the concert has resonated with me and I was glad to read one of his four books,
Lifestories: Finding God's "Voice of Truth" 
Through Everyday Life. 
The book made my Casting Crowns playlist come alive.

The creative part of me enjoyed how Casting Crowns songs came to be as described in this book. The devotional side of me enjoyed the reflective questions called The Bottom Line at the end of each chapter. (This might be a good resource for a youth group study.)  The theological side of me recognized Mark Hall's Reformed thinking in the book. I do like that he both sees God's election and our responsibility to evangelize. On tour they take time for their behind-the-scenes people in sharing the gospel. Then they usually make it back home to minister at their own churches, although they are so successful they wouldn't have to ever make it back home to their churches.

Mark Hall tells how one of his songs,  Praise You in the Storm, took off after Hurricane Katrina. See it on YouTube HERE.

You're Already There is a song that touched me at the 2013 concert where I took this picture.

We had great seats and my husband really liked the concert. 
Last year's concert may be one of the last events of this sort that I am able to take my husband to because of his decline with dementia. As a caregiver this song lifts my spirits when I hear it on my playlist. The LORD is already there with the ending time for my husband's dementia.

Then there is the Casting Crowns song,  If We Are the Body. We are the body of Christ as Christians according to Scripture. Since reading about this song, I have been propelled to do several acts of kindness and bold witnessing beyond really what I would ordinarily think to do. Here are some lyrics from that song:
But if we are the body,
Why aren't His arms reaching?

Why aren't His hands healing? 

Why aren't His words teaching? 

And if we are the body, 

Why aren't His feet going? 

Why is His love not showing there is a way?

 (pp. 39-40)

Just a few more gems from Mark Hall's book:

  • "Authentic Christianity is nothing if not transparent." (p. 145)
  • "When I'm not living for Jesus daily and show up at church after squeezing out life on my own terms all week, I'm needy when I walk through the doors. . . . I am so needy because I'm not complete when I get there [to church], and when I'm not being completed by my walk with Jesus, I unwittingly demand completeness from people. I raise the bar of expectations, and people don't meet my needs because it is impossible for people to do so." (p. 99-100)
  • He quotes Colossians 3:17 and writes "That means all of life is worship. If we are so accustomed to thinking of worship as mere music, then we should realize the song starts when we awake in the morning." (p. 113)
Above all about this book and the popularity and success of the Casting Crowns Christian rock group, I love the band's name. The band members will one day cast their crowns at Jesus feet as we read in Revelations.

Looking forward 
to the day
when I can also
cast my crown
at His feet. 


  1. I too look forward to casting my crown at the foot of Jesus. That book you featured here sounds interesting; I'm going to look at it more and then suggest it to our youth group leaders if they are looking for a study for the teens to do. I am glad you got to see Casting Crowns and that it was an enjoyable worship experience.

    I like how they said to enjoy the worship and not the concert. There is definitely a difference and I often wonder how musicians like Casting Crowns and so many others distinguish between the performance and the worship (know what I"m trying to say?) Hubby plays guitar and plays it very well; he's on the worship team at church. He says it is something he thinks about to make sure he is doing what he is doing for God, not to get the accolades of others.

    I too have not kept up much with Christian rock or modern Christian music. I do enjoy praise music over anything else. If a song doesn't feature praise and worship, I'm usually not into it, if that makes sense. Most of what I listen to these days is praise music to penetrate my heart in worship.

    It is interesting because hubby came home from practice last night for the worship band and said the worship leader was feeling the people at our church don't worship during worship time, which I agreed 100% with him; he's trying to figure out a way to get them to worship.

    Great post!


    1. It was great to experience the worship of Casting Crowns. Mark Hall had significant things to say between songs that perhaps made it a worship experience rather than a concert.

      The book is good for mature teens, college students and others who enjoy Casting Crowns.

      Hubby and I enjoyed the movie "God Is Not Dead" tonight and I felt the characters were worshipping in the movie's concert at the end because of events that preceded this concert. Had not heard of the musical group in that movie.

  2. Great story +Carol Noreen Johnson. I will definitely check it out. I'm down in your neck of the woods visiting my brother this weekend enjoying your weather!

    1. You are in my neck of the woods Rena! Where are you? Can I meet you?

    2. I just got your message I've been unplugged for a couple days enjoying some family time. I've been in Apopka, FL. but I'm on my way home now.

    3. Sorry I missed you maybe next time.

  3. I didn't realize the group had a book out. I enjoy so many of their songs. I like your idea about playing hymns on the way to church to prepare your heart for worship. Our church is less than a minute away... but I still like the idea.

    1. They actually have four books out--all written by Mark Hall, I believe.


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