Thrive

  • The songs on Casting Crowns Thrive album are an extension of what lead singer/songwriter Mark Hall has been teaching his students at Eagle's Landing First Baptist Church in Atlanta, where he serves as youth pastor. The heart behind the project is for these songs to encourage believers to dig down into the roots of who they are in Christ so that they are fully equipped to reach out and share their faith with others.
  • The idea for the upbeat and rejoicing title track came out of Hall's student ministry. "The songs always really start out with what we're teaching, and for years I've been using Psalm 1 in showing them what a believer looks like," he explained. "It says: 'Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season.'"

    The concept was underscored during a family vacation in Gatlinburg, Tennessee when Hall looked at the trees near the river. "Their roots are exposed and you can feel them just doing everything they can to get to where the water is," he explained. "When I talk to families about how they are doing, they always say 'just surviving.' That is not the life that God designed for us to live.

    "That's not saying that you're not going to have problems," Hall added. "None of the New Testament people had it easy. They all had troubles, some even at the expense of their lives. The book of joy, Philippians, was written from prison. Hard times are going to come, but God didn't put you here just so you could survive through hard times. He put you here to thrive, to dig in and to reach out.

    "This record is an effort to draw a picture of what a believer, a follower of Jesus, would look like if they dug into their roots and understood God and themselves more," Hall concluded, "and then instead of trying to go be Christian for God, they just let God give them chances to be a Christian."
  • This was one of five songs on Thrive that Hall wrote with singer-songwriter Matthew West ("The Motions"). The pair frequently collaborate together and penned seven songs on Casting Crowns' previous album, Gone To The Well.

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