Mark Hall, the frontman for Casting Crowns, told The Christian Post that the band’s new album, The Very Next Thing, is a personal one for him.
"All of the albums are personal to us because the songs that we write come out of our ministries in the local church. I've been a youth pastor, and this past Sunday I just celebrated 15 years at the church that I'm at now, in South Atlanta, Eagle's Landing First Baptist," Hall said. "Any song that you've ever heard from Crown, before it was a song it was a Bible study, or a devotion or a moment or situation that has risen out of being a minister to families, and just loving on teenagers and their parents and walking through our own struggles.
The album is also the first to release after Hall’s battle with cancer. In 2015, doctors removed a cancerous growth on one of his kidneys.
"Between these two records I was diagnosed with cancer and had a kidney removed. I went through a good five months of a bit of a storm in our family. When you're in youth ministry you're always about helping other people get through their stuff. I'm the guy that's helping everybody else. 'It's going to be OK, you're going to get through this and I'll be there.' And all of a sudden, I'm the one getting the phone call from the doctor and I'm the one hearing all this stuff. It really humbled me in a lot of ways because I don't hurt well in front of people," he said.
He said that going through treatment changed his perspective on some of the band’s older songs.
"I'm not really good at getting comforted, so I really had to walk through letting the church love me and pray for me and know my business, and it was so good for me," Hall said. "Now, when I sing even old songs of ours, when I sing 'Praise You Through The Storm' — I always knew what it was about because I wrote it for friends going through cancer, but now having been in it, it's a whole new world."
The new album released earlier this month.
Publication date: September 22, 2016
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.