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Page >> 14 HEART OF THE ARTIST If youth leaders were to spend a week with you and observe your youth ministry, what would they discover? They’re gonna see teenagers who are brand new believers, wading through this new life, feeling the forgiveness of God, and they’re also feeling the conviction of God—they’re wrestling through all that. We have some students who are rocking, walking closely with God, and discovering His calling on their lives. We have some students that are totally determined to destroy themselves—they’ve chosen that they don’t want to hear it and they’re going to do what they want to do no matter what. Youth leaders will see every end of the spectrum. How did the concept for the “Come To The Well” album and your book “The Well: Why Are So Many Still Thirsty?” come about? The theme came from a sermon I shared with my teenagers and their families about the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. What is that thing, that “Well” from which you truly draw strength? Your friends aren’t the “Well”—they aren’t always going to do the right thing or be there for you. Your athletic scholarship can’t be the “Well”—if your knee goes out, your well runs dry. We need to draw from Jesus, pour His life into everything we do. When Jesus met the woman at the well, He talked to her about spiritual water, symbolic of eternal life in Him. She responded as lost people do. She related everything to the physical, to the here and now. When He offered living water, she hoped He meant providing her a shortcut to the daily chore of drawing water, and she likely was a little cynical in her response. Jesus said, “I’ll give you water and you’ll never thirst again.” The Samaritan woman was like, “Oh, yeah? Well, give me some of that water so I won’t have to come back to this well anymore.” This woman thought she was standing by a well and talking to a man, but really she was standing by a hole in the ground and talking to the Well! You’ve been a YLO member for years. What are some of your thoughts about Youth Leaders Only? We know how important music is in a teenager’s life. Their music’s either urging them toward the life they’re trying to live or it’s dragging them back toward the life they’re trying to leave. So my conviction is, if a youth leader can show students that Christian music has totally caught up culturally, and encourage students to give their music to God and to let Christian music be what they go to for their entertainment as well as for their growth, it will change everything about them. It’s hard to do that if you don’t have all different styles of music available, which most of us don’t. To me, YLO has been a great resource to find out what Christian music is out there that I might not find on my own. And, with YLO, I get to hear the heart of the band and what they’re about. YLO has definitely been a great tool for us. Check out the Discussion Guides for the entire Casting Crowns album “Come To The Well” starting on page 26. CASTING CROWNS Allan Hardin, longtime music industry executive and leader of interlínc’s Artist Services Group caught up with YLO’s most famous member, Casting Crowns’ Mark Hall. Here are excerpts from their discussion.

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14 HEARTOF THE ARTIST

If youth leaders were to spend a week with you and observe youryouth ministry, what would they discover?

They’re gonna see teenagers who are brand new believers, wading throughthis new life, feeling the forgiveness of God, and they’re also feeling theconviction of God—they’re wrestling through all that. We have some studentswho are rocking, walking closely with God, and discovering His calling on theirlives. We have some students that are totally determined to destroythemselves—they’ve chosen that they don’t want to hear it and they’re goingto do what they want to do no matter what. Youth leaders will see every end ofthe spectrum.

How did the concept for the “Come To The Well” album and yourbook “The Well: Why Are So Many Still Thirsty?” come about?

The theme came from a sermon I shared with my teenagers and their familiesabout the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4.

What is that thing, that “Well” from which you truly draw strength? Your friendsaren’t the “Well”—they aren’t always going to do the right thing or be there foryou. Your athletic scholarship can’t be the “Well”—if your knee goes out, yourwell runs dry. We need to draw from Jesus, pour His life into everything we do.

When Jesus met the woman at the well, He talked to her about spiritual water,symbolic of eternal life in Him. She responded as lost people do. She relatedeverything to the physical, to the here and now. When He offered living water,she hoped He meant providing her a shortcut to the daily chore of drawingwater, and she likely was a little cynical in her response. Jesus said, “I’ll giveyou water and you’ll never thirst again.” The Samaritan woman was like, “Oh,yeah? Well, give me some of that water so I won’t have to come back to thiswell anymore.”

This woman thought she was standing by a well and talking to a man, butreally she was standing by a hole in the ground and talking to the Well!

You’ve been a YLO member for years. What are some of yourthoughts about Youth Leaders Only?

We know how important music is in a teenager’s life. Their music’s eitherurging them toward the life they’re trying to live or it’s dragging them backtoward the life they’re trying to leave. So my conviction is, if a youth leader canshow students that Christian music has totally caught up culturally, andencourage students to give their music to God and to let Christian music bewhat they go to for their entertainment as well as for their growth, it will changeeverything about them. It’s hard to do that if you don’t have all different stylesof music available, which most of us don’t. To me, YLO has been a greatresource to find out what Christian music is out there that I might not find onmy own. And, with YLO, I get to hear the heart of the band and what they’reabout. YLO has definitely been a great tool for us.

Check out the Discussion Guides for the entire Casting Crowns album “Come To The Well” starting on page 26.

CASTINGCROWNS Allan Hardin, longtime music industryexecutive and leader of interlínc’s ArtistServices Group caught up with YLO’s mostfamous member, Casting Crowns’ Mark Hall.Here are excerpts from their discussion.