In the course of the pandemic Casting Crowns frontman Mark Corridor had extra on his thoughts than simply writing songs for the Grammy-winning band’s subsequent album. As a youth pastor for greater than 20 years, Corridor’s precedence was shepherding the younger individuals at his Georgia church throughout these tumultuous occasions. However as has all the time occurred all through Casting Crowns’ multi-platinum profession, music and ministry intersected to gasoline the band’s new album, Healer, out at the moment (Jan. 14) by way of Sony’s Provident Music Group.

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“What stored me going is ministry,” Corridor tells Billboard of his response to the pandemic. “I really feel you might be rising probably the most whenever you spiritually matter to another person… You by no means personal your religion as a lot as if you find yourself giving it away to different individuals. As a youth pastor, I’m a supply for these college students to get by way of laborious occasions. I’m reminding them of the reality, and the cool factor about that’s if you find yourself reminding individuals of the reality, you might be reminding your self of what you want to know too.”

Specializing in the wants of others stored Corridor transferring ahead. “Being shut in our homes, if we’re not cautious, it will get you interested by your self and what you want,” he says, “however when individuals want you… you get up considering, ‘How are they doing at the moment’ as an alternative of ‘How am I doing at the moment?’ I used to be realizing I’ve acquired youngsters all around the metropolis proper now who can’t depart the home they usually can’t get to their pal teams. College students could not have as a lot as adults do to fret about, however have simply as a lot coronary heart and are simply as a lot invested in one thing.”

Corridor stored his youth group linked by way of “Instagram, devotions, Zoom calls and group hangouts. We did issues like Bob Ross portray night time with 50 youngsters, portray on the identical time on a Zoom,” he says. “If you’re pouring into individuals which means your life is transferring… Anytime I felt myself going bitter it was as a result of I used to be simply sitting. However whenever you begin specializing in loving individuals particularly if you find yourself loving them with Jesus, there’s a stream to your life that retains you transferring.”

That stream led to the songs on Healer together with singles “The Energy of the Cross” and “Scars in Heaven.” The latter broke the worldwide first-day streaming document for a Christian track debut on Amazon Music. That feat was simply the most recent spectacular accomplishment for the band since their self-titled 2003 Seaside Road/Reunion Data debut. They’ve populated Christian radio with such hits as “Voice of Reality,” “If We Are the Physique,” “Who Am I,” “Reward You in This Storm,” “Thrive,” “East to West,” “Solely Jesus” and “No person.” The seven-piece received a Grammy for his or her 2005 album Lifesong and has earned 18 Dove Awards and multi-platinum albums.

Corridor co-wrote “Scars in Heaven” with fellow Christian hitmaker Matthew West. “I used to be strolling with my mother by way of dropping her mother and father and coping with grief after which we misplaced [original drummer] Andy Williams to a bike accident and seeing the loss that was occurring within the church throughout Covid,” Corridor says. “I bear in mind Mother saying she knew her mother and father have been passing, and she or he was making ready herself for it — however nothing prepares you for the silence of not listening to their voices. She stated, ‘I do know the place mother and pa are. I simply miss them and the issues that I wanted I might have finished in another way, issues that I want I may do.’ That’s when this track took a brand new form.

“I bear in mind exhibiting her a verse the place Jesus had appeared to the disciples after he rose from the grave they usually simply didn’t imagine it was him,” he continues. “He confirmed them his scars and I stated, ‘Mother, Jesus nonetheless has his scars. That offers us relaxation in figuring out that the rationale that there aren’t any scars in heaven is as a result of he took these… That’s why the hallelujah second is on the bridge — as a result of once we transfer nearer to Jesus in our grief, we are able to relaxation in figuring out that our family members are with him, they usually haven’t any regrets in any respect.”

Corridor additionally collaborated with West on the title monitor, “Desert Street,” “2nd Opinions,” and the playful “Loopy Individuals” (co-written with Seth Mosley), which got here from a dialog about The Ark, a life-size Noah’s Ark that has turn into a preferred vacationer attraction in Williamstown, Ky. “Seth stated, ‘Are you able to think about coming house from work and your neighbor was constructing that in his yard? What would you consider anyone like that?’ I stated, ‘I’d suppose they have been loopy,’’ Corridor says. “The general public that we name heroes of religion, if they might have been a pal of ours and instructed us they have been about to do a few of the issues they did within the Bible we’d go, ‘Man, you’re loopy! You’ve acquired to cease,’ and I stated, ‘So what that tells me is that this world wants extra loopy individuals.’ After I stated that Matthew goes, ‘Man, that’s a track!’ After which we began proper there and that track got here out so quick.”

Corridor says crowds have responded enthusiastically once they’ve carried out the track stay, and he’s blissful the message is resonating: “Everyone is so mad proper now and we may use some individuals to begin simply loving like loopy, serving like loopy, forgiving like loopy, simply going out of our solution to present how large God’s love is. That may look completely insane within the occasions that we live in, nevertheless it’s what we want.”

Although Mosley was concerned within the manufacturing of some songs, the majority of the album was once more produced by Mark Miller, singer/songwriter/producer and longtime frontman of nation group Sawyer Brown. “He believed in us. He breathed life into our music and he acquired us on the market to the world,” says Corridor of Miller signing them to Seaside Road. “I’m not simply with him due to loyalty, I’m with him as a result of he’s the most effective man for us. He is aware of what Crowns is about, and he’s not going to let a document get away from what we’re all about.”

Healer options seven tracks, and Corridor says the band is nearing completion of the second a part of the album, which will probably be launched this spring. His intent was to present individuals extra time to digest these songs earlier than releasing the rest of the document. “Individuals appear to have a brand new document come out and a month later [fans] are like, ‘Hey when do you could have one thing new coming?’ Individuals undergo music so quick,” he says. “These songs want a while to stay…I’m speaking about real-life stuff, and the actual fact with out Jesus we’re in bother. If you’re giving hope to folks that you already know want hope, you wish to make it possible for they’re listening to every thing you might be saying so I believed we wanted to house this out.”

Casting Crowns embarks on the Healer tour Feb. seventeenth with opening acts We Are Messengers and Jonathan Traylor. Offered by Compassion Worldwide, the outing kicks off in Baltimore, Md.

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