On Saturday, March 2, local Christian radio station ReachFM will welcome Casting Crowns to South Florida for a night that promises to be much more than just a concert. At 7 PM, the band will be in concert at the Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Boca Raton.
Since 2003, Casting Crowns has earned 14 GMA Dove awards, 3 Grammy Awards, an American Music Award and has been named Billboard magazine’s top-selling Christian act several years running. Songs like “Courageous,” “Voice of Truth,” “Jesus, Friend of Sinners,” “Lifesong,” “Glorious Day” and “Praise You in This Storm” have become smash hits, making the band one of today’s premier Christian groups. But, despite their success and fame, behind all of Casting Crowns’ incredible accomplishments and inspiring lyrics are band members who continue to serve on staff at their local churches.
Mark Hall, lead singer for the group often shares from the stage that the music of Casting Crowns is inspired by the week-in, week-out ministry arising from the youth group he leads at Eagle’s Landing Baptist Church in Stockbridge, Georgia. On the group’s website, Hall shares how that ministry inspired their latest project, Come to the Well.
“Teaching through the story of the woman at the well with my teenagers and my families is where it all came from. Your friends aren’t the well. They aren’t always going to do the right thing or be there for you. You draw from Jesus. You pour into your friends. Your scholarship can’t be the well. If your knee goes out, your well is dry. You need to draw from Jesus, pour into that. It became such a theme for everything that I have been teaching. Your walk with Jesus is where it all starts.”
Hall’s sentiments are echoed by event host Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. At Christmas, Calvary’s congregation was challenged to distribute over 25,000 Bibles to friends, co-workers, neighbors and family members in an outreach designed to connect them to the truth of God found within the Bible. Pastor Bob Coy, Calvary’s senior pastor, explains why the Casting Crowns concert is a natural progression of that outreach. “My background in the music industry has given me an appreciation of the power of music and the reality that, often, people remember song lyrics much more easily than they remember sermon points. So, when those lyrics are Bible-based, and the artists have a heart of ministry like the guys and gals of Casting Crowns, we recognize this as an opportunity to impact those outside the church walls with the truth of God’s love.” Coy continues, “In fact, we’ve moved our usual Saturday evening service from 6:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on March 2 so that we can encourage our congregation to take the gospel, God’s message of love, outside the walls of the church. Music provides the soundtrack to our lives, and with Casting Crowns we know that soundtrack is one that glorifies God.”
When ReachFM station manager Jennifer Aluart talks about the upcoming Casting Crowns concert, the sense that this is more than just another concert event is strengthened. “Last year around this same time, ReachFM hosted Jeremy Camp at this same venue, the Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Boca Raton. The concert had just started, and people were already asking when the next concert was scheduled for. People really treasure the chance to see believers from every denomination linking arms and singing their praise to God. We are still hearing stories from families, church groups and individuals about how the concert encouraged them to surrender their lives to Christ or fall more deeply in love with Him.”
ReachFM has reflected that emphasis on local churches in an effort to ensure that those responding to the gospel invitation planned as a part of the show will be connected to vibrant local congregations. Larry Thompson, senior pastor of First Baptist Fort Lauderdale talks about this community-wide outreach. “We consider it a privilege to partner with ReachFM for the Casting Crowns event. We think it’s an extraordinary way of communicating the gospel and love the way churches are working together to maximize this opportunity. We want to be available in full force, ready to serve in any way possible. The Christian community has so many answers for questions that our South Florida neighbors are asking, and we’re thankful for Jennifer Aluart and ReachFM for making it easier to get those answers to them.”
Tom Manning, senior pastor of Christian Life Center adds, “Christian Life Center is excited to partner with other local churches to see the great commission fulfilled through this outreach with Casting Crowns. There is no greater mission for us as believers than to reach the lost of our community – imparting God’s love, and making disciples.”
“ReachFM is called to be a radio station and we are grateful for the opportunity to connect with our listeners throughout South Florida.” Aluart explains. “Every day, God uses the lyrics of a song, a verse from a Bible study, or a story that an on-air host shares to connect people to himself. We are grateful that technology allows us to encourage listeners from all around the state of Florida through our community stations, and around the world through our live stream at ReachFM.org. We believe we have a very specific role to play in the body of Christ, and that role is fulfilled alongside the local church. Before we even signed the contract with the venue or with Casting Crowns, we knew that this event had to take place in partnership with representative area churches like Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, Christian Life Center, Coral Ridge Presbyterian and First Baptist Fort Lauderdale.” The 10 participating churches will be represented on-site, and they will follow up with anyone who asks for additional information.
Aluart continues, “ReachFM is thrilled about this chance to host the top Christian group in the country. We could not imagine a better setting. This amphitheater is really a hidden gem. It is surrounded by woods and right on a lake. And, since it is just off 441 and Glades Road in Boca Raton, it is so accessible from the Turnpike or I-95 from the north or south, and from Glades Road from the east or west. The music, the ministry, the chance to connect those without a home church to a vibrant fellowship in their area are all elements that will make this a night to remember. For us, the Casting Crowns hit, ‘Until the Whole World Hears’ is more than just a song. It has become our prayer and our mission as we are committed to proclaiming God’s love to our community and beyond.”
To purchase tickets or to find out more information on the Casting Crowns concert on Saturday March 2, go to ReachFM.org.