Bart Millard quotes and sayings
December 1, 1972
We have jokingly said if you've got good hair, can sing and know three chords, you can lead worship at First Baptist Houston or wherever. But that's kind of scary, putting somebody on stage just because they have a good voice. Do they know theologically and spiritually what they're saying and why they're doing it?
My dad would do horrible things to me, but I was so desperate for his affection and his approval that I would keep coming back.
Our relationship with Christ is something we cannot just turn on and off. It is a part of us. On our best, and our worst, we are in this thing for life... and then some.
I ended up living in fear for most of my childhood.
God was always a refuge for me growing up.
Probably about 10 years ago or so I told my grandmother that I always wanted to make a record of hymns if I could ever make a career of all of this. She kind of held me to it. She passed away in 1999. I just never forgot it.
I did everything religion told me to do for a long time only to end up frustrated, beat down and jaded. I couldn't keep up. No matter how hard I tried, it was never enough. So I decided to quit. And I did.
As long as our heart's beating, there's a chance for us, or whoever that person is in our life, and I don't know how the story turns out, but I do know that no one is out of the reach of God, and that anybody's capable of change.
I finally got the dad I always wanted and then he left. At 18, 19 years old, I was really upset and had to work through that.
I was working in a church in Florida as a youth intern, which means I really didn't do much other than staple stuff. I'm from Dallas, Texas, and every time my grandmother would call-she would call me any time of the day-I'd be home answering the phone. She was like, "What do you do all day?" and sarcastically I would say, "Well, I'm trying to chalk off the next year to spend time finding a band name." And she said, "Well mercy me, why don't you get a real job?" I thought, "Wait a minute. That's the perfect name." That kind of freed up my year but that's where the name came from.
You didn't choose Christian music because it's more beneficial. It doesn't pay more. It doesn't make you more famous. There's some reason why you came to this. What changed your life at some point?
On Christmas Eve, it's my wife and my son and my daughter and I. We're home, and we open our presents together on Christmas Day, and then after we go visit the rest of the family.
I think Saturday may be Latin for "stay in pajamas til noon then eventually motivate yourself to shower and get ready for bed that night.
It's kind of scary making a faith-based film.
12 years ago all I wanted to do was sing the right songs and get emotionally wound up, but now I realize my job is to make Christ the center of attention each night.
What I view as worship now is certainly a little different than how I used to view worship. I don't see it as a verse in a chorus, on a big screen with words, like I used to. It's just trying to be as real as possible in front of an audience.
I think everybody's got someone in their life that they think is out of the reach of God, or unchangeable, unreachable, if you will, and maybe we think that way of ourselves sometimes.
Writing Christian or worship music is just because I love Jesus, so everything I do is going to be an overflow of that.
I just want people to not assume their story is over, especially when maybe they have somebody in their life that they've given up on or they think it's hopeless.
My son, Sam, is 15 years old, and he's been a diabetic since he was 2. When you're a parent of a child with any kind of chronic illness, these things don't go away. You have a lot of good days, but some days you feel like you're losing bad.
I think everyone, especially after the passing of a loved one, starts to hope that maybe there will be something better on the other side.
I believe my life has been covered by grace since I trusted in Christ at age 13. I just had to turn 40 to notice.
I came to know Christ when I was 13 years old at a youth camp I attended. I may not have known much about Him, but I knew I was saved by grace and that, because of the cross, I had a hope like no other. I cannot imagine life without Him.
Basically, there's not a single circumstance, I pray, that can derail me from what Christ is to me and who I am because of Christ.
At some point, I talked about how I had never graduated college. I dropped out my sophomore year to start MercyMe 21 years ago. Part of the reason was I felt like I was treading water.
I don't know what it is, but St. Louis has always welcomed us with open arms.
The song 'Even If' is incredibly special to me.
Whether you have an abusive father or the most amazing dad ever, every son is trying to find their way out from under the shadow of their dad.
I am just sitting back and trying to take in the idea that the God who created everything around us, He didn't call the mountains or the forest or the ocean to spend eternity with Him, but He called us.
We never want to force the Bible down people's throats. But I want them to ask, 'What joy do they have that I don't have?' Let go and enjoy yourself and leave feeling like you can take on whatever you're facing in life.
Our whole intention was to make a record of songs that we grew up with and change them up a little bit, but we kind of stumbled on writing "Joseph's Lullaby." The irony is when I originally wrote the song, it was called "Mary's Lullaby." I wrote it from Mary's standpoint and it was in a higher key, a real falsetto, and it just wasn't right. One day, the producer's wife said, "Well, it's kind of odd that you're singing from Mary's perspective, being the guy. Why don't you do Joseph?
The second that MercyMe stopped being my identity, instead of quitting, I started falling back in love with it.
As long as there's breath in our lungs our story is still being written.
After 'The Hurt & The Healer', we kind of hit a wall. I grew up in a somewhat legalistic church and it taught me that faith is enough, but here's three more things left just in case. There's always things left to do to be closer to God.
I have one brother who's five years older than me and he was a huge part of my childhood.
A Little Hope' is a song we wrote a couple of years ago and hated the thought of it not getting at least a little attention. It's a song that just makes you smile.
My dad was a monster and I realized if the gospel could change that dude, the gospel can change anybody.
When I was a kid, my dad would let me stay up and watch 'Cheers' each week. Granted it's not the most 'kid friendly' show, but I could've cared less. I was getting to stay up past my bedtime!
If there's a moment on the record to reach people where they are, it's 'Even If'. We're ministers first. We're trying to reach the hurting first. This song wrecked us.
Yeah, musically, from a production standpoint my favorite is probably 'Have a Little Talk with Jesus'. Just the way it turned out production wise with the clarinet and everything, it sounds like something from a movie.
I've been through difficult times where it just seems like hope is nowhere to be found, but those are some of the greater moments where we run to Christ a little faster and hang on a little tighter.
Some of our jokes we made up on the fly. I love Lecrae; we have been friends for a while and he is just one of my favorite people.
I think the hymns give us a glimpse of the generations before us, and what was important to them at the time. Even though they are usually singing similiar messages that are in today's music, it is good to be reminded that the message of Christ is just as much relevant today as it was then.
Let me put it this way, if you were drowning, you wouldn't really be in a place to lend a hand as far as being rescued. You'd be at the mercy of the lifeguard. Once pulled out, you may be a little out of it, not sure where you are, but safe nonetheless.
If somebody told me people would still care about our music 25 years ago, I would have thought they were crazy.
We started making independent records. We started in '94 until about 2000 when just kind of just did it ourselves... We'd write our own songs. No one cared... At some point, we decided to try and write our own original stuff and one of the last independent records is when we wrote the song 'I Can Only Imagine.'.
The popularity's got its pluses and minuses, and there are many days that I would rather just be a Christian and not known at all, but that's not what God has called me to do.
More than anything, whether it's my dad's fault or whatever, I wouldn't allow myself to be loved. I lived most of my life thinking that I was unlovable, that I was broken goods, or whatever.
If the song was upbeat, we'd get out a funky Harry Connick, Jr. album, some Louis Prima big band, or a Bob Wills swing record for inspiration and swing for the fence, hoping to get that 'soundtrack to your life' vibe. And if it was a slow song, we'd go the other way and really make it worshipful.
I have pretty much always been about - if I write that song or whatever, it is all for Mercy Me. Anything I want to do is for Mercy Me.
When my father died of cancer in 1991, he left me with the assurance that he was headed to a better place. He used to always tell me that I was getting the raw end of the deal because I had to stick around here.
I would say that God is much bigger than all of this. I've been through difficult times where it just seems like hope is nowhere to be found, but those are some of the greater moments where we run to Christ a little faster and hang on a little tighter. Through the hardest times in life, I hope people turn to him and realize he's still a sovereign God; he's in control.
We try to do everything that we can to make Christ the center of attention. Our goal is to kind of broaden the definition of worship. I know that God has always used us as a forefront for people to draw closer to Him and get into His presence.
I've never met an artist who was at a certain level of spirituality offstage and then lowered it onstage.
Julie Anne Peters
Roy Jones Jr.
Robert W. Service
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