NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–At first thought it may seem like musicians have little in common with journalists.
But Everyday Driven, a group of award-winning Christian recording artists, will tell you they actually had much in common with the more than 150 attendees at the seventh-annual Baptist Press Collegiate Journalism Conference, which took place Oct. 11-13 in Nashville, Tenn. The group led music during the sessions.
“Even though we are definitely not journalists by any means, we write in a different form,” Buddy Mullins, the group’s guitarist and lead vocalist, said. “You guys write so people can read. We write so they can hear it through a melody. Boy, the power of words. To me there’s no greater power than the written word and then the sung word.”
Channing Eleton, Everyday Driven’s keyboard player, added that Christian musicians and Christian journalists both make a choice to be a light for Christ through their crafts.
“You guys are making a stand,” Eleton said. “Secular media comes from such a dark and secular angle. You guys are making a choice to be a light out there just like us. We all love great music. But to me, music without lyrical truth just disappears into the air.”
Everyday Driven became a group less than one year ago, but its members have a cumulative total of decades in the Christian music industry. Mullins, whose wife Kerri is also a singer with the group, formerly was a member of the Gaither Vocal Band. Eleton won several awards as part of the Southern Gospel group Gold City. The group’s other vocalist, Paul Lancaster, has won Dove Awards with The Martins, and drummer Erik Hurt also has experience in the music business.
Everyday Driven has released one self-titled album and currently is working on their next recording project. They also tour throughout the United States.
Despite their extensive musical success, Everyday Driven says the power of their ministry comes from their experience with Christ.
“Our passion is to get out here and meet people one-on-one and hopefully bring them into a place of worship and just a walk with the Lord,” Buddy Mullins said. “This group is made up of a lot of miracles, and we love to share those from the platform.”
Kerri Mullins points to herself as one of those miracles. She survived a bout with cancer earlier this year.
“It’s been amazing what doors have opened to people [ministry-wise],” she said of her cancer. “When I share my story from the platform, everybody is touched by cancer. Everybody knows somebody who is touched by cancer.”
Lancaster experienced restoration in his relationship with God after sin and confusion caused him to question all of the Christian beliefs he held. Now he shares with audiences how God pursued him through difficult times and restored him to faith.
Buddy Mullins said the point Lancaster came back to Christ was when he decided, “I want more of God than anything else in this life. If God won’t have me back, I would just as soon not be here.”
“God chased him down and brought him back, and His mercy and His forgiveness are truly remarkable — what has happened in [Paul’s] life,” Kerri Mullins said. “His famous statement is, ‘God has mercy on our self-inflicted wounds as well as our circumstances.'”
The group does not apologize for its hard times and detours in life; the difficult experiences built Christ-like character that helps them communicate the message of Christ to others in a meaningful way today.
Recently Kerri Mullins had such an opportunity to communicate the Gospel. An article she wrote in the group’s monthly newsletter sparked discussion with an atheist. Eleton said sometimes such discussions with non-believers are fruitful because of God’s work on believers in difficult life circumstances.
“God could snap His fingers and make something happen, but He chooses to allow us to go through certain things,” Eleton said. “Instead of going from A to B to get to C, we have to go A to P, Q, R, S to get to C sometimes. When we look back on those things, man, did we learn some valuable life lessons and did we ever get closer to God.”
At the journalism conference, Everyday Driven hoped to use their experiences with God to encourage young Christian writers to change the world by remaining faithful Christians as they walk through life, Buddy Mullins said.
“When you stand on the platform and you’re looking out here today at young aspiring writers, I stand up there and look out here and think, ‘We have the ability to encourage and uplift these young people in this room, who can literally change the face of America, or the world with their writing,'” he said.
“God’s allowed us to walk through enough life to draw from a deep spot so that hopefully it will impact those who come up after us. We count it a privilege to be able to do what we do.”
David Roach is a freelance writer based in Louisville, Ky., and a Ph.D. student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.