The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Steven Curtis Chapman
Featured Album

All Things New
(Sparrow Records)


Steven Curtis Chapman: Reckless Faith

By Scott Ross
The 700 Club - In a world devasted by 9/11, Steven Curtis Chapman's album, Reckless Faith, seemed to be right on time. It was a tragic September in 2001, and people needed something to believe in. Scott Ross sat down with Chapman to discuss how that fateful Tuesday changed Chapman's life and the faith that held him and his family togther.

STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN: We adopted a little girl from China a couple of years ago. That is woven into the fabric of my music now -- a deeper understanding of the grace of God, and now a deeper understanding of the pain of living this side of heaven, but a deeper grasp of the anchor of the hope of the Gospel.

SCOTT ROSS (reporting): Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, clung to that anchor of hope when they were in Washington, D.C., to receive a congressional coalition award for adoption. It was the morning of September 11, a fourth plane was still unaccounted for, and there was a rumor it was heading toward the Capitol.

Steven with his familySTEVEN: We were looking out our window at the Capitol and thinking, well, if it gets a little off course, we are 15 stories up, we are right in line. She [Mary Beth] said, 'Should we run? Should we go somewhere?' I looked at her, and not in any great moment of my own wisdom, but I said, 'Sweetheart, either everything that we have said to be true of us is true and we are in God's hands and He is in control of our lives, or it's not. And if it is true, then the truth is the truth and no matter where we run, we are in God's hands and ultimately He is in control of our lives.

SCOTT (reporting): The anchor of Jesus Christ has kept Chapman on course throughout his phenomenal popularity -- 3 Grammys, 3 Gold records, 44 Dove Awards, 37 No. 1 Single Christian videos, 2001 Male Vocalist of the Year, Christian Artist of the year, Song of the Year -- the list goes on and on. Recently I spoke with Steven in Nashville about how he handles success.

How do you keep it from becoming show business?

STEVEN: I wrestle with it because there is truly an aspect of it that is the entertainment business. There is an aspect of what we do, by virtue of the fact that there is a platform to speak from, having a record that people are going to know about, there is a marketing department and there are photo shoots. Part of it is a means to an end. If my heart is in the place of saying my desire is to know Christ and to make Him known and that's why He has given me these gifts -- to glorify God and to honor Him, and to lift up His name -- do it great, do what it is that God has given you the ability to do and be great at it and work hard at it, and then let the world stand in wonder. When they do, say, 'This is the gift God has given me for His glory.'

SCOTT: And the music was part of your life early on?

Steven Curtis ChapmanSTEVEN: It was. When I was about 7 years old, we had a revival come through and it swept through our little town of Paducah, Ky., and particularly our church, and my mom and dad and older brother during that week really committed their lives fully and completely to Christ. I watched all this happen as a 7-year-old little boy and asked a lot of questions. It was several months later when I really responded to what I knew was the Holy Spirit knocking at the door of my heart, and really jumped in with my family into this adventure of faith.

SCOTT: Steven, you have been in music for how long?

STEVEN: Probably close to 20 years now. I started playing guitar when I was 7, so all of this was coming to life all at the same time, finding the Lord and finding my love for music. Writing songs out of my faith was a real natural progression. I grew up singing in my dad's choir and singing with my family. Christian music became the music that I identified myself with and was a way that I expressed my faith. Even at a public school I would take my Christian music in and play it for my friends.

SCOTT: You became a songwriter.

STEVEN: Yeah, I did, when I was 14 or 15 years old. My first song was called 'Well Done.' Basically, the chorus said, 'When Christ comes, I want to hear him say, "Well done."' I am thankful that I have had that stake driven into the ground and that anchor to return back to when lots of things -- more than I ever imagined -- have happened with the gifts God has given me, to return back to that and say, 'This was the initial mission statement and vision and I want to remain true to.'

SCOTT (reporting): Chapman's latest album remains true to that vision. Declaration broadcasts the message that drives Chapman's ministry.

STEVEN: I believe God raises up different people to say different things, to make different declarations about this, but what God has put in my heart is the reality that He alone is on the throne, that He alone sees the bigger picture and knows all the implications of this. Ultimately, what I am called to do and to be about is to be His hands and feet, to be the one who grieves with those who grieve, who loves those who are hurting and need comfort right now to be Jesus to them.

SCOTT: Many people are calling for and believe, in fact, that there will be a revival in America of the Christian church in some serious way. Do you think that is possible?

STEVEN: I do think that is possible. In the context of these times, we begin as the church to say is the Gospel really true? Do we really believe that nothing, not even death, can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus? If these things are true, then to begin to move out and actually impact the world and see revival happen and begin to pray for that and say, 'God, this is a time when all of so much of what we put our hope in has been pulled away from us.'

SCOTT: September 11…as a musician, as a man of God, as a minister, how do you think this is going to affect the course of your future ministry, things you are saying, things you are writing, things you are singing, as a voice for God on this planet?

STEVEN: I want to be more passionate. I want to be more fearless, more wild with reckless abandonment, to not be safe, to not try and make sure I am saying things that are safe, but simply saying, 'God, I want to be Your man and I want to communicate, because time is short.' I want to live with that sense with the music I make, with the art I make, with the way I love my kids, with the way I am a father and a husband and a friend and a follower of Christ, I want to live with reckless abandonment to the truth of the Gospel.

Scott Ross welcomes your feedback.

Read more of Scott's interviews.

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