Reckless was co-produced with you by Andy Dodd (Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, Plain White Tees). Dodd has worked with you many times before on your earlier albums; how is it working again with someone who helped you with your sound in the beginning?
It is always amazing to work with Andy, who is also one of my good friends. When we started writing for the album, we were on the same page in terms of what God was doing in our lives. He understood what was on my heart, and helped me better explain what the Lord was doing in my life through these songs. We really put our blood, sweat, and tears into this, and it came out almost better than I expected!
What are some tangible ways in which we can show God’s love?
When we truly understand God’s love, only then are we able to love others in the same way. Jesus has shown us countless examples for how we can show that love. That’s the message behind one of the new songs, “The Way You Love Me.” When I think about what Christ has done and the depth of His love, despite how wretched I am, I want to tell the world about His love for me. In the same way, we are called to love like He loved. In 1 Corinthians 13:3, Paul writes, “If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” It says in Romans 8:39, “neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” That’s God’s love and that’s the love that I want to share with others.
What do you think it looks like to come alive in Christ, practically speaking?
There’s a song on this album that I wrote specifically about that, titled “Come Alive.” I wrote it after walking around in a large city. For some reason, I saw a lot of empty people that day, to the point that it felt like I was observing walking dead in a sense. We live in a culture where people are encouraged to chase things that are of this world, and I want to see them come alive in Christ. That means laying down the distractions, whatever they may be, that keep us from growing deeper with God. When we surrender those earthly things, God can work in us and through us, allowing us to come alive in Christ.
On your title track, “Reckless,” you sing:
I’ll lay my life down and give it up / I’ll give it up … I will not be afraid to surrender my way to follow who you are / I want to be reckless.
How does being reckless describe surrendering your life to Christ?
Reckless started as a word that kept being embedded in my mind, so I started to look up its meaning. I found that it means doing something without regards for the consequences. It occurred to me that “reckless” is a lot like true faith. When I step out in faith, no matter the circumstance, I know that God will take care of me. One of the biblical examples of living reckless for Christ that came to mind was Paul. In 2 Corinthians chapter 4, Paul returned to Lystra after being stoned for witnessing to people in the city because He knew the Lord called him to go back. In Acts 20:23-24, Paul writes, “I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Paul served the Lord with all his heart. He knew that he was going to face trials and persecution, but God had placed a call on his life and wanted him to surrender his heart to the Lord. My desire, and the message in this song, is to completely surrender everything to God. I want to be able to do what God calls me to do without worrying. That’s being sold out [reckless] for Christ. I don’t want to miss out on the fullness of what God has for me, so when God calls me, I want to be wiling to go!
In terms of production, what did you feel was most importantly communicated in the album? What aspect did you want to stand out the most?
The whole album shows what God has been doing in my life and in my heart. He has been teaching me complete surrender – that aspect of being “reckless” for Him. I hope that listeners can hear that calling on their own lives, and go after it whole-heartedly. I want it to be an encouragement to trust God and do what he says, no matter the cost!
Tell us more about the social justice groups you work with, Compassion International, Josiah’s House, and New Hope Haiti Mission, and how do they inform your music?
Those organizations are truly amazing – going out and being the hands and feet of Jesus. They are great examples of what God has been showing me recently, and the work that they do encourages me to reach out in the same way to people around the world. That’s a big part of what inspired a lot of songs on the new album.
What do you hope to communicate with Reckless?
My hope is that this album encourages people to step into the fullness of what God has called them to do, and take action. The album is meant to encourage all of us to go out, not just me. If we can all work together and be in the same place spiritually, that body of Christ working together can fuel a passion that is truly great. There is power in numbers!
While touring, how do you stay honest and real every time you step out on stage, though you’ve sung these songs over and over again?
First and foremost, I have to spend time with God daily, by praying and reading His word. My family and closest friends are also a huge part of staying honest and real because they keep me accountable in all aspects of my life.