Life Is Full Of Surprises


Charles White

Life is full of surprises. We often find ourselves traveling down one road only to detour onto another of life’s many highways. These highways are illuminated by the streetlights that God places along the way to help us traverse the narrow road. David Crowder understands this as well as anyone. His life and his music are consumed with The Light, The Way and The Truth.


Born in a small Texas town on the border of Arkansas, David Crowder lived a simple life in a strong Christian home with his mother, father and younger brother. The son of an insurance salesman, David’s plan was to take over the family business after first attending college. With this in mind, David enrolled in Baylor University in Waco, Texas. It was at this point that his life took a detour.


Already a committed Christian, David became active in a local congregation near Baylor University and grew to become a strong worship leader. It was out of this college experience that David’s calling became clear to him. He realized the road he was on didn’t lead back to an insurance office in Texas. Instead, it led him to ministry. Quite supportive of his calling, David’s parents embraced his journey into ministry.


“They were really supportive,” David recalls. “It made sense by the time it arrived. There was the thought that there was a calling here and now you are stepping into it. They were super about it.”


David became more and more involved with worship at his college congregation, University Baptist Church in Waco, Texas. This led David to become active in music ministry, composing and performing Christian music in his local Church. He targeted the lyrics and music towards those without a typical Christian upbringing.


Soon he and his fellow band mates drew more and more participants to worship through their unique brand of music. This led to greater opportunities for the young artist and his group. They attended the Youth Specialties Conventions, D.C/LA events, and had an opportunity to participate in the Passion movement led by Reverend Louie Giglio. About this same time, Crowder and company released an independent album, which he gave to Reverend Giglio.


In 2000, Reverend Giglio formed Sixstep records and signed David to his fledgling label. Crowder quickly became one of the most sought after artists on college campuses, undertaking a grueling performance schedule. For example, in 2002, David performed 251 concerts while only missing 11 Sundays at his congregation in Waco, Texas. His passion and talent has garnered David and his band mates numerous accolades including his multiple 2003 Dove Award nominations.


David describes his widely popular musical style as a melding of the various musical backgrounds that each of the group’s members bring to the process. It is a style of music that David describes as acoustic pop/rock with a little DJ flavor thrown in.


“Its like we got six guys, threw them into a pot and started stiring,” David explains. “Its fun and pretty eclectic at the same time. When we come together, it collides into something that we claim as our own. ”


Going hand in hand with his love of music is David’s passion for technology and its place in worship. Although never intended to overshadow worship, David believes that technology nevertheless has a vital role in the Church. His focus on technology seems to be a logical step for a musician who prides himself on identifying new technology to aid the creative process.


“You’ve had this huge explosion of modern worship,” David states. “I think that was nothing more than The Church reclaiming popular music that has been absent since the reformation. We as the Church have begun to reclaim this part of the arts. I think we’ve made headway and there is so much more that the average church can do now. With the speed of laptops and very affordable computers now, it is unlimited what you can do. You can make and produce really good sounding music with a minimal amount of funds. Part of what we want to do is to try to educate and inspire the use of technology in the corporate worship setting.”


David has begun to accomplish this goal through a variety of means such as the release of cutting-edge computer program, Reason 2.5, on David’s 2003 album, Illuminate. “David Crowder continues to be a musical visionary,” says Denise George, senior director of artist development at Sparrow Records in a press release for Illuminate. “Many of the band’s fans are musicians themselves and David and the band see this software as a useful tool the help these musicians push the creative envelope. With this CD, fans will also have unprecedented access to the recording process.”


It is easy to see the joy that David gets from performing his musical compositions and working with the latest technology. However his greatest joy comes from a source much more basic: relationships.


“My greatest joy comes from the people that God has put around me,” David states. “When you are in a band you spend a large amount of time with each other and they are just the best folks. They are so incredibly kind and we really enjoy each other’s company. I continue to find God in lots of ways I wouldn’t suspect through their actions towards others and myself.”


Consequently, David measures success in terms of how he relates to the people around him. It is relationships, not the accolades that really matter in his life.


“Those are the things that matter,” David explains. “If we are successful in our relationships I think that everything we do is going to have a great foundation to stand on. The music comes out of a relationship.”


Although it seems that life has been good for Crowder and company, David has come away with many difficult life lessons that he is happy to share with others. He is quick to point out that God is the one we can turn to when the path becomes unclear.


“Life is just nuts. The thing to know is that God offers just enough illumination for the next step. We need to pray for the courage to take it.”


Life IS nuts. It is filled with a myriad of choices that we are asked to make everyday. We are asked to choose what career we will pursue, what foods we will eat or even what things we will believe. These choices often lead us down roads that are dark and difficult. However, we can always count on God to illuminate our path. We just need to have the courage and faith to put one foot in front of the other.