BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#72 - "How He Loves" by David Crowder Band
NRT Contributor Kevin Davis speaks with David Crowder about their cover of "How He Loves," a modern worship chorus that sums up the band's feeling towards who they are as music performers in the church.
 


David Crowder*Band, the highly accessible fan-favorites are back with their new release Church Music, arguably their most innovative effort to date. Packed with 17 full tracks, the band hopes this album serves as a reminder of the continual evolvement of music within the church. David Crowder*Band's beautiful cover of "How He Loves," originally written and recorded by John Mark McMillan, is spectacular. The band finds a unique balance of capturing the sweet lyrical moments of the song but continually crescendos the intensity of the song and the message as the simple chorus builds over and over again. The genuine sound of the song reminds us of the simplicity yet magnanimity of God's love for us.

I had the great opportunity to interview David about the song. You can listen to the entire interview here.

Please tell me about the background in selecting the song "How He Loves."

Some songs are unique and have a breath behind them to find their way into the church at-large. I feel like I was behind the times a little on this song, but I was on a flight listening to a CD from a friend of mine who lives in Atlanta. I got to this song, “How He Loves,” and it hit me in a way that a song hasn’t hit me in a long time. I am around worship music all the time, so I was caught off guard. But there, in the middle of this plane flight I started sobbing uncontrollably, which was slightly embarrassing. By the time we landed, I grabbed the band and said, “You need to hear this song.” John Mark McMillan wrote the song, and although some people had heard the song already, we hadn’t.

John Mark’s story is much more elegant than my discovery of it. He had a youth minister he was close to and he’d been praying and praying for there to be a movement among the youth that he was leading. One morning, when they were meeting to pray he said, “I’d give my life for this if that’s what it takes to see a movement among these youth. Do whatever you need to do God.” That evening John Mark’s friend, Steven the youth pastor, died in a car wreck, and John Mark wrote the song in memory of his friend. For those not yet touched or affected by this song, we wanted to put our breath behind the song because we think it is one of those unique songs for the church at large to sing.

Do you have a personal story about the message of that song, in particular the lyrics “my heart turns violently inside of my chest” which reminds me of the lyrics “was said to me here in my chest, so be quiet now and rest” from "Here Is Our King"?

I had not made that connection, but maybe it helps explain why I had such a personal response to “How He Loves” when I first heard the song. That’s one of the amazing things about music is that it pulls out of us something that is already in us. We stumble across something that says how we feel and who we are. This song does that for me. It’s harder for us to find songs that express how we feel and who we are as music performers in the church. There is imagery and messages to this song that really expresses how we feel.

Do you have a life verse or any verses that, for you, tie in with the song?

Psalm 98:4-5 (ASV)

4 Make a joyful noise unto Jehovah, all the earth: Break forth and sing for joy, yea, sing praises. 5 Sing praises unto Jehovah with the harp; With the harp and the voice of melody.

What's the take-away message for listeners regarding the song?

The beauty about this song is that it comes from such a desperate place that it should almost be isolated, but somehow, this song seems like a guttural response where I go up an octave and give loudness in my response. That’s something we do as a band--we increase the loudness in our musical response, which kind of defines us and our ministry. So for us, we tend to “make a joyful noise” in most of our songs. I view “How He Loves” to be similar to Matt Redman’s song “Blessed Be Your Name,” that in your painful moments you can still see the great love of God. For me, that is one of the most beautiful aspects of Christianity.

Here are the lyrics:

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…

He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.


I can’t get enough of this song and the beautiful melody with the gorgeous piano intro and David’s passionate and emotional recording of this amazing song. John Mark McMillan’s response in the sadness of losing his friend Steven truly embodies what it means to praise God in all moments in our lives, whether happy or sad. Similar to Job’s response, “You give and take away but blessed be Your Name” and the hymn “It Is Well,” written in response to tragedy, you can lift your voice an octave and “make a joyful noise” to God when you sing “How He Loves.” This is my favorite song of the year!

You can watch the video of the song here.

Kevin Davis is a long time fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. Kevin also writes reviews for ChristianMusicReview.org. He currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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