The Platinum recording artist known for such songs as “He Is” and “I Am” sort of eased into the whole story-telling song approach.
“Where it started for me was when I came to Nashville I got a job as a youth director at a church,” he says. “I didn’t mean to. It just happened. I lost a bet with a youth minister and ended up going on a retreat with a bunch of kids and got duct taped to a bed and, you know, stayed with the kids until they graduated from college.”
The youth minister would end up prodding Mark over and over again.
“I’d go on a ski trip with those kids or I’d go on a mission trip with these kids and he’d say, ‘Hey, you know, that was a great trip. Why don’t you write a song about what happened on the mission trip?’”
It wasn’t really a question.
“So, I’d got to the chapel and write a song about what we did. And that was powerful,” Mark says, “because then I’d play the song in front of the church and the kids would stand up there and sing the song and they’re hearing the kids and they’re hearing about what we did and the missions’ budget went through the roof because all of a sudden everyone felt they were involved on the mission trip.”