Jeremy Camp's Journey to Reckless Faith
Recklessness isn’t usually a trait associated with Christianity, but with one listen to Jeremy Camp’s new album, Reckless, it’s easy to embrace the concept.
“When you say, ‘I want to be reckless for Jesus,’ that’s what true faith is,” Camp tells uptv.com. “You are saying, ‘I am recklessly surrendering myself. Whatever you have, Lord, whatever the circumstances or consequences may be, I’m going to serve you.”
Releasing February 12 on BEC Recordings, Reckless is Camp’s seventh studio album and will be issued the same day as his new book, I Still Believe (Tyndale House Publishers) which chronicles his spiritual struggles and the death of his first wife, Melissa.
Camp has long been a passionate, devoted servant and the music he’s created has moved this generation of believers for over a decade. He has sold more than 3.5 million albums, been awarded four RIAA Gold-certified albums and a RIAA multi-platinum long-form video. He’s scored 32 No. 1 radio singles and been named ASCAP Songwriter of the Year four times.
As he wrestled with a question of, “what next?,” Camp found inspiration in the Apostle Paul. “Here’s a guy who was kind of crazy, kind of reckless,” Camp points out. “He got ship wrecked. He was in prison. He was beaten. He was stoned and left for dead, but then what happened? He got right back up and went to Lystra again. That’s crazy! How could he do that? How could a guy that just went through that not care and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to go anyway.’ It’s because he was being obedient.”
Camp shares a time when God’s call didn’t make sense. He felt the pull to relocate from his home town in Indiana back to California.
“I had no place to live,” Camp recalls. When an acquaintance’s grandmother needed someone to help her run errands in exchange for free room and board, Camp knew God had provided. “I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for that. It all started from that one act of obedience.”
Over the course of his career, experience has provided Camp with inspiration for his music. He’s a keen observer with a compassionate heart and those gifts shine in the songs on Reckless. One of the standouts is “The Way You Love Me,” inspired by his daughter. “She came down one day and was like, ‘Daddy, is there anything that I can do to make you happy? Can I sew something? She’s eight years old,” Camp shares. “I was like, ‘No baby, you don’t have to do anything that makes me happy. You make me happy. I love you. You know that and I’m proud of you.’ All of a sudden, it was like God saying, ‘Listen. That’s how I look at you. I love you already. You don’t have to earn my favor.’ The whole concept of that song is basically saying, ‘Hey, this is what God has done for me. He loves me so much. I want to go show that to the world. I want to go and lift up the broken ones and show them how you love me.’ We can do that, really articulate that. It’s unbelievable.”
One of Camp’s favorite tracks is “Come Alive.” “This is one for me that just resonates my heart. I was in New York and I was walking around, just watching these people. It was like looking at the living dead,” he says. “There’s a lot of people chasing after their dreams and all these different things and it just looks so empty. I want to fight and continue to go out and proclaim that there’s life in Christ. That’s the only true life.”
With both his new album and new book, Camp hopes to offer encouragement to a hurting world. “There’s always hope in Christ,” says Camp. “We’re always going to experience hardships, but we have to understand that our hope is in Christ and that he is good and he is faithful. It’s not cliché. There is always hope and that’s the heart of this, that people will be able to know there’s hope. I know that I can still believe because I know He’s trustworthy.”
About the Writer
Deborah Evans Price has covered Christian/Gospel music for Billboard magazine since 1994. She also contributes regularly to CountryWeekly, CMA Close Up, Devo’Zine, Christian Single, HomeLife, BMI Music World, and other publications. A Nashville resident since 1983, Deborah has held editorial posts at Radio & Records, Country News, American Songwriter and Billboard. Amy Grant, Trace Adkins, Brad Paisley, Charlie Daniels, 3 Doors Down, Third Day, Don Henley, Bon Jovi, Chris Rice, Sandra Bullock, Mercy Me, Alan Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Carrie Underwood and Steven Curtis Chapman are among her many interviews. Additionally, she's a sought-after music industry analyst who has been interviewed on CNN, MSNBC, TNN, The Today Show, and ABC PrimeTime Live, among other outlets.Deborah is a member of the Gospel Music Association's board of directors and a graduate of Leadership Music. She resides south of Nashville with her husband, Gary, and son Trey.