Jars of Clay Celebrates 10 Years of Music Ministry

( [email protected] ) Jun 15, 2004 11:21 AM EDT

Jars of Clay turned 10 this year.

I still remember that back in 1995, in the early days of Christian contemporary music, there were rhythmic-electrifying rock singles such as “Flood” and soft ballads such as “World’s Apart” on the black-and-white blue background cover of Jars of Clay’s self-titled album. This group truly has set a precedent and pioneered Christian contemporary music’s rock genre for the past decade.

With 16 No. 1 hits, the Jars of Clay band has won multiple Dove and Grammy awards and made its mark leaving music in movies and television. To them, it's not about the recognition, but rather it's about reaching people with the message.

Lead vocalist Dan Hazeltine explains, "It's showing us that we are making some in-roads, we are building relationships with people outside of just the Christian community. That's exciting, and that's something we really love being able to do."

Jars of Clay have had their share of rough times -- recording schedules, demands of the road, and time from family takes its toll. Their very name taken from the passage in Apostle Paul’s epistle is the what got them through: "We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us" (2 Corinthians 4:7).

Through their up-and-downs for these past 10 years, the group experienced times of being pressed but not crushed, persecuted but not abandoned as the letter describes..

Guitarist Stephen Mason shares, "We were just joking not two days ago that we thought maybe it would have been easier the first 10 years if we would have named ourselves the-four-guys-who-didn't-get-into-much-trouble-and-have-a-pretty-good-time-in-life-and-don't-encounter-much-and-things-are-pretty-much-OK band. But, as in all things with God, in light of every aspect of who He is and even regards to all the hard hitting that came along with being a part of this band, God has been faithful to remain with us."

"We say we believe the gospel to be a specific thing or believe the gospel provokes us to specific acts, yet we don't really live as if we believe it to be true," Hazeltine candidly states.

How does Jars of Clay live out what they believe? Through an organization they founded called Blood: Water Mission, the band hopes inspire people from churches to get involved in the HIV/AIDS crisis in third-world countries.

"Let's move out and see the evangelical community get behind something that can actually save lives," says Hazeltine with conviction. :"I look at that with great hope because when the evangelical community gets behind something, things change."

After 10 years, Jars of Clay has had its share of triumphs and trials as they continue their career of changing lives and giving hope to the lost and hurting. Jars of Clay is touring the nation for their new project, “Who Are We Instead.”