Bart Millard, lead singer of the popular band MercyMe, shared during the OBU Chapel service on Feb. 26. He was joined by friend and OBU alum Rusty Kennedy, who moderated an interview format with Millard.
Kennedy is a 1986 OBU graduate. He served as a youth minister in Indianapolis for 15 years and met Millard almost 20 years ago when MercyMe led worship at youth camps for Kennedy's church from 1995 to 2000.
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In 2012, Millard and Kennedy reconnected while Millard was at a low point in his life. Kennedy told him, "I don't know if you realize this, but there's nothing you can do to make Christ love you more than He already does." Millard said this was a revelation to him, as he had been "working" to seek God's approval all of His life.
Millard shared a powerful message with the students. "Two years ago, I was at a point to where … I kind of hit a wall," Millard said. "I started out writing songs and selling a lot of records hoping to get God's approval … Hoping that there would be a time that He would see me and say that He's OK with me." Millard told the students that he has realizes now that God's love and forgiveness is enough, and that Kennedy's advice was correct.
"You're at the pinnacle of your life where you're trying to figure out who you are and you're trying to figure out what's next. I love the idea of … I didn't grasp this when I was your age, and I wish I had. I wish someone would have poured into me and reminded me on a daily basis that you are righteous, you are holy, you are redeemed, you are more than the enemy says you are."
MercyMe started in Edmond, and Millard told the students that the band's first two big concerts were on the OBU campus in Raley Chapel, on the same stage where he addressed them today.
"If you grasp who you are in Christ, if you understand that you are holy, righteous and redeemed even at your worst, at your weakest … it changes everything," Millard said.