Jesus, Friend of Sinners
|"Jesus, Friend of Sinners"|
|Single by Casting Crowns|
|from the album Come to the Well|
|Released||March 3, 2012|
|Recorded||Zoo Studio (Franklin, TN)
Lifesong Studio (McDonough, GA)
Eagle's Landing Studio (McDonough, GA)
Ocean Way Studios (Nashville, TN)
|Genre||Christian rock, pop rock|
|Writer(s)||Mark Hall, Matthew West|
|Producer(s)||Mark A. Miller|
|Casting Crowns singles chronology|
"Jesus, Friend of Sinners" is a song by American Christian rock band Casting Crowns. Written by Mark Hall and Matthew West and produced by Mark A. Miller, it was released as the second single from the band's 2011 album Come to the Well. The song has been regarded musically as a "pop hymn" and lyrically "admonishes the church to show compassion".
"Jesus, Friend of Sinners" met with a positive reception from critics, many of whom praised the song's lyrical content. A music video has been released for the song. It has peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Soft AC/Inspirational chart, No. 2 on the Billboard Christian AC Indicator chart, No. 6 on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs and Hot Christian AC charts, and No. 20 on the Christian CHR chart.
Casting Crowns' frontman, Mark Hall wrote "Jesus, Friend of Sinners" to address the idea that the world knows those who follow the Christian faith more for what they oppose than what they support; he stated that the song is a "reminder that we need to do something about that". He also commented that, despite the use of "strong words" in the song to grab attention, the true focus of the song is the chorus, which calls the church to be more aware of the world and to let their hearts be "led by mercy". While Hall noted the song was "one of the more direct songs [Casting Crowns] have written", he said that "it also speaks truth. And I think believers should speak truth to each other as long as we do it in love". Additionally, Hall noted that the band isn't simply criticizing others within the church with the song; he commented the first verse of the song speaks about himself.
"Jesus, Friend of Sinners" was written by Mark Hall and Matthew West and produced by Mark A. Miller. It was recorded by Sam Hewitt at Zoo Studio in Franklin, Tennessee; additional recording was conducted by Michael Hewitt at Lifesong Studio in McDonough, Georgia. Some vocal recording was conducted by Billy Lord at Eagle's Landing Studio in McDonough, Georgia. The string sections on the song were arranged by David Davidson and recorded by Bacho Shin at Ocean Way Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. Mixing was handled by Sam Hewitt, while digital editing was done by Matt Naylor and Michael Hewitt. The song was submixed by Bacho Shin at ShinShack Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, and it was mastered by Andrew Mendleson at Georgetown Masters in Nashville, Tennessee.
A 27-second audio sample of the song, which rebukes the Christian church for focusing on what it is against rather than what it is for.
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Musically, "Jesus, Friend of Sinners" has been described as a "pop hymn". Lyrically, it "admonishes the church to show compassion" and "laments how the world knows many Christ followers more by what they are against than what they are for". The opening verse of the song, "Jesus Friend of Sinners/we have strayed so far away/we cut down people in Your name/but the sword was never ours to swing/... The world is on their way to You/but they’re tripping over me/always looking around, but never looking up/I’m so double-minded", has been described as an example of the "bold lyric" that has been a "trademark" for Casting Crowns.
"Jesus, Friend of Sinners" received positive reviews from critics upon the release of Come to the Well, with many critics praising the song's lyrical content. In his review of the album, James Christopher Monger of Allmusic selected the song as a 'track pick'. Tom Lennie of Cross Rhythms stated that the song "effectively illustrates the true message [Jesus] Christ came to deliver" and called it "a veritable musical sermon". Ed Cardinal of Crosswalk.com called the track an "early standout [off of Come to the Well]" and a "thoughtful pop hymn". Kevin Davis of New Release Tuesday commented that "Jesus, Friend of Sinners" has "the most challenging message on [Come to the Well]" and praised the song's "bold" lyrical content". Lindsay Davis of GMC.com stated that the song, along with several others on the album, "are directed to the church, doing what [Casting Crowns] does best – bluntly calling out the way the world views Christianity based on the way Christians live their lives".
"Jesus, Friend of Sinners" began going for radio adds on the Christian AC, Christian CHR, and Soft AC/Inspirational formats on March 3, 2012. It has so far peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart, No. 6 on the Billboard Hot Christian AC chart, No. 2 on the Billboard Christian AC Indicator chart, No. 21on the Billboard Soft AC/Inspirational chart, and No. 20 on the Christian CHR chart.
|Billboard Christian CHR||20|
|Billboard Christian AC Indicator||2|
|Billboard Hot Christian AC||6|
|Billboard Hot Christian Songs||6|
|Billboard Soft AC/Inspirational||1|
|March 3, 2012||Christian AC radio||Beach Street|
|Christian CHR radio|
|Soft AC/Inspirational radio|
- Hall, Mark (10 October 2011). "'Come to the Well': The Songs by Casting Crowns". New Release Tuesday. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- Come to the Well (CD back cover). Casting Crowns. Reunion Records. 2011. p. 1.
- Cardinal, Ed (18 October 2011). "Casting Crowns’ Well Draws from the Word". Crosswalk.com. Salem Communications. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- "Come to the Well by Casting Crowns CD Book Reviews". New Release Tuesday. 21 October 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- Lennie, Tom (18 August 2011). "Casting Crowns – Come to the Well". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- Davis, Lindsay (18 October 2011). "Casting Crowns, Come To The Well". GMC.com. Gospel Music Association. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- "Come to the Well – Casting Crowns". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- "Going for Adds – Christian AC". Radio & Records. VNU Media. 3 March 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "Going for Adds – Christian CHR". Radio & Records. VNU Media. 3 March 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "Going for Adds – Soft AC/Inspirational". Radio & Records. VNU Media. 3 March 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "Casting Crowns Albums & Song Chart History - Christian Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
- "Billboard Hot Christian AC. July 21, 2012.
- "Billboard Christian AC Indicator. June 23, 2012.
- "Billboard Soft AC/Inspirational. July 28, 2012.
- "Jesus, Friend of Sinners (Official Music Video)". GodTube (Salem Web Network). Retrieved 3 May 2012.
- "Billboard Christian CHR. August 4, 2012.