Since their formation in 1992, Disciple has released 10 studio albums and 15 no. 1 radio singles, including the songs "After the World," "Dear X," and "Angels and Demons." Their work has earned them multiple GMA Dove Award nominations along with sports placements through outlets like ESPN and WWE. The band's explosive live show has taken them across the country and overseas through countless concerts, including a stint on WinterJam West Coast in 2014.
Kevin Young is clear that the band's passion has remained the same. "Our ministry has always been to write songs that would draw people closer to Jesus, no matter where they are in their relationship with Him," he explains. "We don't just write songs for non-believers. We want to write songs that help Christians as well, because becoming a Christian is only the beginning. Walking and growing in Christ and ultimately living like He did is our ultimate goal. And we want to provide the soundtrack for people's lives as they are walking on that journey.
Young's songwriting drive is literally a matter of getting behind the wheel. "If you ever pass me on the interstate and you see me singing on the top of my lungs, that's me writing a song," Young says. "I write most of my lyrics in the car. Living in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, it's a 3 1/2 hour drive to Nashville. It's one of those times when you're alone, and there's no one there to distract you. So I'll listen to the music the band has written, and that's when I'll write."
Even as his passion burns to carry Disciple into its next chapter, Young can close his eyes and remember in a split second how it all began for him as an adolescent. He listened to a cassette tape of the first album by Whitecross, and that lit the flame. "It was amazing," Young recalls. "It was hard, really heavy metal. But it really spoke to me right where I was and had a life-changing impact on me. I knew I wanted to start a band to reach people in the same way. For those guys, it wasn't just about the musicians playing the music, but sharing their faith. And I knew that was what I was going to do one day. They discipled me."
And to that end, Disciple's leader has a heart for the kids he meets on every tour -- kids who struggle with mental illness, low self-esteem and abuses of all kinds. Young says that even after so many of the years on the road, the stories and confessions he hears still give him pause. "You think with hard music we'd be just reaching hard people -- and we do want to reach them for sure -- but the person who could have a hard life could be anybody. It could be a 9-year-old girl. You have this stereotype of the person who has a hard life, what they look like. But the kids who come through the line, it's amazing what you see. When you see a beautiful young little girl who says she's battling suicide or has been raped, you don't even know what to say."
"We want people to walk away from our songs directed or pointed in His direction," front man Kevin Young says. "I don't mean to be so super-spiritual about it, but I think God saves us so we can shine his light on someone else. At the end of the day, winning an award is awesome and it feels good. Having a number one song is awesome and it feels good. But two years down the line, people forget. You couldn't tell me who won Super Bowl XIII. That was a long time ago. I want to do things that have an eternal impact, and I believe that not only means pointing people to Christ, but bringing glory to him." And if that means Disciple's going to get a little loud in the process, so much the better.