For Jason Roy, music provides a "hook" to share with others what is most important in life - hope and love.
For Roy, lead singer and founding member of Building 429, sharing about life and faith goes beyond the stage. It's an important piece of his journey.
On Thursday, Oct. 5, Building 429 will perform in a worship concert with Josh Wilson and Chris August at 7 p.m., at Grove's First Baptist Church in Grove.
It's a concert, Roy said, will serve not only as a collaboration between the six men, but also as a way to encourage a time of worship.
"We'll play all of the songs people love and know," Roy said. "We'll share the stories, of where the songs came from.
"In the final set, we'll invite everyone to be part of it, and lead worship. This show is more of an ebb and flow in the moment. It's pretty awesome."
Behind the music
Roy's journey, to Building 429 began at the age of 18 when he, the self-described recreational basketball player, woke up in the hospital.
While playing a game of basketball in college, Roy admits his mouth probably got away from him. Another player ran up, threw a punch and shattered Roy's face and nose.
"My arrogance and mouth got me in trouble," Roy said. "In that situation it came to me, what in my life pointed to God. I realized there wasn't much to point to."
During the 12 weeks of recovery, Roy said he spent hours journaling his thoughts, writing songs and crying out to God.
"I was a very passive follower [of Jesus]," Roy said, as he describes his life before the accident. "I was a fair weather follower.
"Being disfigured was massively humbling. Somehow, it was some way for God to get my attention."
Those moments led him to find three other guys, who were passionate about music, would would eventually form the original group.
With no musical background and using Google as his tool, Roy began searching for Christian coffeehouses and other venues to share the group's music.
"People told us we were crazy," Roy said. "But I just believed if I put in the work, and point people to Jesus, there would be something."
About the group
Building 429 formed "three lifetimes ago" for a band. The newest formation, which includes Roy, Jessie Garcia, Michael Anderson and Aaron Branch, emerged 12 years ago.
Building 429's name comes Ephesians 4:29. Roy's now wife, Cortni, suggested the name, which focuses on a verse calling for using words to build people up, rather than tear them down.
"She said look, if you're going to start a band, you should make the name mean something," Roy said, adding at times, living up to the name is a challenge.
"It can be as crazy as praying for humility and patience," Roy said. "It's not easy. There are many times we have failed. We're always in the arena, always fighting."
Roy said the name sets the bar for the band members, and gives them something to live up to, as they strive to live out their faith in the world.
He said the name has also branded the group, and helped infuse it with a desire to encourage others.
"Somehow, someway the scripture is written on the heart of our band," Roy said. "I think if you walk up to any of the guys on the band, their exterior may be gruff, but they love nothing more than to encourage people. We live for that."
Behind the music
Roy said many of the group's songs have grown out of real life experiences.
The song, Where I Belong, one of their most requested tunes, developed after a member of his church was diagnosed with cancer.
During one small group session, Roy said, it became obvious, that the prayers that evening were leading the group to pray for Jesus to be real, in their presence - beyond what the world could offer.
Roy took those experiences and together with Jason Ingram, wrote the words which would form the song which provides hope in a hurting world.
Roy jokes he can write a bad song in three minutes.
"The greatest song can take forever," Roy said, "because you challenge every single word."
In one project, Roy worked on 65 songs. Of those 45 became full demos. Eventually, only 10 remained on the finished album.
"Three of those songs have been re-written 12 to 15 times," Roy said, adding that even as the group spends time in the studio, he is often working to tweak songs.
"You wait for the inspiration, and then take that thought or idea, and then challenge everything - so you can turn what is good great.
"You want every single line, every single melody to be inspired."
Living on the road
Roy said touring may seem glamorous, but it really means a group of people living on a bus - and the only private spot becoming each person's bunk.
"That's my space," he said. "Where I go to close out the world."
Like songwriting, he said, developing a quiet time on the road takes patience, and discipline.
He often spends time reading apologetic style books, such as the Case for Christ, Blue Like Jazz, or God's Not Dead. Those books, he said, help him challenge the status quo and add layers to his faith, and remember there's a logic behind his faith.
He hopes people who attend one of their concerts, will leave, feeling encouraged, from being in the presence of not only a good band, but also in the presence of God.
Building 429, with Josh Wilson and Chris August, will be in concert at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 5, at Grove's First Baptist Church in Grove.
The doors will open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $25 for artist circle. Tickets are available at the church office or online at itickets.com.
For more information, persons interested may call 918-786-4419. The church is located at 501 East 13th Street, Grove.