Amongst Wolves are our four-piece rock band mission team. The band comprises Mark (guitar and vocals), Clarissa (bass), Andy (drums) and new member Dan (vocals). We spoke to all four members about how they bring the good news of Jesus to the darkest places and to the most marginalised young people.
Your mission is to share the gospel with young people. What do you see as the biggest issue facing young people in today’s society?
Andy: Mental health is a huge one. This is something that is affecting young people more than ever before.
Dan: I think it all boils down to identity. Everything else stems from that. Being a teenager is such a hard time. Figuring out who you are. You want to be accepted, you want to be loved and you can easily misplace your identity in darkness.
Andy: Identity and mental health are topics often addressed in schools, but they are missing the message of Jesus which is the only hope. We get to go in and tell these young people that there is a message of hope and that Jesus can carry you through when you can’t carry yourself.
How do you, as a band, engage with these difficult issues?
Mark: A big part is our music. We’re passionate about sharing the gospel with the kids on the edge and that’s why we write songs that lyrically bring Jesus into a place where the music is often anti-God and anti-life.
We’ve also started working in a mental health hospital for teenagers. We’ve been able to go in and write songs with the patients, kids who have been removed from normal society because they are a danger to themselves and other people.
It’s such a heart-breaking place. These are beautiful, brilliant young people who are covered in scars and don’t want to be here. But we get to go in under the banner of Jesus and write songs of hope with them. We recently got to play our song ‘Clarity’ and explained how when life gets too much, Jesus is our clarity. These kids are in the darkest of places and need Jesus just the same as everyone else. It’s great to share Jesus with these guys.
These kids are in the darkest of places and need Jesus just the same as everyone else
What an amazing privilege to be able to share the gospel with those who need to hear it most. How does it feel when a young person responds?
Mark: It’s awesome. When you’ve journeyed with a young person for a while, have been able to talk to them and pray with them and then see them making a response to the gospel – there’s no other feeling like it.
Andy: There was a kid who we met in Cardiff called Jake* who was in a really dark place. He came up to me at the end of a lesson and we started chatting before he began to open up. He was struggling with mental health issues; his mum wasn’t well and they were having a lot of problems at home. I was able to pray for him; I’ll never take for granted what a privilege it is to pray for a kid in school. I asked God to show up in his life and for the rest of the week I continued to pray that he would come to the gospel gig.
At the weekend we got off stage and I saw Jake waiting at the back. He was in such a dark place and I prayed for him and shared how much God loved him. During the gospel response that evening, Jake stood up and gave his life to Jesus.That wasn’t because of my words, it was all because of Jesus. Emotional stuff.
What is it that drives you to get out of bed and to go to work every day?
Dan: There’s nothing more important that you could do with your time and energy than to tell people about Jesus. The only thing you’re going to take into the new creation with you is other people – you can’t take any stuff or belongings. Some days are trickier than others but I know that I don’t want to waltz into heaven, I want to limp in knowing that I gave it everything. I’d hate to miss out on what God’s got in store for me.
Clarissa: For me, it’s genuinely heartbreaking to meet people who don’t know Jesus, don’t know their identity and don’t know that it can be found in Jesus. It hurts to know that there are people out there who are struggling and think they have to go through life alone. I want people to experience what I’ve experienced in Jesus. Because there is hope. And that’s what spurs me on every day.
What excites you for the future of Amongst Wolves?
Clarissa: I’m excited for how God is going to use this band, now we have a new singer and we’re in a new format. I’m excited to see where God is going to take us and how he’ll use our individual stories.
Mark: In 2020 we’re heading out on mission with the Higher Tour. There are so many places that want to partner with us in preaching the gospel and an amazing number of open doors. I’m very excited for all of the kids who are going to get to hear the life-changing news of the gospel.
If you’re passionate about reaching young people then you can book a team to go into your local school. Head to message.org.uk/book-a-team to find out more.