There is one theme that dominates the mission of Hendersonville husband/wife pastors, Aaron and Amanda Crabb. That theme is “Restoration.” The deep-seated conviction that Jesus Christ can, will and does miraculously restore broken lives is what drives their every waking moment—and then some! Aaron and Amanda Crabb are dedicated to offer every one of their gifts to the Lord to further this Kingdom cause. As pastors of Restoring Hope Church, Aaron and Amanda preach and teach and live “Restoration!” The reason? Aaron and Amanda have experienced first-hand the restoring power of God and it is their passion to share the good news of God’s Restoration with the world.
As Difference Media recording artists, Aaron and Amanda offer their voices and songs to send forth this beautiful message. Their latest recording, RESTORE produced by Aaron Crabb, reflects their recent journey of launching their church, Restoring Hope, to the birth of their fourth child. The13-song collection showcases beautiful harmony and their modern country influences, but it is the theme of Restoration threaded throughout the project that really stirs the heart.
The title cut, “Restore Me” was written while Aaron and Amanda served at Cornerstone Church under Pastor John Hagee. “One day, I sat down at the piano when I was just having one-of-those-days,” Amanda recalls. “We’ve all struggled with doubting the Lord and questioning His plans and what our purpose is. I poured my heart out to Him saying… ‘I’m not going to sit here and put on a facade in front of You—You know my doubts and my fears, You know the story behind every tear!’” Those words became the opening line of the song. However, Amanda says her favorite line is, “You held me close as I pushed You away.”
Amanda continues, “Why has it been so hard for me to say, ‘I need Your grace?’ You know—it’s really that simple. If we will just come to the Lord and say, ‘I need you, Lord…’ When our children come to us and we know they sincerely have need of us, we do our best as parents to supply their needs. God says, with us being evil and we still do good things for our children, how much more will our Father in heaven do for us?” Amanda continues, “The second verse of the song is as if God is speaking back and reminds us that He IS our grace and mercy and everything we are in need of. He is the restorer of all broken things.”
Amanda’s songwriting reflects raw honesty. Honesty comes natural for her. “Amanda is definitely like that,” Aaron says and grins. “She’s just built that way.”
“That’s not always a good thing,” Amanda laughs!
“But it is,” Aaron responds. “It is because it helps so many people. So many people want to be honest and share what they’re going through as well as about the ways they’ve messed up and the mistakes they’ve made, but they feel like they’re the only ones that have. The truth is, we all feel that way.”
Aaron and Amanda’s daughter, Eva, had a hand in the songwriting on this album too. Eva wrote the bridge on “Kingdom Come.” Amanda explains, “I was at the piano chording, writing the verses and choruses and Eva said, ‘Mom, what about this?’ And she just started singing, ‘God you’re amazing the heaven’s declare….’ Surprised and impressed, Amanda answered, “What else ya got?”
“Honestly,” Aaron says, “That just made the song. The bridge just gave it the push it needed.”
Other highlights include, “Time Flies,” a ballad that reminds how quickly life passes and inspires the listener to savor it. Another selection is “Your Blood.” This worship song is favorite among the congregation at Restoring Hope. Aaron and Amanda also deliver a powerful rendition of the Dottie Rambo classic, “He Looked Beyond My Fault.”
Although “Restoration” is the theme of the album, it wouldn’t be an authentic “Crabb” item without showcasing a little Crabb-Sassy-Blues! “Two Coats” features Adam Crabb on the harmonica and also the harmony Terah Crabb Penhollow. On the song, “I’ve Got the Vict’ry,” Amanda opens up and leads with a vocal-attitude all of her own.
“I’ve Seen What He Can Do,” is the first single from the project.
Aaron shares, “Every time I see Kenna’s (West) name, I know it’s going to be a great song. Everything she does is amazing,” Aaron explains. “She had emailed me several songs, but this one jumped out at me because I can relate so well to it. Every night before bed, I tuck my little girl in bed and pray with her, so I relate to the little girl in the song that asks, ‘Have you ever seen God?’ The truth is, no, we haven’t seen Him with our naked eye, but we’ve seen Him in our circumstances and He’s been there for us. I love the bridge that talks about , ‘I’ve been through the valley…I can tell you every trial and fire He’s brought me through.’ No, I haven’t seen Him, but I have SEEN Him.”
With most recording artists, a new project in hands calls for a demanding tour. Not so for Aaron and Amanda. The couple is committed to the needs of their local church. Amanda says they enjoy singing out whenever they can occasionally—as long as it doesn’t interfere with Wednesdays and Sundays. She also says they guard against using the church as a place to push their music. “We are very protective over this house not ever wanting to ever give the appearance of self promotion. It really isn’t that often that we even sing our own music. We worship.”
The protective spirit comes honestly from Aaron and Amanda because they have built the church ministry literally from the ground up. “So much has been done around here,” Aaron explains. “Not only us, but there have been a lot of people who have come—God sent! He sent those intricate parts that we needed and specifically prayed for. We need the right people to help us build a ministry that reaches out to the community. Our heart is definitely outreach. We don’t want to just have church, we want to get out and be it!”
There is no better way to preach the beautiful message of Restoration than to get outside the church and be the agents of Christ by meeting the legitimate needs of the community. Restoring Hope provides meals for families on a weekly basis. The church also offers a “Back To School Bash” that provides food for families and school supplies for students. “Our congregants love jumping right in there and giving to those causes. They truly love giving to our community,” Amanda says.
The church also serves the community during Christmas. “We will have ‘Hope For Christmas’ again this year,” Amanda says. “Last year was great. Everything was so beautiful— It was like winter-wonderland around here. The line to get in literally wrapped around our parking lot. We gave out cookies, provided pictures with Santa and entertained the children while parents got to pick out gifts for them. We raised a total of approximately $7,000 and helped 850 families!”
The task of this magnitude of an outreach program seems impossible for a modest size congregation. A typical Sunday attendance is around 300 and growing. “When God spoke the vision, we had no clue,” Amanda admits. “Honestly, we still don’t know. We say to God, ‘You need to tell us what to do step by step.’ He doesn’t always tell us step for step, He sometimes just says ‘go!’ It’s always amazing that when we begin to take the steps He begins placing the stones for us to step on.”
Aaron continues, “Our statement is, ‘God didn’t call us to be comfortable, He called us to be obedient. Believe me, this ole boy knows that for sure.”
Amanda adds, “One thing we have found is that when your goal is to transform the lives of people and make their lives better, that’s what Jesus is all about too! He won’t ever tell you to go feed them and go clothe them and it not be Him. You won’t ever feel that and it not be the Lord. Our flesh doesn’t want to give away $7,000. Especially when we have a building fund! But we just have to move when the Lord says to move. We planted this church with a very low savings account and twelve people. We said, ‘ok, God, we don’t know how, but He said— and continues to say…’No MAN will get the glory for what takes place here.’ It is not in us—not in Aaron and Amanda to do this, but God said, if you’ll be obedient, I will honor your sacrifice.’ If we could see the heart of Jesus restored in the body of Jesus Christ, we will see the supernatural revealed.”