That's Why Song Story

Featuring Dan Adler Posted on July 17, 2012

A few years after we began Heart of the City Ministries, I was blessed to become part of a monthly multi-ethnic prayer meeting of pastors and ministry leaders. Later that gathering moved locations and became a weekly meeting. We met at noon for about an hour at a church in downtown Minneapolis. It was a great time of getting to know these great people from so many different denominational, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. I think we met for about 5 years and it was a blessed time.

One of the ideas that came out of this meeting, was for us to all attempt to do an evangelistic outreach together. Logistically, that’s always a challenge. But we were all excited about the idea. And so, led by one of the African American pastors, we coordinated an outreach at the Peavey Plaza outside of Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis. We hired in a sound company to run sound, a small version of the Heart of the City Band set up our equipmentand we began to sing. Then some of the pastors shared testimonies and the Gospel. It was a great experience. I remember having leadership there who were African American, Hispanic, Hmong, and Messianic Jewish and Caucasian. It was fascinating to watch people getting on and off the buses listening to us right there on Nicollet Avenue and then to have people come out of Orchestra Hall all dressed up and holding their cocktails in their hands while they listened to us. Each person of various ethnicities amongst the leaders and the band members seemed to draw those of the same ethnicity to them from the crowd . It was an awesome time of working together in unity, showing the world the beautiful diverse Body of Christ and getting the Gospel outside of the four walls of our church buildings. That was one of those rare events with such wonderful cooperation in the Body of Christ and I hope to have lots more of those kinds of stories to tell in the future. But as I was reflecting on that event and how much I loved getting out in the public like that, I was aware that, because our ministry is focused on the Church and on worship music, we didn’t have a lot of songs that were outreach oriented. I wanted to write a song that would explain why we were joyful and why we were there and why we were singing what we were singing and why we love the Lord. I wanted it to rock and also have a Gospel feel so that it would fit in an urban setting and draw the attention of those who might hear us and I wanted to proclaim the hope of the Gospel as clear I could. And that’s how the song “That’s Why” was birthed. It was interesting that Tommy Walker wrote another song by the same title with some similar lyrics after I wrote this one that was big with Promisekeepers and Christian radio, but I’d never heard his song when I wrote this one and I'm sure he didn't hear mine. The idea must have been on the heart of the God.

This song is a lot of fun for us to sing. George Parrish manages to really rip it up on the electric guitar and Jodie Sellers does a great job with vocal fills.

In 2009, with extra support from people who believe in our ministry, we were able to fund four extra outreach events like that one back at Peavey Plaza and I was really thrilled to be able to do so. We hope to do many more in the future. Jesus has changed our lives and we want the world to know why we praise Him so they will come to Him too.