Already, Schultz has evidenced the life-changing power of “Everything to Me.” After performing the song at a fundraiser for Bethany Christian Services (an adoption and family services agency), someone approached him and said a young woman who attended the event was pregnant and had considered having an abortion. Once she heard the song’s moving message, however, she decided to give her baby up for adoption.

Another poignant song is “She Was Watching,” a ballad about a young girl who watches her parents live out their Christian faith and desires to be just like them. Schultz drew inspiration from a sermon titled “Faith Isn’t Caught, It’s Taught.” “Kids will often listen to what you say, but, more often, they emulate what you do,” he says.

To help him with the creative process, Schultz tapped A-list producer Mark Bright, known for his collaborations with Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts and other top country artists. He also brought in a co-producer, friend and former neighbor Shaun Shankel (Natalie Grant, Destiny’s Child, Hilary Duff). “Mark does great story songs, and Shaun produces awesome praise & worship music. So it was a great marriage of the two,” Schultz explains.

Schultz is quick to point out that "Broken & Beautiful" represents “more of a praise & worship vibe than anything I’ve done before.” Indeed, upbeat tracks such as “40 Days” and “God of Life”  are catchy, vertically-focused numbers that will likely emerge on radio.

In the end, though, the songs with moving storylines make Schultz shine brightest. “I’ve loved stories since I was little, and the thing that I love about telling them is letting people in on each story bit by bit,” he says. “It’s a way for people not to just listen to a song but to be a part of the overall experience. Ultimately, it’s about making a connection and pointing people toward heaven.”

      
© 2006 CCM Magazine.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.   Click here to subscribe.