Where do you think Christian rock is going, and why do you think it continues to have such an impact on youth?
 
I would like to see there being more Christian rock artists who are passionate about sharing a straight-up biblical Christian message in their rock music. I grew up on Christian rock--Petra, Stryper, and Whiteheart. That’s why I see Christian rock as being the essence of what I do. I think there’s a very natural fit between the rock in-your-face sound with the straight-up, in-your-face message of Jesus’ love and scripture.
 
I’ve written songs called “God” and “Go And Sin No More,” and these kind of songs are straight-up lyrically as well as in your face musically. I think that fits.
 
Many really successful Christian artists who have crossed over into the mainstream don't have that in-your-face biblical message. Their music is more metaphorical, and non-Christians can just enjoy the music or see the message if they're looking for it.
 
It’s like that with Switchfoot. I’m a big fan of them, but Switchfoot has always been what they are today: They have a message that Christians can see, but non-Christians [may not] understand that it’s a Christian message they’re hearing. Switchfoot have always been that. I have a problem [when artists] start out with Christian truth and then water it down just to cross over.
 
It sends mixed messages, not only to Christians but to people who aren’t, because they then think, “Oh, are they compromising who they are, or are they hiding something just to be in with us?”  The Christian message is what sets Christian music apart. We’ve got hope, and we’ve got to be upfront about that hope. Otherwise we’re just like any other mainstream music.
 
How do you think your own music has evolved through the years?
 
My first album was pop, my second album was very rock, and then the albums following have had kind of a mix of both. And then [my album] "Transform" had a bit more of a dance-Euro feel. Now it’s kind of a collage of all of those genres. I like keeping myself and my audience guessing a little bit musically, but the message is always going to be very biblical and hopefully something that draws them to God.
 
Do you think today’s teens are more conscious of being abstinent, or is it just Christian teens? 
 
I think it’s teens in general [are more conscious of abstinence]. There’s been actually quite a lot of media [coverage] about this move towards abstinence. I think it’s come largely from the Church--it actually started out in music 12 or 13 years ago. The “True Love Waits” movement was huge, and churches are still having yearly “True Love Waits” rallies or events about committing to purity. Also there’s a wising up that’s happening--that waiting is just the smart way to go. You avoid STDs, AIDS, and pregnancy outside of marriage for girls.
 
This past May you went to the White House as a spokesperson for the National Day of Prayer. Why do you think prayer is so important?
 
It tunes us into the voice of God because, when we pray, we’re still and we’re quiet, and we can more hear from Him. And [when] we’re in the real spirit of prayer, we’re listening as well, and that’s key. Prayer is also a humbling process. It’s saying, “God, I need you, and I can’t do this thing called ‘life’ without you.”  I do believe prayer changes things, too, and I’ve seen that in my life.
 
You recorded a theme song for this year’s National Day of Prayer, “America, Honor God.”  Do you think this country doesn’t honor God as much as it should?
 
I don’t think anybody honors God as much as they should. I don’t think this is unique to our generation or our time, or to any place in the world. Jesus  is the only man who ever really honored God as he could and should.
 
What has made this country so great is that it has a history of honoring God and looking to Him. But there are morals and values that are under attack today, and the breakdown of the family is very evident. But at the same time, those biblical principles are what this country was founded on and helped make it great. There's been a lot of peace in this country because of [its biblical principles]. I would love to uphold and encourage the honoring of God with my life and my ministry. 
 
What do you typically pray for?
 
I pray for help. I try and pray before everything that I am doing ministry-wise, whether it’s an interview, or a concert, or writing a song, or going on stage. Prayer is a huge part of my life in that way--for friends who are going through hard times or have asked me for prayer, I pray that I’ll be sensitive to His will. My big prayer is that I want to make sure that I’m walking in His will, and that He’ll speak to me.  
 
Do you have a favorite prayer?
 
It would probably be a prayer of surrender. My newest single, “Take All of Me,” really is a prayer of surrender, and that’s probably the one that resonates with me the most.