Christian Band Urges Kids to 'Go Fish'

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- After years of selling out concert halls, contemporary Christian band, the Go Fish Guys, walked away from its recording contract. They said they were looking for a "smaller audience."

The band consists of members Jaime Statema, Jason Folkmann, and Andy Selness.

"We are called Go Fish because we want to be fishers of men with our music," Statema said.

The Go Fish Guys first began recording in 1996 and from lights to fog machines, the staging for the rock concerts has not changed very much. But the band members say the energy and the audience certainly has.

"For me, this is why I wanted to do this," Statema said as he and the band were preparing for a show at a Minnesota performance center. "I love entertaining and being with the people who love our music."

When the contemporary Christian artists took the stage, children in the audience outnumbered the adults.

"It is my first concert I have ever been to, so I am pretty excited," said 11-year-old Thomas Swartz.

"They make the stuff that they do, like the B-I-B-L-E- song, and the Ten Commandments, they make it super fun," said Abby Thunstrom. "So it is fun to listen to."

Ironically, these three dads decided to mix children's music after years of frustration with the recording industry.

Their goal was one CD.

"Splash was released in 2003 I believe and the first set of shows we did in our hometown in the Minneapolis, St. Paul area, six shows, sold out," Folkmann said. "After the first show, we can back into the dressing room and we all looked at each other and said this is what we are going to be doing for the rest of our lives."

Six CDs and seven years later, the Go Fish Guys have seen more success making music for children than even they could have imagined. The biggest surprise is a song from their Christmas album that's taken on a life of its own - "Christmas With a Capital C." A fan created a video, posted it on YouTube and it's been viewed more than 15 million times.

"'Christmas with a Capital C' is one of those songs that we wrote and are particularly proud of," Statema said. "And it has just really sparked a nerve with people. And sparked a lot of conversation."

The song is also the subject of a film starring Ted McGinley and Daniel Baldwin, that's currently in production in Alaska.

"We could make you a very long list of things that we never would have imagined possibly happening to us in our lifetime and to have a movie being filmed based off our music is pretty incredible," Selness said.

The music is also taking the Go Fish Guys off the stage -- and into churches classrooms.

They have written "Backstage with the Bible." Hundreds of churches are already using it as a vacation Bible school curriculum and those numbers continue to grow.

"I think it was really exceptional to see just the heart, the intention it was to give kids that really, core Bible experience, to learn the word and to learn how to use the word in their lives," said youth pastor Ed Jenkins.

The Word is at the heart of the Go Fish Guys' mission -- to reach children, who could then reach their entire families.

"We are just a band," Folkman said. "We are three guys that make music for kids that won't drive their parents bonkers."

*Original broadcast June 2, 2010. 

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Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.