FFH: A Focused Mission
by Andrea Matetic
Christian pop group FFH ("Far From Home") began as an acappela group ten years ago when high school friends Jeromy Deibler and Brian Smith performed at a youth talent show in Pennsylvania. Over the years they picked up Jennifer Deibler (now Jeromy's wife) and Michael Boggs. Since they began, FFH has evolved from singing acappela music to performing acoustic pop songs. Said Jeromy Deibler, "Our goal at the time was to sing as much as we could and have a good time." He continued by noting that their mission became more clear: "Through the first three or four years, the Lord began to give us a burden to see people come to know Jesus, and to see those who know Jesus come closer to Him."
In their personal lives, the members of FFH have encountered struggles. Their music often reflects the lessons they learn. For example, singer/songwriter Jeromy Deibler found himself in a dry spiritual state before recording FFH's second album, "Found A Place." One of the more popular songs from that album, "Lord, Move or Move Me," was a response to his spiritual struggle: "I can't find the words to pray / I'm a little down today / Can you help me? / Can you hold me? / I feel a million miles away / And I don't know what to say / Can you hear me anyway?. . .. Lord, move in a way that I've never seen before / 'Cause there's a mountain in the way / And a lock on the door / I'm drifting away / Waves are crashing on the shore / So Lord move / Move or move me."
He explained, "It [the song] wasn't about any particular issue or anything. It was just about my need to have a deeper walk with the Lord, and to stretch there. That's where it came from, and God used it."
As a group, FFH has also been growing in their relationship with the Lord through personal devotion time. Michael Boggs said, "We get together and pray everyday before our concert, and throughout the day we pray." When asked how the group manages to stay humble and focused on God, he replied, "I think a lot of it comes from us spending time with Jesus on a personal level—inside our bunk, or in a hotel room, or wherever—just spending time with Him that we need and that He wants from us."
Through that personal time with God, Jeromy said that the group is learning to be honest. "One thing that God is teaching us as a group is to be who we are—everything from what we sing to what we wear on stage—God is just telling us to be honest. Don't play games with people. We know that there are better guitar players, better singers, better talkers out there, but we know that God has put us on the platform for a reason. He expects, first of all, humility and honesty from us."
In their career, FFH has evolved from a group who simply wanted to have fun, to a group who now wants to see people come to Christ. Jeromy Deibler explained, "We know that God has called us to not only sing to folks who know Jesus and to encourage them, but God has called us to preach the Gospel to non-believers. [We're] being honest and pretty forthright and blatant about the Gospel. In an FFH concert, we don't talk about issues, and we don't preach a long sermon. We just get in the Gospel and give [the audience] a chance to give their hearts to Jesus. The Holy Spirit does the saving. We don't do it."
Not only does FFH preach the Gospel, but they also lead worship. Brian Smith remembered the first time the group played in Dallas, Texas. FFH was at a mall performing a concert during the lunch hour. "I remember getting there and getting on stage. Looking out over the mall, you could see people on the floor, and you could see the second level. It was so crammed full of people; there were probably about three thousand people there. During the concert we led praise and worship for ten or fifteen minutes. It was just amazing being in that public place. You could see all the shops and all the restaurants and everything around. ?I remember stepping back from the microphone and just listening to praise and worship fill through the mall, and it was amazing. I can remember it to this day, and it has changed my perception of praise and worship," said Smith.
Recently, FFH released their third album, "Have I Ever Told You." As they tour the country, they hope to continue their influence and present their message. As Jennifer Deibler stated, "Our mission statement is to reach as many people for Jesus as we can, as quickly as possible."