Thomas Rhett‘s powerful ‘Beer With Jesus’ lyrics and the song’s moving message have been getting the singer some positive reviews. Thomas Rhett penned the tune along with Lance Miller and Rick Huckaby, and credits the song as the reason he is now signed to Big Machine’s Valory Music Co.

“I’d written with Lance before, but I had never written with Rick,” Thomas Rhett tells Taste of Country. “We wrote the song in like March of 2010. I was still in college, actually. I remember being up the whole night before studying for a test. It was about three in the morning, and I started writing down a ton of titles on sticky notes. I had probably 10 sticky notes of titles, and I brought them all in [to the write the next day].”

The singer-songwriter continues, “It was about a 10 o’clock write, and we just started talking. I was telling them about all these deep titles I had written down the night before, and one of the titles was like ‘Talking to Jesus’ or something like that. We got to talking about what it would be like if you could talk to Jesus in person, and I remember Lance saying, ‘What if you could have a beer with Jesus?’ It was just one of those moments in the room where we all just stopped and looked at each other. We were like, ‘Man, that’s really interesting and kind of risky at the same time, but I dig it.’ I think it is the coolest title in the world.”

If I could have a beer with Jesus / Heaven knows I’d sip it nice and slow / I’d try to pick a place that ain’t too crowded / Or gladly go wherever he wants to go / You can bet I’d order up a couple tall ones / And tell the waitress put ‘em on my tab / Yeah I’d be sure to let him do the talkin’ / Be careful when I got the chance to ask,” they wrote in the opening ‘Beer With Jesus’ lyrics.

“We started it, and then we didn’t talk about it for like three weeks,” Thomas Rhett remembers. “I was like, ‘Man, we need to get back in the room, and I think we should change the chorus some.’ There are three choruses in the song, and I felt like each chorus needed its own storyline. So we got back in the room two more times after that to make sure that it was right.”

Tell me how’d you turn the other cheek / To save a sorry soul like me / Do you hear the prayers I send / What happens when life ends / And when you think you’re comin’ back again / I’d tell everyone, but no one would believe it / If I could have a beer with Jesus,” they wrote in the powerful first chorus.

“Basically, the song is kind of me and Lance and Rick’s personal questions – obviously they are probably not as personal as we would talk about in a room, but we tried to make very broad questions about what we would ask Jesus and what we thought the general population would ask Jesus if they had 20 minutes just to sit down and talk to Him,” Thomas Rhett explains. “One of the main questions is the start of every chorus. It says ‘How’d you turn the other cheek / To save a sorry soul like me?’ We repeat that every chorus, and each chorus is a different set of questions that you would ask Jesus.”

“We all had a pretty common ground in terms of the feeling we would have if we actually did have the opportunity to sit down with Jesus … what would you ask?” adds Miller. “It came out very natural for all of us, and everybody just fell in love with the concept pretty quickly. I am so proud to be a part of it.”

Ask him how’d you turn the other cheek / To save a sorry soul like me / Have you been there from the start / How’d you change a sinner’s heart / And is heaven really just beyond the stars / I’d tell everyone, but no one would believe it / If I could have a beer with Jesus,” the second chorus goes.

“I remember we went into the studio and demoed it,” Thomas Rhett tells Taste of Country of bringing ‘Beer With Jesus’ together. “That was the first time we laid that track down. I lived with that for a few months. The next year — 2011 — I remember walking into [Big Machine Records label head] Scott Borchetta’s office and playing him nine or 10 songs. I’m convinced that ‘Beer With Jesus’ was the song that really struck Scott’s ear, and when is all said and done, got me my record deal with Big Machine.”

Adds the newcomer, “I can’t believe that it’s actually a single now. It’s been my favorite song forever.”