946937_10151730438230546_789968033_n        This past weekend, I had the privilege of being around several types of Christian music. I performed at a Christian music festival where Christian rock groups are the major performers. I also performed with a group of Christian musicians who play Irish music! I rehearsed with my family playing Christian folk music, and I attended a church service where the music would mostly be described as adult Christian contemporary.100_1777

Many people have the misconception that, as Christian musicians, we need to pick only one style of music and confine ourselves to that genre. Others have a similar viewpoint: that there’s a “right” style of music for worshiping God, and others are “wrong.”

We as Christian musicians need to realize that God has provided us with many different styles of music, all of which can be used to glorify his name. If we pour our heart and soul into praising and serving God through our music, he will bless our efforts and work through us.

It’s time to stop being confined to just one style. It’s time to break the lock.

Let’s take a moment to look at a few different styles of Christian music, weighing both their benefits and weaknesses.
First, there’s the traditional hymnal music. This music is simple. It’s direct. It uses more “old-fashioned” language in a few places, but it has a lot of substance to it. The older language can make it harder to understand easily. And while the hymns may be beautiful and carefully crafted, the younger generation wants more excitement.

Another type of Christian music that’s quite common is the type played on adult Christian radio stations–contemporary music with a beat, but not the fastest, loudest type of music. Often the younger and middle generations like this kind better. Those who grew up learning to praise God only with hymns sometimes have a harder time accepting this new style. The big plus for this genre is that the pieces are easy to understand and sing along with. The purpose of the song is clear to those listening. But some want more substance to the lyrics–a lot of information, rather than one point repeated.

The extreme opposite of hymns would be the crazy-loud rap-and-hard-rock style. The fans get excited–there’s so much action! What better way to praise the Lord than by shouting out and jumping up and down, right? Of course, we need to watch the volume so that we don’t destroy our eardrums. Also, the lyrics can be harder to understand than the afore-mentioned genres, and the tender, quiet moments are lost.

Whether your style is more traditional, acoustic, hard rock, gospel, contemporary, or whatever else may be in your heart, God will use it to his glory. Target your audience, listen to what God has to say about the matter, and choose a style that will best spread God’s Word to others.

God bless your day!

Alicia Michelle

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10, NIV).