When will the barriers in Christian music come down?

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will know I’m a big fan of the Hillsong Young & Free This is Living EP. I’m particularly fond of the title track, which sees Hillsong collaborating with Lecare. But it got me thinking, why don’t we see more of this? In the world of Christian music, there are lots of different types of music and sub-genres.

Gospel is the obvious one for me as it’s the one I grew up listening to but there’s an embarrassment of riches spanning the CCM space, hip hop, pop, rock, praise and worship etc. It’s a great time to be a fan of positive music that has a cross-focused message. But what we don’t see too often is the free flow of artists across the genre borders. There are lots of missed opportunities and chances for some musical magic to happen.

The easy answer is to simply say listeners, and the artists themselves, are comfortable with where they are. They sell records, those records glorify God, everyone’s happy. But what if the status quo were shaken up by doing new things? What would happen?

Look at the church itself. It’s more integrated than it ever has been – the days of ‘white churches’ and ‘black churches’ are thankfully disappearing and a trip to many churches across the UK will enable you to see the full extent of the cultural diversity in modern Christianity. Biblically, that’s far from a modern concept, by the way but don’t allow me to go off on a tangent. The lesson here isn’t to equate cultural diversity with musical diversity, they’re not the same. However, if the church is more inclusive and open to different styles of music and worship, it should be replicated in the music in the Christian music charts.

I think it’d be cool if we saw more collaborations between the different genres that sit under the Christian music umbrella. It’d challenge us, intrigue us and, more importantly, unite us. We shouldn’t need to take lessons from the secular music industry on doing this. In terms of working together, we should be able to do it better than anyone.

I’m starting a mashups ministry. Who’s with me?

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