Contemporary Christian Musicians
What is Contemporary Christian Music?
Contemporary Christian Music is a type of modern and popular Christian music. It is also often referred to as inspirational music or CCM and has lyrics that are centred around Christianity.
Contemporary Christian Musicians express their faith, pray, worship, praise, spread the word of God, and to give encouragement to the people Those who listen to contemporary Christian music also say that the genre brought them comfort during the difficult times they have faced. Typical instruments used in this genre include acoustic, bass and electric guitar, keyboard, drums, synthesisers and vocals.
Contemporary Christian music is usually performed and sometimes also recorded during church services; however, it is also commercially recorded and as such, can be heard on Christian radio stations as well.
Some Contemporary Christian musicians have made a name for themselves on the secular scene as well, such that non-Christian radio stations also pick up some of their music.
History of the Contemporary Christian Musician
In the late 1960s and early 70’s, the Jesus Movement took over the world and contemporary Christian music began to take shape.
Christian musicians wanted to make Christian music in a more contemporary style compared to that of gospel music and hymns, which they felt were outdated remnants of generations past.
As of the 70’s, this genre became better supported as an entire industry was formed around it. The music was known to many as ‘Jesus music’ and its songs of love and peace contained Christian messages.
The style was also heavily influenced by the rhythmic style of rock and roll, in turn causing rock and roll to become less controversial.
By the 80’s, contemporary Christian music had become popular across the globe and had turned into a multi-million dollar industry.
Music from the genre had even begun featuring on the Top 40, which was an incredibly rare feat for Christian music at the time. Even today, contemporary Christian musicians retains their popularity in their own unique genre, attracting new listeners every day.
Popular Contemporary Christian Musicians and Bands
Contemporary Christian musicians and there music have really taken off in recent times with new artists emerging almost daily, it seems. Some have such a fan base already from their hometown or church that they appear to be an overnight success.
Some of the more prominent contemporary Christian musicians and bands at the moment are Hillsong Worship, Hillsong UNITED, Lauren Daigle, Chris Tomlin, Jars of Clay, Casting Crowns, Mercy Me, Elevation Worship, for KING & COUNTRY, Rebecca St. James, Michael W. Smith, and Matthew West.
Popular Contemporary Christian Songs
Some of the best contemporary Christian musicians tracks include ‘Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)’ and ‘At the Cross (Love Ran Red)’ by Chris Tomlin, ‘Reckless Love’ by Cory Asbury, ‘I Can Only Image’ by Mercy Me, ‘King of Kings’ by Hillsong Worship, ‘Oceans (Where Feet May Fail’ by Hillsong UNITED, ‘This Is Amazing Grace’ by Phil Wickham, ‘The God Who Stays’ by Matthew West, and ‘Like You Love Me’ by Tauren Wells.
Currently, one of Hillsong’s tracks, ‘So Will I (100 Billion X)’, is at the top of the Contemporary Christian music charts.
Hillsong describes the track as being “about God as an artist and working His masterpiece, a work called love”. It explores the theme of all of us being God’s creations and highlights His eternal love for us.
How is Contemporary Christian Music Received?
Though much beloved today, contemporary Christian music did stem from rather controversial beginnings.
Many found that contemporary Christian music, being influenced by styles such as pop and rock music, was odd because pop and rock had been associated with many non-Christian values in the past.
Some Christians even went as far as to call it ‘the Devils music’ due to its exploration in using rhythms found in rock music. Others, however, who have mixed feelings about contemporary Christian music. Such Christians are unsure as to whether music from this genre is being made to praise God, or if it is simply made for entertainment purposes.
Despite the uncertainty, Christians with this view do not see music from the genre as being made with evil intentions as the music holds spiritual meaning and messages, often citing Christian scripture.
Due to the growth of the contemporary Christian music industry, churches that perform music from this genre have seen an increase in numbers as this contemporary form of Christian music generally appeals to people from younger generations more than the older hymns and gospel songs might.