A little Mixed up…does the church have an alternative to popular music?

It’s lent that time of the year where people try too give up something they like and make a personal sacrifice. However this year I went a bit out of the box and gave up secular music and have where I’d been my choice only listened to Christian worship music. This is partly because I do love music and am a huge fan of the lovely Ed Sheehan….whos new album I have not yet heard in its entirety and can’t wait to hear after Easter. However it’s also because the majority of secular music at the moment was driving me crazy! I got sick of being bombarded with bad language, themes of dug abuse, sex and negativity. It’s all I heard on the radio and I needed a break, to refill on good, soul nourishing, God honouring music! 

There has obviously been times when it’s been unavoidable, In other people cars, in shops, in TV adverts, but since taking a conscious effort to avoid as much as possible I’ve found myself even more sensitive to the negative themes. I was recently shown the latest video from Little Mix for their song ‘touch’. Honestly, its really not that far away from being soft porn….and this stuff is marketed at our pre teens! Even the previous track from them masqauraded as a positive getting over break up song, while the lyrics included ‘I hope she’s gettin’ better sex, Hope she ain’t fakin’ it like I did, babe,’. I can remember being appalled a few years ago at the content of the BeyoncĂ© song ‘Partition’ and its subsequent video. 

Now most people who know me will know, I’m a pretty liberal Christian, I enjoy a good party, a pretty dress and a ocassinaly one too many alcoholic beverages. I’m a firm believer that despite popular opinion Christianity does not need to be the polar opposite of fun! However when it comes to the younger generation and what we teach them I’m pretty conservative. I believe if we teach them well now, they will be equipped to one day know how to have awesome fun without compromising their beliefs. 

It makes me sad that most of these things are marketed at girls, it’s cool for a guys to wear baggy jeans a flannel shirt and play an acoustic guitar, but if you are female…you need to be wearing less clothes and dance provocatively to make it. Even Taylor Swift moved from cow girl boot wearing teenage country singer to a sexualised pop icon. Is this what we want our little girls to associate with success!? However my question is, what have we got that’s a suitable alternative to give them? 

Sure there is Christian music, Hillsong Young & Free are doing a fabulous job of making worship music accessible to the next generation, but if our Kids are talking about music in school and they want to offer their friends an alternative To the  worlds Little Mixes…we’ve got nothing that stacks up! I’d love to see people passionate about producing music for the churches younger generation, that talks about their daily struggles, about relationships, school, depresssion, fun and friendships….in a culturally relevant but wholesome positive light. I’d love to see us raise up musicians and dance artists to be alternative role models for our children. Let’s be actively encouraging young people in our churches to write music, dance and create, if they want to start girl band or boy bands, we should let them!

In an age where everything is so instantly accessible, it’s difficult to really keep tabs on what our children are hearing and seeing, and it’s difficult to strike the balance between protecting them and forcing them to be unrelateable. How can we teach them to evangelise well, if from a young age they feel like being a Christian makes them feel boring with nothing to offer.

If anyone knows of any music alternatives that I am un aware of or stories of churches with projects in this area I’d  be really interested to hear about it, get in touch via the comments section below.