Amy Grant was one of the top Christian performers of the 80s. She was known as “the Queen of Christian Pop” recording songs like Find A Way, Love Of Another Kind and El Shaddai.
She shocked the world in the 90s when she became one of the first artists to successfully crossover from Christian music to the mainstream.
The controversial move paid off big with hit singles Baby Baby, Every Heartbeat, That’s What Love Is For and multiple Grammys.
Since then numerous acts have burst out of the Christian sector to find a place in the mainstream. People like U2, Switchfoot, Skillet, Lifehouse, Evermore, Jessica Simpson, Brooke Fraser, and Joy Williams are just a few examples.
Then there’s Bob Carlisle, Chris Rice, Mark Schultz, MercyMe, and Michael W Smith, who all had mainstream hits with songs birthed in Christian music.
In the past year, there’s been a significant development…
Major churches such as Hillsong, C3 Oxford Falls, Planetshakers, Bethel, and Jesus Culture have all found their way onto the mainstream music charts – not with songs of love or ambiguous lyrics – but with praise and worship songs – songs birthed in church.
Laura Toggs from Hillsong Young and Free (which has made several appearances in the mainstream charts over the past couple of years) says God is simply breathing on the music of the church.
Laura can I ask you… how much of it – is simply – a matter that some churches are now savvy marketers?
While being “authentic” is important… it seems that it’s key churches rather than individual Christian artists that are the ones ‘breaking through’ on the mainstream charts today!
To what extent then do you think this changes the way that people perceive church?
In one sense, it challenges the perception that church is more a one-hour service on Sunday…. And it becomes more of a place where people can serve God together and develop their skills!